“The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
Earlier in February marked 10 years since my dad’s death. While I miss my daddy, I want to talk about my Abba. Early on, people outside of the family would remember the anniversary. Around the third anniversary, people asked me, “how are you?” I responded by saying “I’m ok.” Many people pushed back against that. Some have been angry with me (or maybe for me). Some suggested that I was not in touch with my feelings and tried to convince me that I can feel whatever I want (except maybe ok). I am touched that so many are trying to be compassionate…trying to offer me safe spaces. Thank you. Let me tell you what I mean when I say I am ok.
When I was little, I learned to pray because I was afraid of monsters in the walls of my bedroom. Every time I prayed, God was faithful to give me peace.
When I was two or three I hit my head pretty badly (badly enough to scare the adults into a frenzy) and I kept asking them to pray. When they did, God was faithful to heal me (the swelling went down immediately).
In elementary school there were times that our family gathered and we discussed how it was two or three days until payday but we were already out of food. So we prayed and God was faithful. Sometimes people invited us over, sometimes bags of food appeared on our doorstep, and other times an unexpected card with money came in the mail.
In high school our church split and my family moved and was deeply hurt. I remember thinking it would be so much easier to walk away. To pretend that Christianity was just the stories I had been raised with and nothing more, but I knew that to walk away would be to choose to live a lie because I could not deny God’s faithfulness. In that pain, which seemed like it would rip my body open…God was faithful…faithfully present…faithful to bind up my broken heart and to help me love the Church even though I was completely disillusioned with it.
When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, God was faithful. He was faithful to heal my dad’s heart after a long and dark wilderness experience.
When dad died God was faithful.
God is faithful still.
You see, God’s faithfulness doesn’t come at us in a huge “neon flashing light” sort of way. It’s more like single drops of water that over the course of a life amount to an ocean. Powerful and undeniable.
When I say I’m ok it is not that I am denying my emotions. I am deeply sad. I’m saying that I know Him in whom I have believed and He is faithful.
I’m not trying to use the power of positive thinking to force myself to be ok. I’m giving witness to God’s faithfulness. Even here, even now.
God is with me, and so I am ok.
In my sadness, God is faithfully present.
I’m not angry because there is nothing to be angry about. I was gifted with an awesome father who loved me well. I am grateful for that and I am grateful for the time we were given. And I hold hope that love is never truly lost, just delayed for a while.
I am grateful that God was faithful in the gift. I have a better understanding of God as father because my dad was awesome. I am grateful that Father God is more awesome still and that His presence is never far from me. I’m ok because God is faithful.
Now, I have lived an entire decade without my father. At this point, only the nuclear family remember the day. God’s faithfulness continues.
Thanks be to God.
Lord, whether on the heights of victory or the depths of despair, make me aware of your presence. Remind me of the stories of your faithfulness. Help me to rehearse them and hold them close, so they may sustain me in times of grief. Amen
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Amen! Thank you, Sarah.
Thank you Sarah!
iT IS ALWAYS GOOD TO HAVE PERSONNAL REMINDERS OF GOD’S FAITHFULNESS TO US,ESPECIALLY IN WILDERNESS TIMES.THANKS.