"Lauren, Always remember you need to be who God wants you to be because you will never fail. You may have tough times, but through perseverance and God you will always succeed."
It’s been seven years since the last time I walked into the hospital room you, unfortunately, called home for way too long. Always shocked at the sight of my once physically strong father, now smaller than myself, I clutched your hand in mine. There was a hidden expectation deep within me that if I held on tight enough, you couldn’t take flight into the only destination I couldn’t immediately follow you to.
Some of the last conversations I had with you, before you knew you were growing sick within, left me frustrated because you wouldn’t give me answers to my questions. And I knew you had the right answers. What you spoke to me over and over again was this:
“Have you asked Holy Spirit for His answer?”
“Dad, I called you because I wanted your advice.”
“Well, I know what I would do, but I want you to find out what Holy Spirit would offer to you.”
You didn’t know your voice would not be a part of the most grueling and defining years of my life to come. But somehow you managed to turn me to the only One that I could count on to be with me always. You led me loosely and freely, hoping I’d take hold of Jesus. And that I did…
I flooded the feet of Jesus with my tears, my real words, my unbearable emotions. I learned avoiding or suppressing the unsolicited emotions stirring within only delays an opportunity to be a recipient of divine benefits. Sometimes the most tender, costly offering is releasing vulnerable tears and words onto the feet of Jesus. Gathering my tears into His hands, what was sewn in grief transformed into a pool of healing waters. Pouring the accumulated water back over me, the soil of my soul soaked in this refreshing gift. Pain released becomes healing received and transforms into glory given for His name.
Missing you and aching for a long embrace doesn’t equal brokenness. It’s refusing to hand over pain to the Healer that keeps one in pieces. Through God’s healing power my life is now a mosaic. The cracks are there. They will always be. But through obedience to God’s will, I will let others run their fingers over them to find the Source of true healing. I refuse to cover them, to dress them in false religious attire, or a fancy filter, instead I will allow others a view into the places I found Jesus the most.
Your passing initiated a season of thick grief as we journeyed through multiple losses and pain. While the most grievous moments and the most joyous times are held safely between me and God, I hope to offer a space of respite for other’s souls.
And now, Dad,
“I don’t know if you can hear me praying?
I’m not sure you understand what my heart is saying?
I don’t know how far apart we really are,
But I desire for you to know,
I miss you from the depths of my heart.
I reflect to when I was three,
and danced freely, as you played the guitar for me.
Oh, how your adoration towards me,
Set me free to live confidently.
That vulnerability was torn by brokenness,
But the pain from your death, led me to Holiness,
The new Life I found set me as a rightful daughter,
With our Heavenly Father.
And this time, that title can’t be bothered.
I still want to make you proud, Dad,
Rejoicing together with God, our Father.
I can sense your whisper,
“Oh Daughter, you’re always on my mind, hundreds of times.
Through every intercession, I have never forgotten you.
Listen, there’s a table here with a view, and I’ve set a place for you.
You are walking into your destiny. So don’t stop, go up higher.
Keep running, and get lighter.
Keep your light on, shine it brighter.
We’ll have more moments soon. I’m just making room for you.”
Ok, Dad, you got it. To the ends of the earth, to the end of my time, I will keep my eyes fixed on the One who makes me shine.
As your Grandson Brave says, “Love you to Jesus’ heart,”