The evening before my Dad passed, he experienced an acute onset of torturous pain. I prayed ceaselessly with my family begging Jesus to relieve him of pain and to mercifully take him to heaven like Dad wished. When Dad started gasping questions like “why?” that shattered my heart in a million pieces, I pleaded for God to give us an abundant sign of His presence and light. Soon after, Dad rolled over, sat up pain-free, and told us he was getting up to go watch the news … I couldn’t move for a few minutes because I was dumbfounded. And then it dawned on me. While my prayers were for death to end Dad’s pain, God had another plan yet He faithfully answered our prayers and lifted Dad’s suffering. I ran out to Dad and said, “You know Jesus just answered our prayers. He lifted your pain!” Dad looked at me, with a bit of surprise and marvel, gave a hint of a smile and subtly nodded.
I was in a rush to run home to grab some stuff so I could spend the night at my parents and as I was backing down their drive, I turned to see the biggest, boldest rainbow shining over their house, ending right in my Dad’s bedroom – where I had been praying just minutes earlier for a sign of God’s presence and light. I love that God chose to share His bow in the sky with us right at that moment as it gloriously illustrates the Biblical promise that God *never* abandons His children. I jammed the car into Park, leapt out and openly wept and praised God while raindrops sprinkled down.
At that point in my life, I had never experienced God’s closeness to a greater degree. I felt His protective arms wrapped around me and the joy and relief I felt just poured out. I had Mom and my husband come out to take some photos to show Dad. I wasn’t there to see Dad’s reaction but J said he had a look of awe and asked “that’s really out there right now?” and smiled.
As I drove home, the verse “O ye of little faith” (Matthew 8:26) kept repeating in my head like a gentle wink-slash-scolding and I couldn’t stop smiling and praising God. It’s the closest I’ve ever felt to the disciples in the boat watching Jesus wake to calm the storm around them. And it was so glorious. Praise His wonderful name!
On my Dad’s last day on earth, I cozied up next to him in bed while he was sleeping and sang my favorite worship songs to him. That night, Mom, J and I lounged in Dad’s room with him as he slept, recounting our favorite memories and stories. We laughed and cried and played Dad’s favorite songs. We called Dad’s sister and heard about some of his wild high school times and joked and laughed some more. I knew, somewhere deep inside, I was saying goodbye when I said goodnight to him a little before 2a. He passed minutes after J gave him his last dose of medicine around 3a. Mom and I just knew, converging downstairs, we all went in his room and, just like that, he was no longer with us.
The next day, a ton of amazingly convicting things happened but my favorite occurred when I went upstairs to take a nap. The best way I can describe it is to just tell you the absolute joy and radiance I felt when I woke up. I could feel Dad’s elation and excitement. I felt like doing cartwheels and I literally came down the stairs jumping for jubilant joy because I knew, without any shadow of a doubt, that my wonderful Dad was celebrating in heaven and wanted me to be a part of the party. There’s a lot more that happened but the one thing that kept repeating in my head, over and over, was Dad’s beautiful voice joyfully shouting “Weak made strong!” One of the worship songs I sang to him earlier in the day was “Cornerstone” by Hillsong United. The chorus is: “Weak made strong, in the Savior’s love. Through the storm, He is Lord. Lord of all.”
Praise our merciful and magnificent Lord! Dad, I miss you so much and I can’t wait to join you in the Throne Room to worship God forever and ever. I’ll dance with you soon … for our life on earth is but “a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14)
❤️ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10