All in all, my dad’s death was a huge blow to me.  It didn’t help that I lived in Jamaica.  Well, in some ways it did help.  We returned after the funeral and my extended stay in the US, to JA in time for Christmas.  It almost seemed like all that had happened shortly after Thanksgiving of that year had been one horrible dream.  But back at our home, life was getting back to normal.

Gradually, however the grief began to take its toll.  It turned out that the death of our stillborn daughter three years earlier and the death of my dad were BOTH needing to be dealt with.  I read a lot about death, dying and our hope for the future in books as well as Scripture.  I learned about my hope for the present too.  My initial way of dealing with my hope for the future was to think of the fact that I would some day see my dad in heaven.  Somehow, that wasn’t very comforting when I longed to hug him one last time.  To say one last meaningful “good-bye” and tell him how much I did love and appreciate him, despite his faults.

One of Elisabeth Eliot’s books on death was very helpful to me.  However, I can’t track it down now and don’t remember the title.  I just remember how her words hit me like a hammer…eventually I realized if anyone knew what they were talking about in this arena, she did.  Her emphasis in dealing with the death of a loved one related more to God’s sovereignty than merely to seeing them later in heaven.  It had way more to do with my acceptance (with joy and grace) of the circumstances God has planned for my life and an awareness and submission to His authority in my life.  He is the King of all, but His purposes are way bigger than me and MY small universe.

It may not seem like a very important distinction, but it really was huge for me.  This perfectly loving, just, righteous God had the power to do anything He wanted.  He sovereignly took my dad to be with Him, without the good-byes that I craved, without the final words to tell me he loved me.  Why would a God like that do such a thing?  I don’t have the precise answer but I do know that within the parameters of his character, knowing all that He does know, this was the best way for it to happen for His glory.  Of course I did NOT like it, but I know that God was not blinking or taking a nap when it happened.  I am comforted by the fact that He is in control even when events in my life are not in my control! That’s right!  HE IS GOD!  Someday, I’ll understand His full purposes in that event…and a few others too.  For one thing I am thankful–I had a good father, not perfect, but a good man whose desire was to serve God.  What a wonderful gift!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kathy
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 03:21:29

    I really enjoyed reading about dad. I learned some things! It was also good to hear about that life-changing event from your perspective and where you were in your life. I like the theme you chose for your background and will enjoy following your blog, as you work on it. Thanks for the phone call. I am way behind in getting skype up and running. Truthfully, I don’t like talking on the phone (although I do like talking in person), but I think it would be a good idea. Lots of Love, K

  2. martha10
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 10:22:03

    who knew? (re talking on the phone) one more thing we have in common:) i think i hate it b/c i can’t see the other person’s expressions. thanks for commenting. i have more lurkers…or else everyone is shy:) some of you all send me comments on fb or email and i know from my other sources that i have more readers so i’ll hang in.

  3. Becky
    Jul 12, 2010 @ 06:31:45

    Thanks again for sharing your heart, Martha. It sounds like your father was a wonderful man. I know that after Bruce died so suddenly it seemed like our family made more of an effort to say “I love you”–even at the end of a phone conversation–life really is too short and precious. One has to believe that God is sovereign and loves us more than we can ever imagine in order to get thru such times. My Mom often reminded us how even before we are born God knows the length of our days and He is in control. Sending you a hug.

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