It’s been almost two months since my dad left his earthly home to join his Heavenly Father in his eternal home. Most days are okay. But other days it’s so so hard. I know this is all a part of the mourning process, but it’s still so hard to believe that he’s gone for good. Some days I forget entirely. And other days it’s all I can think of. I know that as time goes on it will get easier (and it really has in these past two months) but it’s still so hard to fully understand and accept.
The other day I was having an especially difficult time processing everything. We had just found out the gender of our baby. And my heart broke because I knew my dad would never get to meet our sweet baby James. He’d never get to teach him how to fish, or how to make a fly. He’d never get to go hiking with him and take him on camping trips. He’d never get to pray for him by name and pour into his life like he did for his children.
It’s heartbreaking to think about that.
This year has been such a dark and bleak year for us, but thank the Lord we have something exciting, new and wonderful to look forward to in August! James is not only an answer to prayer, but also such a gift from God. He has already brought us SO much joy and I know he will continue to do so in the months and years to come. Every time I look down and see my growing belly I stop and thank the Lord for giving us him. For giving me the privilege of bringing life to my sweet son. For giving us someone who can follow in his grandfather and great grandfather’s footsteps. And for giving us joy in the midst of so much sorrow.
So as I sat in my living room and thought about how much I was missing my dad, I looked out the window and my gaze fell on the tree outside our apartment. I don’t know if it’s because of everything going on the past few months, but this winter has felt especially bleak and dreary. The browns and yellows look so dismal to me. And I started getting to a point of wondering if spring would ever start making it’s appearance (a little melodramatic, I know).
But on that bleak February day I saw something that made me break out into the biggest smile.
I saw the start of little leaf buds covering every branch of the tree.
And y’all… I cried.
I cried because I’m sad. But I also cried because I knew it was the Lord showing me that he still has SO much planned.
Just like winter, this season of grief is just temporary. Yes, it will leave a scar in my life that I won’t ever forget or get rid of, but soon it will pass. It won’t be tomorrow and it won’t be next month, but someday I’ll be okay. And just like winter gives way to the freshness and newness of spring, the Lord will bring newness and freshness to my spirit. Best of all, it’s already begun. It may be only little buds on a barren tree, but because of the Hope I have in Jesus, the renewal has already begun.
And that’s the beauty of being a child of God! I’ve already received the Ultimate renewal when He sacrificed His Son on the cross for my sins. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) My old sinful life no longer has control of me. I am a new creation, saved by the blood of Jesus and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Thank the Lord for that! What hope, peace and fulfillment we have in Christ.
So when times like this come, I know that in the midst of heartache we will still mourn, but there’s also the comfort we have from the Lord. “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14) I am so thankful for that!
So that day when I sat there crying over the buds forming on the tree, I was reminded of not only how temporal our time is here on earth, but also of the promise of renewal we have in Christ. Right now we’re in a time of mourning, but soon He will turn that into dancing! Because yes, my father is no longer with us, but he is now WITH THE LORD IN HEAVEN. Wow! I rejoice in that and can’t wait to join him someday.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;