Wednesday, December 29

How He Loves Us

Just earlier this year I was introduced to a song by a close friend. It is a beautiful song, I learned it to sing with our praise and worship team at my old church. I appreciated the music and enjoyed the words but it wasn't until I was shown the story behind the lyrics that the song really meant something to me.

John Mark McMillan wrote a song called How He Loves Us. About 7 years ago he lost his dear friend in a car accident. He woke up the next morning and felt angry, hurt. This friend of his had been praying that God would use him to shake the youth of the nation. He didn't understand why God would take such an incredible man with the heart of Christ. He returned to youth camp that year and watched hundreds of teens being brought to the Lord through his friend's death. After witnessing how God used his friend he wrote this song.

Somewhere on Youtube there is a video of him telling this story before playing the song live. I cannot find it for anything... But this recording, at the end, you can feel his passion, his love, his hurt. I'll never hear this song the same again. Even through the darkness, He loves us. He says in the end (6:25), "I know that I still love you God, despite the agony."

Those words could not ring truer to me right now. I cannot get through the song without crying... If you have time, please listen the entire way through. It's moving and reminds me that even in this dark time for my family, God is using the pain and hurt to further his kingdom. We may not see it right now, but God has a plan.

Monday, December 27

A New Way of Living

On Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 my life was flipped completely upside down.  It was on this day that I lost my dad.

It's been almost two weeks and I am still not able to wrap my mind around his death.  I'm on the phone with him one minute and the next... he's gone.

I've been contemplating in my mind over and over if I should write about what happened.  I sat down one night last week and just typed away... I had to get all of the emotion and darkness out.  I needed to write about it, to get it on paper so it would no longer be bashing around in my head.  What came out is far too raw and personal for the web, but it was out of me and I could breathe a little easier.

I honestly don't know what to say.

Words won't form in ways that make sense.

A close friend of my dad keeps a blog.  She suffered from a hormonal imbalance and hit rock bottom a little over a year ago.  She writes to help others that may be suffering from the same painful ailments to give hope and insight into a dark world that not many people will talk about; depression and suicide.

She created a post after hearing of my dad's passing.  It was incredibly difficult for me to read, especially going back and reading what my dad had written to her in response to one of her posts earlier this year.  But her perspective is unique and it helped me to understand things a little better.  Since I cannot find the words to say, maybe you can find answers in hers.  You can find the post here

I'm not quite sure how to move on.  I know that, Lord willing, tomorrow will come and somehow I'll find the strength to get up and breathe another breath.  Some days are worse than others.  It's been an emotional roller coaster and I'm truly exhausted.  My dad's funeral was beautiful.  Christmas was spent with family.  I wont lie, it was hard.  Every minute possible for the past two weeks has been spent with my immediate family.  I've been talking to my mom this morning, telling her how much I miss her.  We wish that we could just stay together everyday, laughing and playing games in our own little world.  But that's not reality.  It's not healthy.

We have to find a new way of living.  I hurt.  I miss him.  Every second of every day I miss my dad.  We shared a bond that most fathers and daughters aren't lucky enough to have.  I didn't just lose my dad, I lost my confidant, my friend.  I do feel robbed, cheated... It's not fair.  But I know that God is good.  He is faithful, merciful and full of grace.  I am seeking my purpose and solitude in Him.  Dwelling in the knowledge that He is my savior, my redeemer, my comforter, my strength, my shelter and my Heavenly Father.  I am on this Earth for a reason.  I am determined to follow through with the path that He has paved for me.  It may get dark, seemingly impossible at times, but I will follow my God wherever he leads me.  I am thankful for my life.  Thankful to get to live one more day and smile knowing that someday I will get to be with my dad again... Not any time soon, but someday.  And because of that, I will be okay.

Saturday, December 18

For my Dad


I'm not quite sure how to start this.  I miss you.

You have been the absolute best dad that any girl could have ever asked for.

