March 3, 2019, is the saddest day of my life, so far. My dad, age 58, passed away after being blindsided by pancreatic cancer. 30 days is all it took to turn our world upside down.
I had wondered what would happen to my faith if I was hit with something that hurt so badly, I no longer wonder that. In the midst of this tragedy not only did my faith grow but so did the faith of my family as we saw God hold us and my dad close as he walked us through the last few weeks of Dad’s life.
Where was God?
It’s easy to ask where God is in the midst of horrible news and pain. I had a few moments of disappointment as I thought about how some people live while my dad, a good man, has to get sick and pass away from us.
As I prayed and opened my heart to the truth that God’s ways are better and bigger than mine I saw God….He was everywhere!
Another common thing I’d pray for is that through all this that my family and I would see God – and that we did! Every time we turned around we were seeing God’s hand holding my dad close and us as well. From the first days of finding out he had cancer we were praying as a family, my dad did communion a few times and talked about how great it felt. My sister went from being mad at God to learning that God is a loving father not out to curse us for doing wrong. There are so many others from doctors support, the timing of pastoral visits… the list goes on.
During this process, my prayers consisted of a miracle request that God would heal my dad completely. Each day we walked down this path with dad, also seemed to be a day that the snowing never stopped. As I watched the white, clean, perfect snowfall I asked God to make my dad’s insides as clean as the snow and remove cancer. He answered that prayer, but His answer was for my Dad’s soul, body, heart… all to be as perfect as the white pure snow that fell – He called my dad home – and he was made perfect.
Even though dad is now gone, God sightings have not ceased! Over 200 people came to celebrate my dad and even more sent cards and messages to us speaking of God. On top of that, all of these people have seen us walk out our faith in the midst of the pain and feelings of ‘this isn’t fair’.
The broken prayers
I’ve learned a lot about prayer these last few weeks. First, if I only pray for my dad to be healed, I wouldn’t have seen the hundreds of examples of how God was at work in our family, in my dad, and in those that surrounding our family in this difficult time. How we pray should be aligned with God’s will and the goal that all things expand His kingdom.
Second, I am humbled by the love that others shared with us. Through my dad’s passing the number of people that prayed for us and continue to pray for us is humbling. Before this my prayers were selfish and self-centered. Always asking for things for me and to help with my struggles.
So my prayers have changed – as I think of others the list of those in need are so long; too long for words and at times too painful to comprehend.
As I try to learn how to pray boldly for everyone and everything my prayers have become quieter, humbler, and less detailed with words and more detailed with heart.
This is what my prayers look like today as I pray through the broken pieces of my heart at the loss of my dad and the sadness as I look around at all the people that need more of Jesus in their life: Lord, please search my heart and know what I am trying to say in human words to the magnitude of your divine wisdom, please be with our world (pause and let my heart speak), our country (pause), leadership (pause), our church (pause), specific friends and family members (pause)…. I will continue to work on my asks to God for these things, but I’m overwhelmed with the number of people and situations that need God.
Prayers is powerful! He is faithful to answer our prayers. It might not be the way we want it, always, but he is answering us and it’s obvious if we keep paying attention.
In the midst of all of this I learned and relearned a lot about myself. I was taken back to my roots and rediscovered what matters and what I really enjoy. I’ve learned about my strength, my courage, my flexibility and my ability to not have to be in control of things – I’ve learned to let go. I’ve also remembered that I love people and spending time building relationships, laughing, having deep conversations and making an impact in the lives of those around me.
My dad had over 200 people say goodbye and celebrate his life. I could only dream to leave a legacy like he did.
So, for me. I’m going to be taking Anchored Females further. I’m going to get my Masters in Executive leadership and become an Nutritional Therapist. Why? Because I believe that God has given us all we need on this earth and in His Word to anchor us in truth and heal our body, mind, and soul.
Stay tuned for the rest of this journey and keep in touch with questions and concerns that you’d like help with regarding: faith, fitness, nutrition, sadness, parenting, marriage… I can’t promise I’ll have the answers but I’ll listen and pray for you.
God Bless all of you!