A few days ago, I was sitting at my desk reading this daily prophetic devotional book I have that was written by Maribeth Eickhoff. The book dropped out of my hands and onto the floor. It fell open to July 13th, which caught my attention, because that happened to be my Daddy's birthday. I read that day's entry. It talked about how sitting in grief is really being ungrateful. Reading that stung a bit....I hadn't ever looked at it that way.
It wasn't a week or two before this instance that Nellgene talked about grief in a Bible study. Nellgene is a loving, powerful women who comes to the Hope Center for Women on Tuesdays and does Bible study. She knows grief. She lost her husband some years ago. She said to us, "There is a time for grief....and there is a time when that grief will be a weapon formed against you." That stung too - because it is truth. It's kind of like you grow accustomed to grief. You were it around like a piece of clothing that you put on and you get so used to the feel of it, you get to where you don't see beyond it. That's when it becomes a weapon formed against you....at least it has become that way for me.
Today marks the day that my Daddy died a year ago. My heart misses him. But today, when I think about my Daddy, I can't make myself be all that sad about it, as awful as that probably sounds. I feel like I've made my peace with it. I do miss his presence in my life. But while I do miss him, I have grown weary of grief. I have encountered lots of loss in my life, and I have had my share of experience with grief. There is no one in this world I was closer to than my Daddy, so you'd think I would really grieve him badly, and I have. But at this point in life, I am just over being exhausted by it. Grief drains you....makes you feel like the life is getting sucked out of you.
Ecclesiastes 3 talks about there being a time and a season for everything....but the things of this world are not meant to last forever - even in this life. Grief was not meant to last forever. When God gave me the revelation through Nellgene that grief had become a weapon formed against me, I began to examine myself. I began to see how grief has made me weary, and how it has distorted my view of the gifts God has given me in the people He has surrounded me with.
So while I expected to be sad over missing my Daddy today, I mostly just feel grateful. God has reminded me recently that it's because of my Daddy that I have a relationship with Him like I do. My Daddy was not close to God, but he unknowingly led me closer to Him through the years.
God brought to my mind recently a season in my elementary school years where I struggled with hypochondria - that disorder that gives you severe anxiety about your health and makes you think that something is always physically wrong with you. I had a bad case of it. If I even heard someone speak about some kind of physical problem, I convinced myself that I had it too.
My Mom struggled with her anger badly, but my Daddy was very patient about it. He took me to doctor after doctor. He had them give me any medical scan or test they could give me to try and prove to me that nothing was wrong with me and I wasn't going to die.
After months of this, even he got frustrated with it. He finally said one day that I was just going to have to start taking his word and trusting him....that he had done everything possible to prove to me that I was fine but nothing was convincing me, so I would just have to trust him.
He started faithfully leaving me notes everywhere reminding me to learn to trust him and that I would be fine. I found them in my backpack, in my dresser drawer, in my lunch box, in my jacket pocket....everywhere. He kept after me until eventually, I broke down and took him at his word and trusted him that everything would be fine and I was not going to die or anything.
And of course, nothing happened to me. I've led a pretty healthy life, overall, and I'm still alive.
Doctors couldn't convince me. Xrays, EKGs, CAT Scans, and MRIs couldn't convince me. Blood tests couldn't convince me. Allergy tests couldn't convince me. A therapist couldn't convince me.
I had to learn to trust my Daddy....and when I did, all the troubled waters stilled. All the fear and anxiety just fell away.
What my Daddy didn't know was that he was teaching me how to trust my Father.
When I first came to the Hope Center for Women, I struggled badly with the realization that I was struggling with trusting God. I had hurt people with my choices. People had hurt me. I had emotional baggage for days from my Mother. Trust doesn't come easy for me. But during my time here, I've learned to trust God more, even though it's a battle.
So today I'm grateful. I'm grateful that I had my Daddy for over 30 years. I'm grateful God gave me a good one. I miss him, but I'm grateful that most of my memories of him are positive ones.
More than anything, I'm grateful for the reminder that my Daddy's love enabled me to develop deeper trust in my Father. My Daddy is who taught me the love of a Father. And while he was flawed and imperfect, he taught me of the simplicity of being a little girl who adores and trusts her Daddy.
Today I'm grateful to be a 33 year old woman who has a God who loves me enough to remind me of what that feels like....so I can adore and trust Him more. I'm grateful that God is reminding me of what it felt like to be a little girl who is completely loved by her Daddy....and teaching me that no love can compare to His perfect love.