I always loved hearing the story about the day you and mom brought me home from the hospital.  You played isn't she lovely by Stevie Wonder on the car ride home and it's been our song ever since.  Dancing with you at my wedding to that very song is one of my favorite moments we've ever shared.  You were so nervous to bust a move in front of everybody but you did it for me anyway.

You've taught me a lot in my 24 years.  You showed me the beauty and passion behind music.  You took me to my first concert.  You sat there in the congregation at DFC when I had my first choir performance and were on the edge of your seat hoping my dress wouldn't go an inch higher as I held it in my hands and danced. You are the driving force behind my love of music and I will never hear or sing a song without smiling and thinking about you.

I was so blessed having a cool dad growing up.  You were always the one me and my friends came to talk to about our seemingly horrific teenage angst.   You were Dad to so many people and I was always proud of that.  Not many dads would take their teenage daughter and her friends out in the middle of the night to TP some boys house and then later answer the phone in your sleepy voice to scare them off.

As much as I hated it growing up you taught me the value of hard work. Every year on the first day of school you gave me the same speech, "First impressions are the most important thing, sit in the front of the class, pay attention and look your teachers in the eye." I graduated college and the advice stuck with me, I always remembered you words and my children will hear them too. 

You used used to make Tony and me do so many chores.  On those days we all called you the General behind your back.  We hated picking rocks out of the grass and scrubbing the baseboards with toothbrushes, but here I am at 24 and I absolutely love to clean.  That, I got from you Dad.

I have always been a lot like you.  I have your eyes, your smile, your heart and even your brain.  Though it's had its negative moments I am very proud to be compared to you.  I am and always will be a self proclaimed Daddy's girl. 

I will always cherish our Daddy Daughter dates.  There have been too many to count.  You have been my rock, my best friend, and have always listened to me without question.  You are the only person who has fully known, understood, and cherished every piece of me.  I could always trust you with my deepest, darkest secrets and you held them so well.

From day one you have supported me in every situation.  When I was 14 and wanted to be a model you found the money to put me in modeling school.  When I wanted to be an interior designer you bought me books on decorating.  When I wanted to be a zoologist you took me to San Diego and bought me books on primates.  In college when I wanted to be a personal trainer you purchased the materials for my testing.  Whatever avenue I wanted to pursue you walked beside me and cheered me on as my biggest fan. 

I know that we had our moments together.  There were times where I felt I hated you, like the time when I found out that you ready my diary when I was 14.  But you've always had my best interest in mind.

I could go on for hours talking about my favorite moments with you, but I know that you know and see my heart and we just don't have that much time or paper.

Daddy, I miss you with every fiber of my being.  Every bit of me yearns to be in your arms one last time.  Your hand brushing the hair out of my face and your strong, gentle heart beating by my chest.

I know that you are in a much better place right now.  A place where no headaches, no anxiety, no pain, and no depression can hurt you.  You are with Jesus just in time to celebrate His birthday with Him. 

I know that you will have a front row seat for every big life event.  You will be there in the delivery room when I have my first baby.  You will hold my hand during every difficult moment I may face.  You will cheer me on at every concert and program I sing at.  Just because you aren't physically here does not mean you are gone. 

Thank you  for always teaching me and guiding me in faith.  Thank you for sharing your love of the Lord with me.  I am confident that when this life is over, you will be standing behind the gates of Heaven with your arms wide open and a beautiful smile on your face ready to embrace and welcome me. 

You will continue to be my source of encouragement even in your absence. 

I want you to know that I love you with all that I am and that love will never fade and never falter.  you are my daddy and the best man I ever knew.

I will miss you and love you until the day we meet again in Heaven.  I know you're celebrating your birthday with Jesus today, and I am so sad that we cannot be there, too.  Just know that today we do not think about your death, but we celebrate your life. 

Happy Birthday Daddy. I love you more than words could ever express. Put a good word in for me to the choir of angels. I'll be seeing you soon.


Your little girl