Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Dad did not LOSE his fight

I think that it's easy to say "dad lost his fight with cancer". But I think that that statement could not be more wrong. Dad fought. He fought hard and courageously. My dad was a strong warrior all the way up until the end. Cancer struck and he punched back every step of the way. I remember days where, despite the pain and frustration, he laughed and joked. Even played a few hands of poker with Ashley and I. He gave me advice on relationships as we sat together in his room. And he was always sure to ask how I was doing and how work was going. Dad never stopped being dad. Dad never stopped fighting.

In the end, yes, dad passed. But again, he did not lose this fight. There is One that came and conquered sickness and death for good, Jesus Christ. And my dad acknowledged and professed that in his heart he trusted in that Savior.  In the midst of my dad's fight, he knew where he was going at the end. My dad did not give up. He simply trusted that this was not the end. 

Dad did not lose his fight because he died. Because he died, he gained a new body free of sickness, free of sadness, and filled with joy and peace. My dad fought with every ounce of strength that he had, and then some. And my dad WON his battle proving that not even a physical death could keep him down. My dad is eternally alive and I take as much rest as I can in knowing that I will be with him again one day. My dad is the victor in this fight. 


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

hurt

Where to start...I hurt. A lot.

Last week marked one year since I took off of work to take dad to the doctor. One year ago we we hearing the word cancer. One year ago everything was going to be okay. 

This past year has been a whirlwind marked with hope and hope deflated. On September 30th the news became the worst. The treatments were not working. There was nothing else that could be done. 

Over the past 40 days I've watched as dad's health continued to decline. He lost even more weight and became even less communicative. Then, last night dad passed. For 40 days I have been preparing myself. Part of me has known for even longer I think. Still, it hurts. A lot. 

Part of me is joyful. Dad was sure of his faith; he knew where he was going. Dad is in Heaven with a new body. One that is free of cancer forever. Dad is no longer suffering and he never will again. Still, the pain is so real. I can't help but think of the things that dad will miss. He won't see me get married. He won't hold my future children. He won't ever see my name on a book cover. So many more. 

I promised to be real in this blog. I promised to share my true heart in are vulnerability. So, here it is. This sucks. And I don't know how to do this. This past year has beat the crap out of me. I don't know what to do from here. The loss of my dad is a pain like none other. 

But in this time, my feet will learn a new dance of worship. Psalm 23 says that we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. The key word there is THROUGH. We walk through it. And it is God Himself that walks us through. I struggle right now to see it, but I know that the darkness will break. I see past the darkness and the hurt and I see the hope. Because if I can't, then there's no point in going forward. 

I can't do this Lord, but You can. So I trust. 

"And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus."
-1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, The Message


Friday, November 6, 2015

Broken and empty

Another blog I don't know how to write but yet feel the need to do so anyway. 
The past few weeks have been hard. Really hard. Watching dad suffer sucks. Seeing the amount of pain he is in despite the morphine is painful. If I could, I would gladly take his pain myself to give him comfort in his last few days. Dealing with family drama is unwelcome and unneeded but yet it is coming up. Yet, every day I put on this fake smile and I go about my day. I pretend like everything is okay  
Yet, what many don't realize is that so often the times I get up and walk away from my desk it is because I'm not holding it together anymore. When I go home at night, I sit on the couch and find it so hard to want to do anything. I feel like I haven't my been myself at all the past few weeks. I feel empty and broken inside.
Last week during some quite time I just confessed to The Lord my emptiness. I cried out that I have nothing left to give. Then I was reminded of the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. We tend to focus on the miracle-which is pretty amazing. But I was drawn to the little boy in the story.
This little boy has just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. And Jesus wants to feed 5000 men, plus women and children with this boy's food. Talk about feeling empty and having nothing to give! I feel like that boy. What I have to offer emotionally seems so insignificant. Yet, my reminder was that in Jesus' hands, that emptiness can do so much.
So I continue to cling to hope during this time. Hope because I know of my dad's faith. Hope because I know that this too shall pass; I will start to feel like myself again one day. Hope because dad's suffering will end. Hope because I know he will live on through me.
There's hope but for now, it just sucks.