Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Will Rise Pt. 2

I recently was talking to someone very important in my life and she asked me if I had recently read any of the posts I wrote when I began my blogging journey or if I had read any journals I wrote. My answer to that question was no, I have not read any of my older posts in a very long time. She then responded with, "I think you should go back and read some of them because you will see how you have grown since those older posts." I have made it a priority in my life that when someone gives me their opinion on whatever it may be, that I will listen and give any idea a try. So, last night I read the first post that I ever wrote on my blog page. The post was filled with hope and a faith that surpassed anything that I currently have. But what I found to be interesting wasn't my first post but rather the second one.

I started this blog page the day before my dad had his second heart attack, which was 20 years after his first one. This heart attack was also two days after his 60th birthday. A birthday that was incredibly memorable because so many of his close friends were involved in the surprise party. I had been having a really good week. We had a great celebration, I was seeing God change lives at the bible study we had at my house, and I was just enjoying being in college. Unfortunately as Friday rolled around the smoothness of life would quickly turn into a dark path with a lot of unknowns. This was something that was all too familiar for me.

As a college student I had become accustomed to receiving phone calls regarding problems with my dad and his heart. It began in high school but the hardest experience was my first year in Kansas. In all honestly it was the first time in my life that I truly felt helpless. I didn't know how to handle my own emotions and I didn't know how to be there for my dad with him being so far away. It was a very difficult time for me and I turned to a lot of different things to run away from what I was feeling. I pushed friends away and just didn't care about most things in my life. I found it to be hard to wake up and I had no interest in going to school. There was only one thing I wanted and that was to be with my dad. Each year after that I would receive very similar phone calls, however my response to those phone calls became much different.

Luckily the  call I received that April would have a dramatically different response then when I was in Kansas. I had just finished school and my mom called telling me my dad may have had a stroke and that she was taking him to the hospital. They were supposed to be going to Julian that weekend for his birthday, which was the only reason my mom was at home. My dad had no one at the office so it was a blessing that my mom could get there immediately. My plans for the day were to be in La Jolla with a friend, which just so happened to be the exact location of the hospital my dad went to. My initial response was to panic, get scared, and worry about what would happen next. Janelle came over to my house and prayed with me, allowing me to cry and release all that I was feeling. She reassured me that God was with my dad and that He was in control. Within seconds of her praying I began to understand my role in the situation that had presented itself. Panicking had no part in that role. Even as I calmed down I continued to ask the question "why my dad...why is he going through this again?".

It didn't take long for me to understand that it had to be my dad. It had to be him because of the impact he had made and the lives he had touched. God wasn't allowing all of us to go through a difficult situation to only help one person. He wanted my dad to remember how precious life was and that he couldn't take anything for granted. God wanted my mom to find strength in him and to overlook the negatives and see even the slightest positive. And He wanted me to have faith in Him, to trust that everything would be okay and it was also the day I began to accept Gods purpose for life and death. I felt a sense of comfort with us every moment of that day. I heard love flow through the mouths of doctors, nurses, and the rest of the hospital staff. I was reminded that day that I don't own anything and that every single thing in my life could be taken from me in the blink of an eye. I was forced to remember that allowing fear to take over my life in difficult situations gets me no where, but instead I should trust in a God that is so much greater then all things. In that first ever post I wrote this, "He has his hand in every little thing and it's all to help us, never to hurt us". Even now I know this to be the truth, but at times it's hard for my brain to believe that my heart feels that way.

This was the last paragraph I wrote that night, "God has allowed me to stand when I had no ability to stand on my own, and He has placed by my side the people and support I have needed. By the end of the night I was the strength in my family, the person calming everyone down and telling them it would be okay. Before I left the hospital I gave my dad a kiss and a hug, and told him I loved him. I walked out of the hospital extremely scared to leave and anxious for the morning to arrive so I could return to my dads side, but even with all those emotions going on I know God is with him tonight. What takes place in our lives won't always be easy and the minute you think things are going well, something else will show up. But each time you will grow even more to the point where things like this won't even phase you because you know Who is behind it, not what, but Who. God is behind every single thing and when I told my mom that tonight she responded with, "even something like this?" I said to her it may not look good now but I have no doubt that good will come from this because God will show each of us something we were unaware of. I love my dad with all my heart, but God loves Him even more, and that is why I have nothing to worry about."

As I read through that post it was difficult to replay but it also gives me hope for a better day. At that point in my life my dads situation was very difficult for me to deal with because I was afraid I was going to lose him. Obviously a few months later my life would again be shaken but this time it would be for good. It's pretty amazing to look back to those posts and see that even in the most difficult circumstances my faith stayed strong, in fact it grew to be even stronger then it was. My faith must stay strong right now as well. I am trying to play it off like I am fine and that I can get through this but inside I am hurting so much. I can't even begin to describe how much I miss my dad but the one thing that keeps me going is knowing that one day I will see him again.  The title of that post was "I Will Rise", and there is so much truth in that because I will in fact rise and continue going forward with my life. I know that I will have weeks like this one where all I can think about is my dad but I also know I will have weeks where I don't think about him constantly. It's a good thing to have those weeks where I get a mental break and don't feel overwhelmed with grief. 

I may be struggling to feel my dad, but I know that he has to be with me. He never once left my side so why would he now? I love him more than anything and I only hope that he is proud of all that has taken place lately. I also hope that I am making him proud in some way or another because that is one thing that is very important to me. 

God Bless,

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