Rebel to Redeemed: A Great Loss

Yesterday, was Father’s Day.   This is always a bittersweet day. Dad

Fifteen years ago, life was finally getting back on track.  I was moving forward and putting my divorce behind me.  I’d returned to college and was obtaining my basic courses.  I would be moving to a nearby university that fall to pursue my music degree.

I’d questioned whether or not I should major in music and Daddy was the person that encouraged me to follow my dreams and passions.  “You have too much talent not too,” he said.

My Faith Still HoldsI was so thankful for his encouragement.  I could always depend on him to keep me motivated and be honest with me.   We shared a love of music and I had been his pianist and accompanist since I was ten years old.

Then one November day, I received the phone call no one wants to receive.  Daddy had cancer.  We were all hopeful over the following months as he underwent chemotherapy and radiation that he would be healed.   After all he was just months away from turning fifty, pastored a church and still had my two younger siblings at home.   He had so much to live for and he fought the disease with a valiant effort.

In May, he reached his fiftieth birthday.  That July, he preached {what we later realized} was his final sermon.  He stated, “the doctors say I am in full remission.  I don’t know if the cancer will return this week, this month, this year, ten years from now or never, but I choose to put my faith in God.”   He ended his sermon by singing “My Faith Still Holds.”

With Daddy at my wedding

With Daddy at my wedding

Sadly, the cancer was back with a vengeance before the end of the week.   He was in and out of the hospital over the next month.  That August, I went to visit for my birthday.  Daddy came home from the hospital the day I arrived.  Four days later, he had been readmitted back to the hospital before I’d finished the three hour trip back home. I choose to see those four days as a gift from God.

Life was busy as I moved to university.  I saw Daddy the day before I moved, not realizing this was the last time I’d see him alive.

A week later, Daddy was healed.  Only God chose to heal him in heaven and not on earth.

Daddy was an example for all of us through this final battle on how to face life and obstacles.  Our family’s world was turned upside down.   Even now he is still greatly missed.  Thankfully, we have the reassurance that one day we will see him again.

I was in shock and angry after his death.  I didn’t realize how distant I would grow apart from God before I returned.

I’ve often wondered “what might have been”, if he’d survived.  However, for reasons we’ll never understand here on earth, that was not God’s will.

However, through everything “My Faith Still Holds” continued to minister to me.