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He is a Good, Good Father

Losing a parent is not easy.  As you may already know about me, I have buried a daughter and a husband.  Now, I am walking a new journey of grief with my father’s passing.  My dad was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiform (GBM) in December 2014, shortly after learning he had a brain tumor on November 20, 2014.  GBM is an aggressive form of brain cancer that rips the life out of the person fighting so hard.  It’s the same cancer Sen. John McCain is currently battling.  My dad fought courageously for 22 months, about 8 months longer than the average life span of a person diagnosed with GBM.

Watching my dad slowly not be able to function for himself was difficult and gut wrenching.  My dad was an oversized man who was accustomed to sacrificing for everyone else.  He was our handy man.  He was our electrician.  He was our plumber.  He was our mechanic.  He was our counselor.  He was PAW PAW.  He was DAD!  I was his oldest of 2 girls and the one most like him.  While he was battling this horrible disease, he was not the same person we knew.  Slowly, his memory was taken from him.  He was unable to perform tasks that we took for granted that he would be around to complete.  When I had issues with a dishwasher, I was finding myself wondering who would I call.  Usually, I would pick up the phone and call him.  If he couldn’t walk me through the problem, if he was home from the boat, he would come on over to fix it himself.

I struggled with losing my earthly father and trusting my Heavenly Father to be my provider.  Now, we are more than one year since his passing.  Life is still not easy but we are adjusting to our new normal.  His Word tells me in Ps 68:5, “a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His Holy habitation”.   So, I know that even though my earthly father has left this journey called life, my Heavenly Father is the one to whom I need to look.  Reality has set in I believe and we realize my dad is not on his 14/7 hitch but instead he is on his permanent hitch in Heaven.  You see, I had the privilege of bringing my dad to church after he fell sick.  During this season of his life, he “got right with Jesus” as he loved saying.  So, I know that I have the hope of seeing him again, but until then, I will focus on living my life for my Heavenly Father trusting His plan so that I am able to be reunited with my loved ones who have accepted His gift of salvation.

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God Shall Supply ALL of My Needs

Phil 4:19 states “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  After reading that, I asked myself about “His riches”.  Doesn’t God own everything?  Doesn’t He own all the cattle on a thousand hills?  Ps 50:10 tells me that He does.  So, if He owns everything than His riches are beyond measure!  Whatever need I have, God can supply.  I just have to surrender that need to Him and trust Him to provide.  Is that easy?  No!  It’s definitely not for a person who is a perfectionist and has to be in control of everything like myself.  I usually take my burdens to the Lord but then walk away with them again.

Yesterday was a very rough emotional day for me.  Satan threw every dart he could at me.  He managed to knock me down several times but I refused to let him win the battle.  My husband & I went see War Room the night before.  He & I have been together for 4 ½ years and had never been on a movie date.  That was the best movie to see on our first movie date.  We have had struggles in our marriage and this movie impacted me greatly!  I decided it was time for me to begin to war in prayer.  So, satan started early to throw his darts.  At first, I let it discourage me, but then I realized what was going on in the spirit and knew how to react then.

I woke up to realize that a previous unexpected deposit into my checking account was actually reversed and the account was overdrawn.  After seeing the deposit over the weekend, I paid some bills that needed to get paid.  So, I was discouraged about our finances and had no idea how to survive the next 10 days till I get a paycheck.  So, I began to pray for our finances.  I asked several friends to pray with and for me.  I got home from work and received a phone call from my real estate agent who has my rental townhouse located in another city about 2 hours away.  She was calling to tell me that she received an offer for me and it was a decent one.  When she gave me the details, I wanted to cry with joy.  It was actually better than I expected to receive!  I wanted to just “say yes to the offer”, but I know that they expected a counter.  So, my agent gave me her suggestions on a counter.  I asked her to give me a couple hours to look over the figures and pray about it.  I was afraid that if I countered too much that I would lose the offer.  I felt I knew what God showed me to counter and so I called her with my figure.

Shortly after I hung up with her receiving the news that we had an offer on the townhouse, I got a phone call from our local Ford service department.  We dropped off our SUV at the dealership to be looked at for an AC problem.  I thought my warranty was still good.  I was informed that my warranty was expired already.  The AC blower and it’s components need replacing, plus several other vehicle maintenance needs to be done in order for the SUV to continue to run well.  It’s currently at 90,000 miles and has never been really serviced before.  The service tech proceeds to tell me that the total amount would be almost $1800 to repair the AC and do the maintenance.  I wanted to just breakdown.  I was so discouraged and frustrated.  I couldn’t even enjoy my good news about the townhouse.  So, I explained to Ford that I didn’t have the funds right now and I would go pick up my vehicle and be in touch when I was ready.  I get there to pick up my vehicle and not really thinking about it, I am walked over to the cashier and handed a $85 service bill!!  My heart sank.  How am I to pay this when my checking account is overdrawn??  I realize that I had funds in another account so I was able to pay the bill.

I did speak back to my agent later last night to learn that the buyer accepted the counter and I have a signed contract on my townhouse.  God is just so good!  With the sales price being slightly higher than I expected, I should have the funds to cover the cost of my AC repair work that needs to be done in the SUV.  I just sit here in amazement, not because I didn’t believe God could do it, but because I learned to trust Him again and watched Him work on my behalf!  God wants to give us miracles; we just need to let Him do what He needs to do.

