There are some days that are so packed with memories it seems one day cannot contain them all. They are bubbling over like the pot on the stove you left on too high and unattended. It calls your attention loud and clear. Today is one of those days for me. It is the anniversary of Dad’s death. As the years go by, this day changes and takes on a whole new life. While I miss him more than words can express, I am now at a place where I can give thanks. I give thanks for his guidance, his love, his wisdom, and his humor (especially for the gift of quick comebacks). I give thanks for the times we spent running – even when he ran ahead while the stray dog chased me. I give thanks for the memories and the valuable lessons I carry with me that have helped to shape and form who I am today. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t as if I haven’t given thanks for these things before. It isn’t as if I didn’t realize I had a great Dad. It is that my grief has changed. Rather than feeling angry or cheated out of time or sad he died too young, I now am simply filled with gratefulness. Grief does that. It changes. It evolves. It doesn’t mean we stop missing the person or wishing they were here. It just means it becomes something different. We mend – although very differently than we were before. We move forward understanding the gifts we have been given. We are challenged to appreciate each new day, none of us know how many there are ahead. We become put back together – always with scars intact.
Although this is the day Dad took his last breath, it is also the day he became free of the worries, anxieties, and challenges of this world. This is the anniversary of his new chapter. This is the day he began to live in true joy, true peace, and love which is unending and absolutely remarkable. This is the day the page turned and it was a beautiful start to all God had for him. This was an amazing day for him. And one day, it will be our turn. Until then, I take these memory filled days, with the lessons which abound, and I move ahead. One day at a time, one step at a time, one God-given moment at a time. There is more to be done. God’s not finished with us yet.
May we continue to love and serve God until he turns our page and starts our new, incredible chapter. Blessings to you, my friends.
1 Thessalonians 5:16
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Psalm 139 (because it was Dad’s favorite)
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3 You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
I come to the end—I am still with you.
19 O that you would kill the wicked, O God,
and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me—
20 those who speak of you maliciously,
and lift themselves up against you for evil!
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
24 See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery