Dad. my dad. the man that so many cannot figure out, but that i love more than anything in this world. the man that never missed one of my tennis matches, or any of my other siblings sports games. the man that has taught me more about Jesus than anyone else. the man that taught me to demand respect, not just hope for it. the man that taught me how to drive and who ATTEMPTED to teach me to park, the man who did my hair for me for my first football game, the man who has sent me the BEST valentines cards every year, the man who is going to walk me down the ailse in July... my dad, the man of my life.
the last thing he said before going back for surgery was "God doesn't have a Plan B, sweetie. Only a Plan A." and that is what i have clung to for the past 11 days. that THIS, this is the Lords plan A.
when mom called to tell me that the surgery went ok but that they were keeping him in a coma until they could sew him up, a million things raced through my mind and the only way i knew to respond was tears....
im not done needing my dad! i never will be. i need him to continue helping get ready for marriage, i need so many more Isaac and Rebecca talks, i need him to help me figure out the 401K thing, i need him to say bye to while he is in the office, i need him for valentines day, i need him. and, for 11 days, we haven't really had him.
mom hasn't had her husband to talk to, Linds and Will haven't had him to respond to all the grandkid pictures, T hasn't had him to watch his baseball practices, and Luke hasn't had him to talk about working out.. we all need him in so many different ways.
it's never until something is absent that you realize how present it was...
so these past 11 days have been filled with tears, questions, worry, and fear. but just as Lamentations 3 talks about, there is a BIG but in that statement... those have been my feelings, BUT the Lord is so faithful.
over the past 11 days, our family has experienced more love and encouragement than I could ever have imagined. Text messages, phone calls, food, hospital visits, emails... you name it. I have never experienced the body of Christ like this before. There are so many things that the Lord has been so gracious to teach me through this.
the saying that "God is more concerned about our holiness than our happiness" has never rang more true.
I have learned so much about family, about being a friend through suffering, about clinging to the Lord even before a parent, about what it means to surrender someone to the Lord, how important the body of Christ is, and that there really is true JOY found in trials....
my friends have sent me verse after verse of things they are praying for our family, i have basically lived at our sweet neighbors house, we have had delicious meals brought to us, so many people have stopped by the hospital to pray over Dad and sit with my mom, my Aunt Lisa has been up there with my mom every day, and the Lord has truely been glorified through all of this.
"BUT this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The LORD sustains him on his sickbed;
IN his illness you restore him to full health.
(Psalm 41:3 ESV)
my prayer (after Will shared this with me) was that IN this trail, IN my dad's hospitalization that he would be not only restored physically but also spiritually. That the Lord would renew him daily in every way.
"...And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
(2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
knowing that the Lord is doing so many things UNSEEN has been the biggest comfort of all. Knowing that in my life, in my moms life, in all my siblings life, and in so many others, that God is not only teaching us all things about himself, but that He is being glorified through this situation has brought true Joy to my heart. and i know it would to my dad as well. knowing that eternal things are happening because of my dad's suffering has made this all bearable.
i know that God is for us. He promises over and over again that "never will he leave us nor forsake us", that he is "our rock and our salvation", that "by him we can run against a troop, and by my God, i can leap over a wall. This God- his way is PERFECT.." time and time again, the Lord promises that he will protect and sustain those who trust in him. and i have never, in my life, seen this truth of my Heavenly Father more clearly.
I know that we all are in the Noonday sun. That my entire family is walking through the Lords Plan A and that brings joy in this trial.
my prayer is that the Lord continue to bring glory to himself, that the Lord continue to sanctify me and my family members, and that the Lord continue to bring both physical and spiritual renewal to my sweet Dads body.
Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow.