Some of you may have seen the blog I had up yesterday about singing. I took it down. I am still thinking and praying through things. I am not saying I will never share me singing 😉 I probably will… I just need to spend some more time thinking and praying.
It got me thinking about the reasons I want to use my gifts.
I want all I do to point to Jesus Christ. His love. His power. His grace. His mercy. His saving blood…
Do I always do this? No. I am human. I make mistakes. I can be selfish. I go through things in my life that cause me to have periods of doubt, but I pray SO HARD, EVERY DAY, that the Lord will use each of my trials for HIS glory, no matter how hard they are. I think that is a reason I enjoy writing. I may not be the best writer. Some of you may not like all my blogs, or even like one of them. That is ok. BUT, that is ONE area that I KNOW God is calling me to right now. Writing. Using my blog to share pieces of my heart and my life in hopes that God will take my words and make them speak HIS name. I pray that He will take my jumbled, mom brain, mess of words, bad grammar, too many emoticons, LOL and HAHA’s… and use them to reach someone with the Love of Christ.
I know that one way of doing that is to share some of the struggles I have had in my life. I have had this on my heart for a REALLY long time, but for whatever reason, I have kept putting it off. No more. I will have several of these little “pieces of me” blogs over the next coming weeks/months. In each, I will share something that has happened in my life that is hard, and show how the Lord has used it for His glory. Some of them, I may not fully know how God will use it. I do know one thing. God isn’t finished with me yet.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
My first struggle I want to share with you is one that is permanently burned into my brain. An image I see daily. It will never go away… but God is stronger than even our memory. He is stronger than sadness. He is bigger than pain. He is God. He is healer, comforter, friend… and so much more
Today, I am going to share with you about the day my daddy died…
I was 12 years old. I was like most any other 12 year old… ok I was probably a bit more dorky, as I had HUGE honkin’ glasses, short SUPER curly hair and looked probably 8, and I was also SUPER short. LOL. Still, I had friends. I loved my parents. I loved to laugh. And just like most other little girls… I loved my daddy. My daddy sang to me each night. He tucked me in. He scratched my back and prayed over me. He created stories for me of a a little girl named Matilda who had her own fairy princess. Each night was a different adventure.
I remember having breakfast with my daddy that morning, just like I did every other morning. He had a way to make scrambled eggs in the microwave. He would add salt and pepper and bacon bits 😉 haha. Beside his nightstand was pictures that my little sister, 6, had drawn for him, and letters from me exclaiming how much I loved him.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. We had a half day at school. It was before Christmas break. The day was December 16th. We had just recently moved into a new house that my mom and dad worked together to choose, pick fixtures, etc. It was going to be the FIRST Christmas together as a family in our new home. I was SO excited! My little sister was 6 years old and a little spitfire 😉 (LOVE YOU SISSY!!!)
My mom was an elementary music teacher at the school we attended. A private Christian school (prek-12th grade) in Austin, TX. Because it was a half-day, and my mom was a teacher who also got a half day, she was going to take me, my sister AND my friend, Beth, out to lunch and then to go to girly stores at the mall. Fun right!? What girl wouldn’t love to do that with her momma?
I remember my mom was worried about my father. His company, he was an architectural engineer, called my mother and said after a meeting with my father he hurriedly left the building, leaving all of his belongings at the office. I begged my mom to still take us to lunch. My father often got migraines and sinus issues, and she decided to still take us to lunch, as she figured this was what was going on. So, me, my sister, my friend, and my mom went to lunch, with the compromise we would go home after lunch to check on my dad.
After lunch we went to our new home. It was about 30 min from our school, and we had eaten near our school. When we pulled up, I could tell my mother knew something was wrong. She just had this look on her face. We opened the door and saw my father’s shoes by the entry, where he always puts them when he comes home. He was a bit of a neat freak, OCD, and didn’t want shoes on our new carpet (hmm wonder where I get my OCD from haha). Seeing this kinda made us feel a little better, ok, this is his normal routine. We thought maybe he took a nap…
We walked through the formal living room/dining room… and that is when we saw him.
Laying on the couch… with a plastic bag over his head. Dead.
You see, what I didn’t know at the time is the meeting my father had? He had to be let go. The company was failing. In fact, it doesn’t even exist anymore. My father was a perfectionist. I believe whole heartily that he snapped that day. He felt like a failure, and the only way to keep us from the pain was to take his own life.
The only “note” was a list of bills and when to pay them. Nothing else.
I didn’t even cry. I know I was only 12, but I knew what he did. I knew he did that to himself. I remember screaming for someone to please wake me up. My poor friend was there, witnessed it, found him too. I hope and pray that she is not scared for life by this tragedy. I remember crumpling up the list of bills into a little ball and throwing it across the living room. I was in shock.
How could he not know it would be ok!? How could he not love us? How could he think ending his life would be better than admitting he lost his job? I didn’t understand. It was almost as if I could feel God weeping, and I believe God was. Would our family ever be normal? Would we ever get past this? I remember blaming myself and had alot of what if’s. I blamed myself for asking my mom to take us to lunch thinking if we had gone straight home maybe we could have saved him. The truth was, he had been home since 9-10 that morning… but I still blamed myself, and did for awhile. Would we ever get “over” this? The answer to that is no, you never really get “over” it. BUT, through the grace of God, I have overcome it… and I have come out stronger.
Over the years, people have asked me do I blame God? Absolutely not. Were it not for my faith in God, and HIS strength, I would have NEVER made it through. I would have never seen things from my dad’s side. He was scared and not thinking. That is what perfection can do sometimes. People say there are signs. There were none. At least not that I remember. My mom would agree. The act of losing his job snapped his mind and made him think irrationally, and sadly, that lapse of judgement ended his earthly life. God did not make my father choose suicide. He never makes people sin. We are in a fallen world where sin runs rampant. That is why we needed a Savior, Jesus Christ. His blood can clean us and make us whole again. Make us clean. I am thankful every day for my God. My Savior, Jesus Christ. He brought me through.
It was a hard time, I won’t lie. Anytime there were events a girl would have her dad there, it would bring it back. The day I got married, was bittersweet. I had no father to give me away. I am lucky that I have an amazing uncle, my mom’s brother, who stepped in like a father figure to me. He walked me down the isle. He has been there for me every since, even though we are in different states.
Ever since that day, I have prayed that the Lord would use this for His glory. If through my story someone can sense God a little more, feel Jesus’ love a little stronger, see that hardships can be overcome, see that the Lord truly can work all things for good… it would be worth it. The Lord has placed people in my path since that day who have either been through this, lost someone to this, or even attempted it themselves. I pray that the Lord will continue to allow me to love on others in this way.
If you have been there. PLEASE know… God loves you. He wants to give you an abundant life. No matter HOW hard things may seem right now, God can bring you through. You may be thinking it is too big for God. NOTHING is too big for God. NOTHING. Suicide hurts so many people. You may think ending it is the only way out, but it only leaves heartache for those you love who are left behind, and haunts their memory for the rest of their lifetime. God made you in HIS image, and he would NEVER want you to harm yourself of think so little of yourself that suicide is your only option. He loves you too much for that. Suicide is never the answer.
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:9-11
““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” Ephesians 2:4-5
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
For those in Christ, he has great plans for you, no matter how dismal life may currently seem:
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Jesus loves you SO very much. No matter what your circumstance, God is bigger. God is stronger. God works ALL things for good. The Lord brought me through this horrible tragedy. Do I still miss my daddy? Of course. I know that I serve a mighty God though. I know that with Him, I can overcome ALL things…
and you can too. ❤