I have been missing my Dad a lot lately. I am not sure if it is Father’s Day or just circumstances in my life. It is crazy how fast and how slow 2 ½ years can go by. Despite knowing he is gone, I still can’t erase his contact information from my phone or his last few voicemails. They remain there as if nothing happened. I wish I could say it has gotten easier with time but I can’t say that. The only way I know to describe it is that it has gotten different. The grief is still there but now it is under the surface. It comes out in surprising ways: a song on the radio, a memory on Facebook, his absence at Jax’s first birthday or even in my impatience in a crowded store. Suddenly there it is and I am overwhelmed by it. There is no way around grief. You can try to avoid it or ignore it but the only real choice is to walk through it.
Despite my grief, I know that God had a plan. A plan for me and for my Dad. I don’t ask the question why Parkinson’s, or why my Dad because somehow I know there isn’t an earthly answer. My Dad once shared that he had prayed to know Christ whatever the cost, he just didn’t think it would look like that. In spite of his struggle, he chose to be grateful. Grateful for God’s presence in his life, grateful for the time we had together and grateful for the many people he had been blessed with in his life. He never stopped living. He never stopped finding joy or loving others.
“Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again rejoice. Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.“ Philippians 4:4-7
My Dad gave me the greatest example of this verse in action. There is joy even in the grief. Joy in the memories of the one we loved. Joy in the legacy they left behind and peace in the knowledge that our God is in control even when we don’t understand. These are the things I hold onto. May we present our requests, our anxieties, and our grief to God, finding comfort and a joy that can only come through Christ.