The following post is written by mercy ink contributing writer Lauren Arbogast
Yesterday was my dad’s birthday.
Great, you say. Cake? Presents? Piñata perhaps?
No, only a trip down Memory Lane.
He would have been 63. Too young to retire, yet old enough to get the esteemed “senior” discount at your local Hardee’s.
But don’t you worry. I know where he is. And when “a sunrise steals your breath…say nothing and listen as heaven whispers, “Do you like it?” I did it just for you.” Thanks to Max Lucado’s imagery, in those moments, I can picture both my earthly and Heavenly Father kicked back in those golden rockers.
photo: Katherine Gendreau via Etsy, available here
Because, you see, my dad is the reason I’m brave. Losing him on earth meant gaining eternal life for me. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.
I stumbled across this entry in My Utmost for His Highest last week and had a hard time digesting it. The goin’ down was not easy. I wrestled. I denied. I (tried to) laugh it off. But God wasn’t done with me and these three statements.
And then dads birthday rolled around — and I understood.
“Over and over again God has to remove our friends to put Himself in their place, and that is when we falter, fail, and become discouraged. “
Was my dad a holy stumbling block? Double ouch. No one likes to see others as resistance to success. But change your lens, and see success from a Godly view. Success as eternal life.
The gift of pain is perspective.
“Let me think about this personally — when the person died who represented for me all that God was, did I give up on everything in life? Did I become ill or disheartened? Or did I do as Isaiah did and see The Lord?” Isaiah 6:1-8
My grief journey took my focus and energy off of my absent earthly father and onto my Heavenly one. So it bears repeating, perhaps even shouting from the nearest roof: losing dad on earth meant gaining eternal life for me.
Maybe you’ve lost a loved one, to death or abandonment or separation, and I say with sincerity — your pain is in my heart. But what a wake-up call to use your life in a way that matters.
Be brave. Be reckless. Be compassionate.
Use your life to be a catalyst for change in another. Have them see Christ in you.
So let’s lift another scoop of ice cream and cake to the One who gives us life abundant. May we see the beauty in just simply being a vessel for Him, and may we have the grace to rise to the loss that comes our way.
And Happy 63rd birthday to you dad! Try not to wear out the golden rocker ’till I get there, and would you look at that head of hair you’ve got!
your (always stubborn, hard-headed) little girl
Inspired by My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers and Isaiah 6:1-8.
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