Today marks 7 years. 7 short, yet long years. And it still feels like yesterday. The day my safe, secure world fell to pieces. The news from Brad that he fell. The call from my sister. Two words. "He's gone". That moment is etched in my heart forever. The moment my dad passed from this life into eternity. I had just spoken to him the night before. He was concerned about the heavy storms we had. Concerned about possible flooding in the neighborhood he had just moved us into a few weeks before. Always caring, always protecting, always giving...
Boy do I miss him. On Father's Day, I still celebrate his life even in his absence...while remembering the details of his death on June 14, 2007.
So much has changed. My mom is gone now as well. I have three children. I live across the country. We are in full time ministry.
I often find myself envisioning what it would be like to have that adult relationship with my dad. I was 23 when he passed, so I am not sure. But I think it would have been a good one.
We would have a lot to talk about. He loved history and politics, and I am living in Massachusetts. He loved music, particularly worship, and we are Worship Pastors currently. He loved ministry and the church, and I have my ministers license and am on staff at my church. He passionately loved God, as do I. Always seeking to grow in His wisdom, as do I.
He would be proud of me. I am certain of it. Yet, I still wish I could hear him say it.
In the short 23 years that he was present in my life, He instilled faith, strength, and a tenacity to push through life's trials. To find God in the midst of them. To seek higher dreams and goals. Dreams and goals centered around knowing Christ. In all his mistakes as a father, his successes as a father scream loudest. His impact and legacy continues on each day with me. It didn't stop when he left this earth.
I stand in amazement at the joy present in my life. A joy that was not there even before my dad died. A time when I had no major sorrow of which to speak. Sometimes it takes deep sorrow to discover where true joy lies. Even right now in the pain and sadness I feel in wishing I had my father here to hug and talk with - there is a little smile in my heart. A smile and a song. A song of peace. A song of joy. God's power of restoration and healing causes me to stand in awe.
God will make beauty from ashes. He will turn sadness into joy. We have a hope, an eternal hope.
Call me crazy. Call me a fanatic. But it's my heart. I am crazy, passionate about a God who changes lives.
Thank you, dad, for living a life worthy of your calling as "father". Thank you for loving me deeply and passionately. Thank you for loving God deeply and passionately. Thank you for being devoted and faithful even when life was hard and full of sorrow. You taught me well. I live my own life well to honor you. I see your beaming smile. I feel your strong hug. And, I hear it. Your words, "I just love you so so much-more than words can say". I celebrate you, your life, your legacy.