Six Months Later and Your Prayers Were Not Wasted...
Six months ago today my Dad left this earth, slipped into the other side of eternity, and left a hole in my family that will never be filled.
I know many of you joined my family and me in prayer during our month of hell as we sat inside the waiting room of a hospital.
Many of you saw my near-daily prayer updates with incredibly specific items to pray over and it is so easy to see those prayers as wasted... after all, my Dad is gone.
But after reflecting on it for the last six months I have come to realize the importance of prayer, not just in fulfilling my personal wishes but in uniting friends, family, and fellow followers of Jesus from all over the world together for a common grief and in drawing near to the Creator of the Universe in a time of absolute sorrow.
When you all joined together in prayer for the darkest month of any of our family's lives something special happened. You joined us in that cold waiting room in San Francisco. This is more than "thinking of you" or "wishing for a speedy recovery" (which was appreciated as well). But for those of you who joined us in intercession, you entered in with us emotionally and spiritually.
You begged the Father of Light to shine brightly in our sorrow and fear, and HE DID!
Each day, we held each other with the realization that others were lifting us up as well, and the God of compassion granted many of us peace that defied the circumstances we found ourselves in each day.
This allowed us to grieve, especially in that last night, April 14th, when we were told the fight would be over soon, and we cried, hurt, fell down to the floor, and went through countless boxes of Kleenex. But while we grieved in pain, we knew that we were not alone, that the King had not abandoned us and neither did you.
Obviously, I hate that my Dad is gone. I guess that is why this post has taken over five months to write.
It hurts, it does not feel real.
I can't FaceTime him or look forward to seeing him for a family vacation any longer. But yet, through this God has revealed His ability to grieve right alongside me.
My Dad was always good about relating to my pain whenever I had an injury, a break-up, or an issue at school or work. He hated seeing me or my brother in pain. That is what a good dad does right?
Well during these last six pain filled months the Father God has done exactly the same thing. I have read about His goodness as a dad throughout the gospels, as He had to watch His son Jesus pay a penalty for crimes He did not commit. I can feel His grief over this pain because He is a good dad.
I have also felt His broken heart pour out as my family has grieved.
I know He knows the end of the story, and that He knows that the way this story culminates will make all the tears evaporate into the cosmos, but just like Jesus who grieved the loss of his friend Lazarus even though just a few verses later would resurrect him from the grave (John 11) I believe God has been broken-hearted with my family simply because we are in pain.
The craziest part to me is that your prayers helped break away the bitterness that was naturally forming as I grieved the loss of my Dad and the loss of Ali and I's Chinese adventure. I was getting bitter at God for changing everything in ways that I hated Him for, but through your prayers I believe He broke that bitterness up so that I could feel His presence and delight.
Simply put. Thank you for your prayers.
They meant a ton to me and to my family as well.
God didn't answer our prayers the way we desired, but I have to trust His ability to write the story, and know that He can take my honesty and critique of His work.