Restoration Promised

Are you in a place where you feel as though you have lost everything?  Job did.  If you read about him, you will realize that he lost his wife, children and everything he owned. I often felt like Job after losing my daughter and then losing my spouse so soon after.  God promises that if we “turn to Him with all of our heart, with fasting, with weeping and with mourning that He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness” (Joel 2:12-13).  He continues to say in His word that “the threshing floor shall be full of wheat, and the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.  He will restore to you the years that the swarming locusts have eaten.  You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied.  You shall praise the Name of the Lord your God (Joel 2:24-27).

There are times in our lives that we feel overwhelmed and it doesn’t seem like we will ever get anywhere.  We look around and we feel as though we have nothing for which to live.  God loves us and isn’t just waiting for us to fail.  Remember He died for us when we were yet still a sinner!  We make choices sometimes that are not pleasing to God.  There are consequences that must be dealt with because of our actions.  It is not easy to walk through garbage.  A lot of times we want to blame the devil when we are dealing with things, when in fact, we are reaping our consequences from unpleasing decisions we made.  I was there a little more than 2 years ago.  After about a year and a half after my first husband passed away, I decided that I felt ready to get back in the dating scene.  I met this guy through a well known online dating site.  We talked for about a week and then decided to meet.  We lived about 1.5 hours away from each other.  The first date went well and we continued to see each other.  I soon realized that I was pregnant.  I was suddenly facing the possibility of being a single mom.  I had no idea if he would step up and be a part of our lives or if he would just walk away.  I was scared, ashamed, embarrassed.  After some going back and forth for a while, he decided to move in with me and we started planning a wedding and a life together.  It was not and has not been an easy road.  I am not proud of some of my past decisions.  God has really had to work on my heart to get me to forgive myself.

The Unexpected

I need a dunk in the River of Life.  Only He will satisfy me.  My soul longs for Him and only Him.  Nothing else will do.  I have to admit that I have never been completely happy since I delivered my stillborn daughter in May 2009. 

 

I was depressed and felt that I had nothing to live for back then.  Losing a child is a very painful and difficult trial to face and walk through.  God, and only Him, can get someone through such a devastating loss.  I finally decided around the New Year that I would break the chains of depression and let God shine His light through me again.  I was making 30 years old that year.  My husband and I had decided it was time to start trying for another baby.  What I didn’t know was that a month later our lives would change forever and then another month later, my life would never be the same. 

 

Anthony’s mom was homeschooling the boys and their classes were about to be finished for the year.  Anthony & I had talked at the beginning of the year and felt God was leading us to transition the boys down here with us. They were currently living 2 hours away with Anthony’s parents.   I felt as though I could not handle staying home and home schooling all three of his boys.  I talked with Anthony and explained how I felt and what direction I felt God was leading us.  We would work on getting Anthony out of his job at the bank so that he could work from home and be there with the boys.  I would continue to work full time. 

 

Well, the boys finished their classes on February 11, 2010.  Anthony’s mom reported to the emergency room on the following day which was a Friday.  It was our habit to go pick up the boys on Friday and bring them back to his parents on Sunday.  We planned to pick them up as usual but received a call from his dad as we were preparing to go to Lafayette.  Anthony’s mom was going to have emergency surgery on her colon.  So, we took off to the hospital to meet up with the family.  Everything went well that night, but we eventually learned that his mom had cancer and would begin the battle for her life.  So, suddenly, our game plan quickly took shape and Anthony was home a lot sooner than we had hoped. 

 

I was completely disappointed at the time.  He & I had big Valentine’s Day plans that got put on hold with the boys staying with us.  Our lives were suddenly different.  I was so spoiled to having him to myself all during the week.  Now, we had 3 pre-teen boys in our home 24 hours a day/7 days a week.  It worked out in our favor as God is so good about doing.  Anthony was having some back trouble so he was on a medical disability leave (although he never knew it was approved).  He was able to stay home with the boys while I continued to work. 

 

He spent the next month with his boys.  He learned to extreme coupon and was teaching the boys about money saving techniques.  They each were able to bond as father and son.  Then, on March 12, 2010, EXACTLY one month after his mom’s surgery, he passed away unexpectedly.  God is just so awesome though.  They spent the last month of their dad’s life with him.  It is amazing to think that God knew the big picture.  He allowed the boys that time with their father.  They will forever have those memories. 

 

He had been ill during the week.  The boys had been sick with a cold and he came down with one too.  On that Friday morning, as I got ready to go to work, he slept which was unusual.  He normally would wake up with me and spend time with me while I got ready.  I tried to talk to him, but all he did was mumble.  I didn’t think anything of it at the time.  While I was at the office, I tried to text him and call him a few times but received no response.  I was a little worried, however, I knew he wasn’t feeling good and just assumed he was sleeping very hard.  When I arrived home for lunch, I never expected to discover what I did.  The boys jumped off the couch to inform me that their dad had never awakened and they tried to knock on the bedroom door to wake him.  So, I went into the bedroom and quickly realized that my husband was unresponsive on the floor.  I dialed 911 and began CPR on him until the paramedics arrived.  He was already turning blue in the lips and I knew he was gone.  The paramedics worked on him for what seemed like forever.  Finally, they had to come give me the news that there was nothing more they could do for him.  He was flat line when they arrived and they did everything possible. 

 

So, suddenly, I was a widow at 30 years old who ten (10) months earlier had buried my daughter and was currently trying to conceive again!  I had three (3) pre-teenage boys living with me and working a full time job.  It was a roller coaster to say the least.  Stay along for the ride.  It was an ending of one chapter and the beginning of a new one!   

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