Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Won't Give Up

I wrote this on the first Father's Day after Dale died. Re-reading it now brings tears to my eyes because I remember how it felt to write it the first time and also because I can see how far I have come since then.  If you are going through a rough time, a horrible time, keep on going and don't give up.  If I can do it, so can you!  "I don't want to be someone who walks away so easily. I'm here to stay and make the difference that I can make." (Jason Mraz ~ "I Won't Give Up")

I was nervous about going to church today, knowing that fathers would be recognized and that the message would be, if not centered on, at least a primary subject of discussion. Brother Byron's message was hard for me to hear today. It was quite biblical, nothing wrong with it whatsoever, but the feelings it raised in me as I listened were difficult to experience. I listened as he talked about the father's role in the household both as husband and father; the importance of that role in the fabric of society; the decline of society as that role has been pushed aside as irrelevant or altogether abdicated by the father; and the original meaning or root of origin of the word "husband" as basically being the band that holds the family together. I couldn't help but continue to think over and over again about how my kids don't have that now. I become frightened about how it is I am to repair that which they have lost ... not replace, repair ... How am I now to fill both of those roles and not let them get lost in the process? Not let them be part of the statistics of kids gone awry because they have no father in the home? It was hard to hear Bro. Byron talk about those fathers who have abdicated and left that role on purpose. It brings up those mixed feelings because on one hand, there are strong feelings of anger in believing that Dale left us all ... and on the other hand, strong feelings of sorrow over the extreme sadness and anxiety he had experienced that i just didn't see in time. I don't want to think that he left us, that he abdicated his role as father, as head of this house because I know in my heart how much he loved this family ... But is it easier to feel the sorrow? No, it's much easier to be angry. The sadness is too hard ... too reflective ... too much to bear sometimes. But anger hardens the heart and also becomes difficult to bear after time and an angry person is not who I want to be.

So what do I do? What do I think? How am I supposed to feel? Everything is swirling around ... These are the moments when I have to stop ... just STOP. Stop thinking. Take a deep breath. Close my eyes. "See" God. Remember who He is and what I know about Him. He is the author and finisher of my faith. He is my redeemer. He is my prince of peace. He is my best friend. He is Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end. He is my rock, my fortress, my strong tower. He. Loves. Me. Enough. to. Die. for. Me. He is worthy of my trust. He is worthy of my faith. He is worthy of my love. He will take these broken pieces and will make them whole again. He will show me, if I let Him, the path I am to take. He will give me the words when I cannot find them. He will give me the strength when I do not have my own. He will give me wisdom and discernment when I am unable to make the right choices on my own. He will equip me to do that which He has called me to do. He will carry me when I am unable to carry myself. He will do all the same things for my children. He is Love. He will do all that He has promised to do. He cannot lie. No one can snatch me from His hands. He works in all things. He understands. He knows. He saves. His mercies are new each day. 

SIGH. Peace settles in. Trust takes over. "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:5) I will set aside questioning what I can find no answers to ... I will stop worrying about things which I have no control over ... I will practice the Serenity Prayer: 

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.

I trust Him to direct my path so long as I seek His face and acknowledge Him in all my ways.

"Not a burden we bear, 
not a sorrow we share, 
but our toil he doth richly repay; 
not a grief or a loss, 
not a frown or a cross, 
but is blest if we trust and obey. 
Trust and obey for there's no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey." ("Trust and Obey")

Today is Father's Day. I am ashamed that up until this last hour or two, I have not thought of my Heavenly Father much today as I have been too distracted and bogged down with what is missing instead of what is here. Forgive me, Father, for losing sight of You today. Thank you, Father, for allowing me to see You as I looked inside myself. Your Spirit is amazing, and I thank You for that gift. I. Love. You. 

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