The grief, after almost ten years, still comes in waves. In the beginning it was like a tsunami, then hurricanes and so on until now an occasional storm. There is not a day I do not miss my Dad! There is not a day that I do not miss Dad and Mom together! On his birthday, I was weepy, but most days, the laughs are more and tears are less. I was blessed to have a good, Christian father! The older I get the more grateful I am for his Christian influence, taught to me through his actions.
Today, I was thinking about, even through his death, God taught me something. I always say, "don't waste the cancer", "don't waste the covid" and "don't waste the grief". Dad's death was a shock to our family with ten precious days to say goodbye. I remember going to church the first Sunday, after Dad died, which was one of the hardest things, since we always sat together. Mom said we had to because, whatever date we chose, it would be the "first"! I came to really dislike that word - "first". As I was walking in someone asked me, "is everything back to normal?" Thankfully, due to my shock, the Holy Spirit kept my mouth shut! NO! Nothing would ever be normal again and how could the world go on without my dad in it? I remember my first trip to the grocery store after he died, everyone acted like it was any ole day. Did they not know my Dad had died?
God showed me how people lose loved ones every day and hurt long past the first year. I remember how thankful I was after the first Christmas, first birthday, first father's day, first thanksgiving. God laid on my heart those who grieve and showed me that the grief is not over when the funeral is over. People need to know they are being prayed for long after. People need to be encouraged. I am amazed at how often God brings to mind those who are grieving and I know that is His nudge for me to pray for them. What an honor to be able to do this for someone. A lesson learned through my own trials.
God showed me that I was not alone when I grieved. Psalm 34: 18, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." He showed me how He would help me get through this sad time. Philippians 4: 13, "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." I focused on how happy I was for my dad. I would not bring him back to this world if I could. Revelation 21: 4, "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.'"
I always say that my Dad's death hurt so bad because our relationship was so good. I think grieving and talking about a loss is important for our healing. No matter how long it has been. I believe we are to use our journey to help others. I believe that all the suffering we go through in this life cannot compare to the joy we will experience in Heaven. Romans 8: 18, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
Even through the mourning of my dad, God is so, so good! Because of Jesus, I know where my Dad is! Because of Jesus, I know that I have joy because we will be together again. So, even though I am sad, I am not burdened or troubled. John 14: 1, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me." Thanks be to God!
Don't waste your trial. What is God showing you through this time? Who can you reach out to and encourage today?