Two Saturdays ago I called my mom on Skype for what I thought was going to be one of our normal Skype dates. Instantly just like that she said words I never thought I would hear anytime soon. My dad had suddenly had a heat attack and passed away the night before.
I sat there numb and in shock. All I could say was what? WHAT? I felt like I wasn’t even in my own body. This wasn’t possible. I knew friends who have lost their dads and moms but not me…
and then reality hit. I was thousands of miles away- how the heck was I going to get home??
My family here in Mijas immediately began to help me find a way home and were there for me, even if it meant just sitting with me. My friends back home did everything they could to help too. Looking back, God had already began to move before I had gotten the news. He had already prepared my heart before I even knew the situation. That’s how He works. That’s who He is.
By that night I had booked a flight out on Monday to JFK due to a very generous friend blessing me with a ticket home- I was only going to have to wait two days to be with my family. Then the hurricane hit. My flight was canceled. I sat on Skype with the airlines for what seemed like forever. At first I was told because the cancellation was due to weather I wouldn’t be able to fly out until Friday- well that’s not going to work I thought. So I prayed. I knew the Lord could get me home sooner and He did. There were over 7,000 flights canceled and I was able to reschedule and get on one leaving the next morning. God knew. Come on Jesus!
Even at the Paris airport (which is huge) on the way home I ran into other World Racers- God knew. He was looking out for me.
Fast forward to being home… my dad’s death didn’t fully hit me until the night of the visitation when we had the chance to see him. He looked nothing like himself. The next morning was the service and later that night after all of that I sat in bed laughing. Don’t get me wrong- it was a super hard week, but I was laughing because I couldn’t figure out why I was doing as well as I was. I was physically beyond exhausted from jet lag and not sleeping much, I was having to make legal decisions that no twenty-six year should have to make for their dad and I trying to stay strong for my brother and it was working- the Lord had blessed me with peace beyond His understanding!! I can’t even explain it now. I know it was because of everyone’s prayers and because God knew. That’s who He is.
[ Philippians 4:7 ]
“… And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I am sharing this story because I want you all to understand and grasp the little we can of how BIG our Father really is. How He already is taking care of our future for us and how much He loves us in times of need and comfort. My dad and I didn’t have the best of relationships. Not that is was bad, but it wasn’t the “typical” father-daughter relationship that girls dream of when they think of their fathers walking them down the isle on their wedding day.
but you know what- that doesn’t even matter.
Yes, I am sad I have no more time to spend with me dad. Yes, do I regret his absence in my life. Yes, do I wish I knew more about him and who he truly was- but it doesn’t matter. The Lord immediately told me to let it all go. The hurt. The regret. The seconds on the clock I could never get back with my dad. It’s difficult to know what “daughter” should feel like, when you’ve held the title all your life, but never truly the position.
Again the Lord whispered in my heart… “None of the past matters.” For my whole life the enemy had be building walls between my dad and I and Nick. I don’t know why this was the path I was given. I don’t know why my dad was taken from me and my brother before we could of established a better relationship, because we were getting so close too. I don’t understand any of it. BUT I do know what my Heavenly Father kept reminding me all week. My dad did love me, I just wasn’t fully able to see it and I loved him too, and he didn’t fully know it either. My dad was a good man because he was one of the Lord’s children. How am I so sure of this? Because my dad and I share another Daddy who loves us both immensely. A Daddy who IS love, a Daddy who can’t deny love.
I hadn’t spoken to my dad since I left home back at the beginning of July. This is not the way I would of preferred to have been my last moments with him, but the Lord gives me His strength when these thoughts fill my head. He is there for us always. and He is always many steps ahead of us too. Don’t let wounds from your past hold you back. Don’t let hurts from an absent parent, or sibling or friend fester because that is just leaving a door wide open for the enemy to walk right in and deceive us. Just love. be. and do. It’s not worth being sad or angry or blaming others because you never know when our last day will be. cliche I know, but it is true. Just remember the Lord is never absent. It is that simple.
Where to even begin this- I don’t know. This whole week as we’ve been looking through pictures I have loved all of the memories I do have with you. You always use to drop me off at school in your Snap-On truck where Nick and I loved playing shop in the back. I remember on hot Texas summer days you would fill the red bowl up with ice cold water and let me and Nick stick our heads in it. Random I know. I remember when Nick was young and he flushed a dollar bill down the toilet- he was so proud he did it all by himself and you just laughed. Or the time when Nick’s teeth went into my head at the park and I was so concerned with leaving my new bike behind as you tried to take care of my bleeding head and Nick’s black tooth. Every time I hear the song “Cheeseburger and Paradise” by Jimmy Buffett, I think of our silly hand motions we always did in the car with Doug. I will also never forget the time when you were driving me and the song “Butterfly Kisses” came on the radio and I looked over and you were crying. I felt so loved. All these memories and so many more make me smile and laugh, even when we don’t have as many from recent days. But what gives me the most peace and the biggest smile is knowing that over the past two years you came to know the Lord. That right now you are dancing with our Papa!!! Nick and I love you dad. Thank you for just being you!