A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. ~ Author Unknown
Father’s Day. For some, this holiday is a wonderful time to celebrate and appreciate Dad; a great time to go home for a visit, make a long overdue phone call, or buy a sentimental card. For others, Father’s Day is a time for anger, bitterness, and hurt at a Father that left or has never been there at all, whether physically or emotionally. And still, for others, Father’s Day is a day filled with sweet memories and bittersweet tears as they think of their Father who has passed away.
I fall under the last category.
When I was sixteen years old, both of my parents were killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. Losing them was and still is the most difficult loss I have ever faced. Feelings of loss and grief come and go. Most days I have the fondest of memories of my parents, thanking God for how they lead me to love and trust Him, and resting in the healing that God has done in my heart over the years. But, there are still days when I face feelings of hurt and loss.
I never know how holidays will affect me until they are here. Some holidays have taken me back to the days of overwhelming grief and sadness over what will never be, while others have taken me back to beautiful memories of holidays past.
This Father’s Day is one of the good ones. Not only have I been remembering all of the wonderful, quirky qualities that my Dad possessed, I have been resting in the amazing, unfathomable characteristics that my Father possesses.
In losing my parents I felt like I lost myself. I was only sixteen years old. I didn’t know who I was yet, I wasn’t done being taught yet, I didn’t have my own intimate relationship with God yet. I had been saved for four years, yet I had never grasped the love and grace of God in my own life. I still served the God of my parents, the God that they told me was worthy of my servitude. I had not yet found what joy there is in surrendering and submitting to the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving God of the universe.
After losing my parents, I faced two paths: 1) Get angry at God and blame Him for taking them, or 2) Fall into God like I never have before and trust in His plans. By the grace of God, I chose the latter. I ran to God like I never had before. I felt Him hold me and tell me that He was going to get me through this, that He was going to hold me together when I was falling apart. He has kept His promises.
Over the last five years, God has healed me and revealed Himself to me more than I ever knew was possible. He has taught me how to follow Him, shown me who I am in Him, protected me from bad decisions, and formed a relationship with me that cannot be broken. God has been, is, and will forever be my Father.
I am not glad that I lost my parents, I still miss them every day. But, I am glad that in losing them, I found God. In what could have been the time that turned me away from God forever, I learned to run to Him. I learned to rest in Him. In my feelings of loss, pain, regret, and abandon, God found me, healed me, restored me, and made me His own.
This Father’s Day, whether you have your physical Father here with you or not, I pray that you take hold of this glorious truth: God is Our Father in Heaven. He has adopted us into His family, taken us in as His own, loved us enough to surrender His only begotten Son to pain and death on our behalf, and made us joint-heirs of His glory and love.
Rest in this truth. Rest in His love. Rest in your Father’s arms.
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, Forever; I choose Jesus.
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