Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, (visible) but at the things which are not seen (invisible). For the things which are seen (visible) are temporary, but the things which are not seen (invisible) are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NKJV)
A couple of weeks ago My Daddy left this earth to live forever with Jesus.
In this season of loss, my soul longs to write because that is what I do.
Until last night, I couldn’t decide where to begin. So much is going on inside my heart and mind. My chest swells with grief, while my heart overflows with joy in knowing what my head is still trying to wrap itself around- Life and LIFE more abundantly.
Jesus spoke of this in John 10:10, stating it as the whole reason He came to this earth. In the depth of that- I find myself still reeling, trying to pull it all in: THIS REVELATION, in the season I am now living.
…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 NKJV)
Daddy is now living that abundant LIFE. He is fully alive for the first time, dead to this world but more alive than ever.
Me, I am here on this planet; the one where death still comes to us all.
Living out my life on the earth, I am seeking the abundant life Jesus promised. I feel like my earthly life is blessed, even abundant. I know the life Jesus died for me to have; and so much more in the unseen.
Yet, while I exist here in this human body, I am constantly striving for abundant life, in the life I can see. But beyond that; to begin to understand what I can’t see with these earthly eyes; the abundant LIFE that Daddy has now completely received.
I think I am now barely beginning to fathom the depths of why Jesus came to this earth.
Nine Weeks before my Daddy met Jesus, I brought him and my mom, Susan to live at my house and begin hospice care. I had sensed fear in Daddy’s voice when we talked on the phone. It became obvious when I had seen him over Christmas that his health had declined to the point that Susan was needing help in caring for him. His inability to breath was causing episodes of panic. My travel to help for a day or two at a time was no longer enough. So on January 25, we moved my Daddy and Susan to my house. A few days after he came I wrote this last entry in the journal that I kept for him-
January 30, 2014
Daddy- We moved you to my house a week ago and began hospice care. It is hard to see you struggling to breathe, yet I know that in everything God has a purpose and that His Word tells us to “count it all joy” when we face trials or suffer. In one place I believe it even says that Paul considered it a privilege to suffer for Christ.
Of course, I have no idea of God’s amazing path for your life. I can only imagine and guess at what might be. I do believe that if we are living in His ways that we will find our lives in the center of His will.
I felt a strong desire to bring you and Susan into my home at this point on the path of your life. I hope to surround you and Susan with the peace of God, to practice His presence in my home, to envelope you with the love and support of children, grandchildren, in-laws and friends. I want us to celebrate with you and Susan as we enjoy all the days and nights of your life as we await your healing, whether you receive complete healing here on earth, or the ultimate healing when you leave this body and meet Jesus face to face.
Daddy, don’t lose heart- this pain and suffering is a part of the perfect plan God has for your life and for my life and for Susan’s life and your grandchildren’s lives. God knows what we need. He knows what each person you interact with needs to become the ones He created us to be. Your suffering may bring another person’s salvation- it may save a soul or many from hell. It may be the trial to strengthen your daughter or grandchild to be able to fulfill their God- given purpose. We simply do not know- BUT God does!
I love you Daddy and despite the difficulty and awfulness of this disease you are battling, I enjoy and treasure these days and nights with you here. So today, let’s press in towards God and wait in His presence and goodness all around us; recognize His grace for this moment, rest in His peace and receive His joy, (which cannot be stolen by the circumstances of life).
The weeks that followed were tough, some of the most difficult days of my life. There were moments of glory and peace. There were truly wonderful times during those days.
There were also completely awful moments. It is so easy to get caught up in the life we can see and so difficult to look past the striving to the eternal or unseen.
There are moments I regret my thoughts or actions. For all of that there is grace. His grace is enough, truly all sufficient!
There was suffering and pain, yet not absent of His presence. Even in the suffering we could access His joy. We could know! Do you get that?
When Jesus is Lord of someone’s life it changes things. There is a knowing. It is an understanding of His sovereignty, which causes all else to fade.
In His presence nothing else matters. Grace. Peace. Rest. Strength. It is all found in Him.
When all around you, life is raging out of control, you can have peace, and even know joy that cannot be taken away by your circumstances. Knowing Jesus in those moments causes the horrible to take on a sense of preciousness. The intimacy with Jesus in the midst of suffering is so sweet, you almost don’t mind that life is raging out of control all around you.
Being held by the God who spoke the world into existence, you find the strength to get through it. Recognizing that He knows what tomorrow holds and that He designed this plan to bless you; you can embrace the pain and step into the unknown, fully knowing.
So two weeks into this season in my life, the one without my Daddy, I know Him in a deeper sense. He is so faithful! He is always good!
I look back at the nine weeks that my Daddy lived at my house. I remember thinking I’m not sure I can continue to do this. Thinking, this is too hard. Wondering if my family could survive the suffering. Questioning if God could really be working in us, a far greater eternal weight of glory?
During the most difficult days, enduring the things a daughter hopes to never have to do for a father, I thought that it was a sacrifice on my part, a gift TO my Daddy. After all, I wrote that my intention in bringing Daddy here was to bless him, to spend time with him and enjoy God’s peace and presence with him for however long God had planned.
Today, on the other side, I have so much more than memories. I have seen into the unseen. I have known God’s hand in it all. Daddy did have a wonderful end to his life on this earth, not void of pain and suffering, but because of the pain and suffering.
There is a sweetness, a preciousness, a turn of events in the gifting. What I am left with is a wonderful GIFT not TO my Daddy but TO ME. The gift of selfless love, the gift that I thought was a sacrifice on my part turns out to be an abundance of a GIFT TO ME.
I have a “weight” of Glory residing in my spirit that could only be deposited in me by the Glory giver. It is a heavy sense of His presence that causes me to rest in the knowing. I have seen beyond the visible and touched the glory that words cannot describe. That momentary affliction produced in me and in each member of my family that walked through those days, an eternal weight of glory.
We are eternally changed. We will never be the same, in the glory kind of way. We are sad that Daddy is no longer with us but overjoyed at his presence with Jesus. It’s a new season. A Glory Season. The Glory is in the invisible.