"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34: 17-18
It's hard to believe it's been a year since we said goodbye to my Dad.
One year ago today he went home to be with the Lord.
I wasn't sure I was going to write about him today, but I'm compelled to.
If you've suffered a loss like this then you understand that it's a blessing and a joy to speak of those we've loved and and bid farewell to.
It's been a year of ups and downs, but not only have we known the presence of God with us at all times, I know my Dad too will always be with us, if only in our hearts and memory. And as difficult as this year has been without his earthly presence in my life, not being able to share the joys and new beginnings I've experienced, I can look forward to the day when I will see him face to face once again.
There's gonna be a lot to tell him, that's for sure!
I'm not sure if you know how much you all have meant to me over the past year. As I looked back this morning over the file of messages, e-mails and cards from so many of you, I was blessed beyond measure once again at how much love you poured out on me and my family. God used all of you to help bind up my wounds and to heal my heart and no amount of thanks will ever be enough for that. Please know that each of you holds a special place in my heart and always will.
So, as I contemplated what exactly to share with you here today, I wanted to make sure to tell you that no matter what trial, or difficulty or loss you may be experiencing today, God is bigger than all of that.
The Bible says this: "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." - 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9 and in verses 17 - 18 "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
The message is so clear - He does not leave us alone in our troubles. When we focus on the temporary things that are in front of us, we take our eyes off the God who loves us more than we can ever comprehend and who wants to carry us through every difficult step we take. And that doesn't get us anywhere good.
Do I miss my Dad? Yes. Every day.
Are there still times that my heart just hurts? Yes. More than I can recount. I wrestle over the fact that he is missing so much, and we are missing him here.
But would I wish him back? No, never. He is healed and in Heaven with our Lord and I know he'll be there to greet me someday. That knowledge alone allows me to focus once again on the God who heals and binds up the wounds of the brokenhearted.
I don't know what you are facing friends, but it would be my joy to pray for you as you have prayed for me and given me comfort. God hears our prayers and holds us close to Him. I hope you feel His presence today.
There are two things that I'm leaving you with today. One is a new song by one of my favorite groups, Mercy Me. It speaks perfectly to where I am today on this grief journey. I hope it blesses you and encourages you as it has me.
Secondly, I'm sharing the tribute video of my Dad with you. He left a legacy of love for us and he had a zest for life that few could match. I think these photos show him perfectly.
God bless you my friends, today and always,