Only God knew that when I went to say my final good-bye to my dad and release him to be with the Lord, I’d also be releasing my “lil fella”, Isaiah, to be taken care of by other capable hands. I was gone three weeks and the two most important guys remaining in my life, my husband and my son, were left to adjust, step up to the plate and grow. Those three weeks were hard, yet good for all three of us for different reasons.
Hard for me because there was a lot happening that was out of my control. My dad was dying and my young son would not be under my attentive care. I don’t like having to adjust to someone else’s time schedule. I don’t like giving up control. On one hand I’m afraid to trust God completely, I’m afraid to surrender all to Him. On the other hand, I know that’s exactly what I need to do because that’s where I’ll find rest, my Sabbath and His peace. I know God doesn’t want me to carry my burdens alone. I know I need to trust the fact that God knows what’s best for me and my loved ones too.
Nevertheless, I am happy I had the opportunity to spend time with my dad in the hospital. He was 80 years old and I knew he was ready to go home, to be gathered to his people. Before he passed, I told him I love him and that I release him. I let him know he had been a good Christian, a great husband, a wonderful father and a fabulous role model to many. I told him I was proud of him and how he lived his life.
Genesis 25:8 (KJV)
Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.
In my dad’s ear, I whispered the names of some of the people who would welcome him. I believe that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV)
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
I feel and sense his spirit with me every day…it comforts me and makes me smile. (The lyrics in the attached link is a favorite of my parents and the song was played at my dad’s memorial service.) http://www.onlylyrics.com/5am-praise-lyrics-1004604.php
While I was gone, my ten year old son, Isaiah, had to mature and be more independent than ever. Without me there to hover, he did what had to be done; homework, dressed for school, help with making his lunch, think about dinner options and be more aware of his weekly activity schedule which included school, play practice, Kung Fu, tutoring, not to mention play dates and sleep overs with friends. After I returned home I told Isaiah that I release him to grow up and be a big boy. I told him that he’s a great son and that I’m proud of how much he matured while I was gone. I told him he’s growing up to be a wonderful man of God and a fabulous role model to many just like his Pawpaw was.
As I surrendered my loved ones to God, I found His peace. The peace that surpasses all human understanding. I was not worried about what was or was not going on at home. I had to accept the fact that life goes on and that I can be sad and have joy at the same time.
I asked for prayers from many friends.
James 5:16 (KJV)
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
I was sustained and comforted by the Lord as he answered those prayers. I believe that is the only way I made it through, on the wings of prayer. It was as if I were being held in his hands, I was comforted daily.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
I am so happy Isaiah knows his grandpa, not just knows of him. For the past ten years we have gone to Kansas every summer to visit my parents so he could get to know them. Isaiah has his own fond memories of Pawpaw like sneaking cookies from the cookie tin, riding on his riding lawn mower or electric scooter and eating ice cream late at night to name a few. I love that Isaiah’s middle name is my maiden name, Amado. Isaiah carries the family name, another great memory for him.
God was and is so faithful, he always shows up when I need Him most, that is His character. He is Jehovah Jireh, my provider and the joy of the Lord was, is and will always be my strength.
Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Lord, thank you that you blessed me with such a great earthly father. Thank you that you blessed our family with tons of good memories of him. I believe you have said to him, “well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:21 (KJV) Amen!