Last Tuesday, November 11, marked one year since my Dad passed away. It feels like yesterday, and it is absolutely crazy to me that it has been a whole year since I have seen him. I was a complete Daddy’s girl. My dad was the most loving dad a kid could have, and a light to everyone who knew him. I think about him every day, but last week was especially hard. Most days I’m ok, but some days I cry at anything someone says to me. A reference to their Dad, or about someone who has cancer, or a reference about a loved one of their’s passing away—some days these comments don’t affect me, and some days I can barely make it away from them before I burst into tears from the pain of missing my Dad.
I have been too many funerals, and as a School Counselor, I talk about grief with many students. But it wasn’t until the loss of my Dad that I truly understood what grief was. No matter how many times you have seen loss, or even read about it, you can’t understand true grief until someone you love most in the world is gone.
There are so many hurting families in our midst these days. So many in our Journey family have lost loved ones recently. Some have lost fathers, grandfathers, and others dear to their hearts. And it may have happened last week, or last year, of 10 years ago, but that unexplainable grief stays with you.
But I want to share with you all an exciting moment I had last Thursday, November 13, which was two days after the year anniversary of my Dad passing, and I was especially sad. I was reading in my Experiencing God Day by Day devotional. The entry for that day was literally titled “Not Sorrowing as Others”. Some days, I feel like God specifically has written a certain devotional book at me, and this was definitely one of those days. The author went on to say that as Christians, our grief is not like others, because we have the hope to see our loved ones again in Heaven. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 says,
“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. According to the Lord’s word, we believe that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from Heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore, encourage one another with these words.”
I hope reading those verses encourages you the way it did me. Yes, I still have bad days where I miss my Dad more than anything. But ultimately I have hope that I WILL see my Dad again in Heaven one day. I can’t wait for that day that we will be reunited, but I know that God still has a plan for me here. I want everyone to have the hope that I have of seeing my Dad again, and I pray that I will take every opportunity that comes my way to share that hope with others.
I pray for all of you that know the pain of losing someone so dear to you. There are no magic words to make that pain go away. But I hope you all will remember the hope you have in Christ, and that you will one day be able to share that hope with others.
School Age Children’s Director