It's funny how grief can hit sometimes. This weekend, I had a brief conversation with a friend who lost her father recently, and I suddenly realized that I was not dreading Father's Day with the dread of the past few years since Daddy died. I actually made it through all of Father's Day without tears. I was so proud of myself, and thankful to be past the debilitating grief that went on for so long. It was nice to be able to think about my dad, enjoy the memories, and even miss him, without the bone-crushing grief of a few years ago.

Then tonight in choir, there it was. From completely out of nowhere. Lyndel told us to pull out a particular piece of music, and it happened to be the arrangement of "When I Survey" that the choir sang at Daddy's funeral. No problem. We've sung it more than a few times since then, and the last few, I've been fine. Suddenly tonight, I was fighting the quivering lip and teary eyes...but fighting I was...I was determined not to lose it, and I knew that part of it was probably just the fact that it has been an especially difficult and emotional few days for a lot of other reasons. I set my jaw, sang a bit louder, and determined to smile. Then I turned the page.

How in the world out of a stack of 50 or more pieces of music did I manage to grab the one that had been my dads?? The name on the front had been erased, so I had no idea, until we turned a page and there was Daddy's very distinct handwriting. The lump in my throat suddenly overwhelmed me and the tears that had been threatening began to roll down my face. The only thing I could do was to stop singing for a few lines and use every ounce of strength to pull it back together.

That brief blip of grief reminded me of some things I apparently needed to be reminded of. To be thankful for my dad and the relationship I had with him. To be thankful that this was indeed just a brief blip of grief, and that God *has* brought me so far from the heart-wrenching grief that went on for so long. To be thankful for my husband and a few friends who trudged through that time with me, living out the Biblical admonition to "rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn." I can't imagine going through that time without them. To pray for those I know who are still wading through the grieving process.

And most of all...to be thankful for the hope we have in Christ: the certainty that Daddy is with the Lord, and the assurance that we will see him again.

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 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 own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till 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 with 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 with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.
~I Thess. 4:13-18


Between the Trees said...

It is so amazing how God handles little things for us. Since there are no coincidences, you have to wonder when these things happen. I had a handwriting incident of my own. I was at a used booksale a full 6 years after my mom had died. I picked up a children's book and there was her handwriting and name inside the cover. The book had probably been gone from our house for 20 years! Needless to say, I bought it after I shed my tears!

Joyful Days said...

It was music that got me both this week and last--both times at church, too.

(()) across the miles.

In Christ,


t marie said...

Wow. I remember finding a note A had written to me a couple of years after he was gone. It was both a kick in the stomach and a sweet gift to read those words again.

Thanks for the picture of Mr. BillFoy. I love that man.