Lessons From My Daddy

***I wrote this a couple of years ago while dad was in hospice.  I went back this morning and read through it and thought of so many of my friends going through hard times. My dad was such an amazing man who could always see the good in every single situation.  Even in his death bed-he saw good.  Oh how I miss him, but I am so thankful for his legacy and all of the lessons he taught me.**

Waiting on the Wave

I stare at the blank page trying to find the words.  I type and delete, type and delete.  But the truth is, I have no words.  I try to put the situation out of my mind, but I can’t.  My dad is on my mind the second my eyes open in the morning and he is the last thing I think about before they close at night.
I want to thank all of our friends and family for your love and support.  Thank you for your prayers, encouraging words, texts, calls and financial support.
Dad’s health is deteriorating rapidly.  His hospice nurse has told us that based on his symptoms the cancer is now in his liver.  That’s not good.
Last night we watched some of the USA vs. Panama soccer game with dad.  He began to talk to us about seeing God’s miracles even in the worst situations.  As he spoke I watched how he wiped his forehead and pinched his nose.  This may seem like a weird observation, but it’s something that he’s always done.  Going through this has made me value even the things that may have seemed insignificant in the past.  His gestures, his mannerisms, his laugh.
Dad continued to tell us about God’s miracle for him that day.  He woke up in a lot of pain.  Pain so strong it scared him because he couldn’t figure out where the pain was coming from.  He begged my brother to not leave and to call the nurse.  Mom and Josh called the nurse and she instructed them on what to do.  It wasn’t working.  They called again and the nurse said she would be there within the hour.  She dropped everything and came to be with dad.  She helped mom get the pain under control and made him comfortable.  She did not leave until dad assured her that he was ok.  He said “That my children is the miracle from God.  That the nurse came when it wasn’t her day to come and she stayed with me until I was better.  Many in my situation would just look at the bad, but we can’t do that.  We have to see God’s miracles.”  He then told us that he feels hands on his shoulders and shared with us that they remind him of a song we used to sing at church.
“I feel His hand on my shoulder to let me know that he cares about me.  I feel His hand on my shoulder, letting me know that he is always with me.”
Even at his worst, my dad still looks for God’s miracles.  Even at his worst, my dad still quotes scripture.  Even at his worst, my dad still tells us how good God is.  Even at his worst, my dad encourages me.
He encourages me.
Dad has made me see what living for Christ looks like.  He has shown me that even through the worst of situations, God still loves us and God still cares for us.
I feel like I’m in the ocean staring at a huge wave that’s headed my way.  The sky is turning dark and the wind is picking up.  This wave is growing in size and strength and I know it’s coming, but there’s nothing I can do but brace myself for the hit.  I’m scared and I know this wave will take me under, but when it passes I know I will float back up to the top. Why?  Because I’m not in this storm alone.  I’m not swimming in the ocean by myself.  My God, My Lord is there and He will not fail me.  As the lyrics in the song Oceans say,
“Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine”
As I brace myself for what’s to come, I rest in the fact that if my dad can see the good in everything then I can too.  If he can worship and praise God even in his death-bed then I can worship and praise God in the darkest of valleys.  Even when the hurt is more than I can stand, I can rest assured that God still performs miracles in our lives.  Miracles that I may miss if I’m not seeing the good in every situation.
So this morning I encourage you to choose to see the good in all situations.  Rest in His arms knowing that He will not fail you.  He never has and He never will.  As the storm gets scarier and the wave gets bigger don’t let go.  Hold onto the One who will bring you back to shore.

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