I have had a lot of friends, too many… Who have lost their dad this past year. It’s been weighing heavy on me, as I feel the need to write a quick note of hope for them.
As you may know I lost my dad three years ago, in the most shocking kind of way. Without regard for his wife of 45 years, his 4 children and 7 grandchildren… In a deep, dark dreaded moment he ended his own life as well as life as the life that his family knew it to be. I’ll never forget the moment I heard the tragic news and I’ll never forget those days, weeks and months following… The firsts. The first holidays without him, the first accomplishments without him… So many and probably many more to come.
I am not writing this as a poor me letter… I’m writing this to give you hope. As you already know, ‘life goes on’… Yes, of course it does but it’s up to you on HOW it goes on. Do you want to live it sadly, lonely, hopeless, angry, on and on… Or do you want to live it just as your dad would have wanted? Full of love, compassion, happiness, joy… Driving to succeed in everything you do, making a difference in the world?
I couldn’t have felt more lost, angry and confused as I did on that very first night after my dads suicide. Laying in my parents guest bedroom bed sobbing. I had it out with God that night. I won’t tell you the details because that’s between he and I but let’s just say, he heard all of me… I didn’t hold back. Sometimes we just have to give our all to Him… Angry, sad, confused, whatever it is we are feeling, we have to hand it over, throw it over… However you do it doesn’t matter, just give it to God.
If there’s one thing I learned in the loss of my dad is that God’s love drives out fear, anger, hopeless, sadness, loneliness… If you give everything over to him, he will take those feelings and in return fill you with peace, hope, grace but most importantly love. Let God’s love lift you up and carry you through this lonely season of life.
As it says in Psalms 23:4, “As I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.”
Did it say anything in there about stopping to camp out in the ‘darkest valley’? Does it say to find a bench and sit down? Nope. You are to walk through the dark valleys, and God’s staff is there for you to lean on… If you ever find yourself looking for a bench or place to pitch a tent, I recommend you looking first, for the rod and staff to comfort you… To lean on, as you continue your journey through that valley because soon you will be outside of that valley with the sun shining brightly, the birds chirping and with God’s cup of joy overflowing.
I’ll be praying for you as you go through your firsts this year, as my prayer will be that you find the one true love… that you’ll be closer to your Heavenly Father then ever before.
If you have a special prayer request or would like more words of encouragement, please contact me at:firstname.lastname@example.org