Yesterday we buried my Daddy-in-Love and today is my Daddy’s birthday. How crazy is it that I would I meet this man and fall head over heels in love with him to find our families have been and would always be so deeply intertwined?
After we were married and I was in our first home combining the his and hers, my Grandmother came over to see our new home. As she walked down the hall and saw the pictures she looked up and said, “Is that Fred and Janie?” Some of you have already heard this story, but I still love to tell it.
Come to find out, my husband’s father’s family and my mother’s family grew up together. My great grandfather and my husband’s grandfather were best friends and fishing buddies. My grandmother knew them all and knew them well.
Then our first married Christmas I am putting ornaments on my tree and my mother walks over to see and notices these homemade angels hanging on my tree. She asks about them, because she has the same ornament hanging on her tree that was a gift from an elderly woman that was a resident of the nursing home she worked at. That woman ended up being my husband’s grandmother on his mother’s side.
In 2012 my husband’s sister was diagnosed with liver cancer that had metastasized from her colon… as she bravely and beautiful fought this ugly disease we learned in April 2014 that my husband’s stepdad had bladder cancer and then in May 2014 that my Daddy had lung cancer. You just had to laugh on the days that we all found ourselves in the oncologists office on the same day. My husband’s sister would laugh and ask the front desk if they had a family plan.
It was April 27th 2015 when we learned that their was nothing more the doctors could do for my husband’s sister and April 30th 2015 when we received the same news on my Daddy. My Daddy went home to be with the Lord on May 2nd and Phillis met him there on May 21st.
Then on December 26th my Daddy-in-Love joined them in heaven. I have no doubt, absolutely NO Doubt that my Daddy and Phillis were the first to greet him and take him to see Jesus face to face. I know the prayers these two offered up on his behalf that he would be ready when he drew his last breathe. I can’t imagine the joy of the moment and the joy on their faces when hearing the news from our Lord as He said, “Guess whose coming home!”
As I stated at the beginning of this post, yesterday December 29th we laid to rest my Daddy-in-Love and today I awake to my Daddy’s first birthday in eternity. He would have been 61 years old today.
I feared the coming of this day. I did not know how I would take it. The Lord has been faithful to meet me in my pits of hurt and doubt and as I have asked Him over and over again the why of all this… He spoke too me in His Word and He confirmed it through a song.
There is a song that our church has sang through this Christmas season that sings, “welcome to our world“. I think here in this modern day western churchianity we have somehow convinced ourselves that becoming a Christian means that Jesus is going to come down here and fix everything in our own little world with a simple “I declare it in the name of Jesus!” We might understand that the whole world is going to go through troubles, but we expect God to make our own little world perfect… that is, perfect in our eyes. That’s not why Jesus came.
He did not come to make our world problem free, He came to help us through this problem filled world until it was time to bring us into His eternally perfect world. As the song sang… welcome to our world. This fallen, broken, dying world that He could have turned His back, but He instead entered into it to save us and bring us to the safety of Himself.
I imagine it more like being trapped in a wooded forest filled with sinkholes, beast, flash floods, etc… kind of like the arena of the Hunger Games. Stuck in this arena of sin we can’t see our way out or through and there’s no hover craft able to drop a basket in and lift us out. The only hope would be for a guide to enter into the arena with us. A guide that knows all the traps and has the knowledge and ability to get us through and out. Jesus is that guide. He entered into the arena. He could have sat back and watched it all from the safety of His capital throne, but He didn’t. He entered in to see that we win the game.
In mine and my husband’s intertwined life, when we said “I do”, we thought the intertwining would begin there at the altar in the covenant of marriage… but the Grand Weaver had us in the works knitting our families together in Him, to Him, and for Him long before either one of us was even thought of in this world. He’s a good, good, God.
I don’t know where we go from here, everything in life has changed these past couple of years… but God has not. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever. He knows the beginning and the end. So we will just keep following Him. He is the only one who knows where we are going and how to get us there anyway.