Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, and ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

On Friday night at the hospital a group of us sang some hymns while my dad was in ICU. Someone chose to sing Great is Thy Faithfulness and I remembered that this is my Dad's favorite hymn. This was just one of the many little ways that God has showed His faithfulness to us in my Dad's death. And because of Christ we can say, "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"

A few weeks back I had noticed that God has been surrounding me with multiple friends who had lost one of their parents at a young age, a few were very recent. I started to wonder why this was the case. I believe it was just one of the ways God was preparing me for what was to come. What was to come in His perfect timing. My Dad had complications with the medicine he was on for Valley Fever and so it would be easy to question, "What if he had never entered the hospital?" and so on. But it was another blessing that God allowed Rick Holland (along with many others) to be there with us. He encouraged us on Friday night not to ask the what if's or why's, not to even allow our minds to go there, but to trust in God's perfect will. This helped me a lot while lying on the waiting room floor praying that God might let him live, but knowing it might be his time to go home. We didn't know that much about Valley Fever and we have no idea how hard it would have been for my Dad if he had kept on living.

I will miss my Dad terribly. Everyone keeps talking about his big, booming laugh. Definitely true. It embarrassed my Mom at the movies and Em and I used it as a means to find my parents at church after the service got out. I loved my Dad's sense of humor. Ever so often a bit cheesy...but he could handle teasing well. And Em and I teased him as he did us. He teased my Mom a lot too. Thinking of that brought me to tears the other day when my Mom said something that he would have totally teased her about. He loved sports and movies and road trips and spent a ton of time with us. I never ever felt neglected by my Dad. He was SUPER organized, he loved making lists and itineraries. Something that has helped us since he's been gone. He wasn't the most patient man but now he is! He's sinless now! And seeing my Savior's face!

Three things stuck out to me recently about how my Dad encouraged me spiritually. When my Grandma died he had me read 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 in the car while we were parked outside someone's house. On Sunday, the day after he died, John Rourke read this passage in church.

I remember we were in the "Sewing Room" (really the Den) in our house when he taught me about election. I don't know how it came up, but he explained how God loves everyone but He has chosen to love and save particular people.

When I doubted my salvation in high school he went over Hebrews 11 with me pointing out that we live by faith. We trust God and obey Him just like countless others did in that passage.

My Dad was a saved sinner. A wonderful father. I love him and rejoice that I will see him again someday, because my heavenly Father is most loving of all.

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
"For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?"
"Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?"

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Dad

Well, I promised a blog update on Facebook for those who don't know what's going on with my dad. I don't know how many people actually read this thing...but here goes.
As some of you may know, about three years ago my dad picked up some nice little spores in the air (yes, Secret Garden fans, Colin did have something to worry about after all) that resulted in Valley Fever. I don't know much about the illness other than it effects people differently. He started getting terrible headaches while we were on our Christmas vacation in Oregon that year, so terrible that he we had to leave a tad early and he couldn't drive us home. The spores produced a disease (I hope I'm getting this somewhat right) called coxy. The coxy traveled to his brain and he ended up with meningitis. The doctors gave him medicine instructing him that he would be on it for the rest of his life, and that was that. The headaches went away and it seemed that all was well.
Well, a year or so later my dad started having back problems. He went to a few chiropractors but nothing seemed to be working. I had a suspicion that it might be related to the Valley Fever, but there was no evidence of this.
To make a long story short, the backaches eventually morphed into loss of feeling in my dad's legs and now he can barely walk. After many many months of doctor's visits, referrals and the like; the doctor's discovered that the backaches and the loss of feeling are all related to the coxy from the Valley Fever. The coxy moved to an area where no one expected, my dad's spine. Something, we found out, so rare that the doctors didn't even think of that as an option. And apparently, the medicine currently available does not reach the spine.
My mom asked the doctors if the coxy could possibly move up the spine and effect his arms. They don't know.
On Monday, my dad was admitted to the hospital for a week to ten days where he will be receiving medicine pretty much continually through an I.V. in an effort to stop...kill...do something to the coxy. We are praying for the best, but know the reality that it may not work and my dad may wind up in a wheelchair.
Let me tell ya, I don't feel too old. I did just turn a quarter of a century but I often, whether it's a good thing or not, feel like a kid. I don't FEEL like either of my parents are old enough to be experiencing something like this. My dad's not even 60 yet. Don't let the gray hair fool you! :0)
But age has never been a determining factor in trials.
If you're reading this and you don't know the Savior, I want to let you know that we're not questioning God's goodness. My sister and I were privileged to attend the Resolved Conference a couple of days ago and wow! God's timing is superb! We were able to hear wonderful messages from John Piper on the sovereignty of God; particularly over sin and it's effects. Already I've seen TREMENDOUS growth in my mom's trust in the Lord. I've been encouraged to see my dad's lack of complaint, especially since he's been in the hospital and found out he may wind up in a wheelchair. My dad has always been an active, hearty, loud-laughing man. It's WEIRD to think of him in a wheelchair, but he doesn't appear scared. We've already had the opportunity to tell my grandma, who does not understand why God is allowing this to happen to her "good" son, that GOD is good, and He is allowing this to happen for a very good reason(s). God has revealed my own sin to me and shown me much grace...my sister too.
We may have to move to a one story house, if I get married someday, my dad may be rolling me down the aisle, "The Office" style. :0) BUT, this place is not our home. We are all hopeful in our precious, infinitely loving Savior!
Thanks for praying!


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