Tears flowing. Engulfing sobs unable to be held at bay. Heart aching. Pleas to God that I would wake up from this nightmare. Declarations of how unfair this situation was and that I shouldn’t have to be part of it.
Yet in the midst of the heartache and sorrow, songs of praise to God. I had turned on my personal music selection from my phone. The volume turned up high. Attempts to sing along proved futile because of the crying. But a song still rose from my heart. I was singing praise to God even as the tears flowed.
This all took place inside of my vehicle, at 3 a.m., as I was driving to the hospice where my father laid dying. This after several pleas through text messages from my stepmom that my sister and I come. She had to make a decision to turn off the machine keeping him alive. She couldn’t do it alone. I fought with God in the midst of reading and answering her text messages. I didn’t want to go. I couldn’t be part of that decision and I certainly couldn’t watch my father die.
In the end, I went. But not without digging my feet in and letting God know how much I hated it. That no daughter should ever have to participate in that type of decision.
Not even 3 hours later, he was gone. The decision made. My stepmom near his face, my sister holding one hand and me holding the other as he took his last breath. In his final moments we cried and my sister prayed. Overwhelming sorrow. Difficulty accepting this new reality. And then going through the motions of talking with staff about the funeral home he would go to and how much we appreciated their kindness.
Tears flowing yet again. Sobs engulfing me. Heart broken. Pleas to God that He would help me get through this. Declarations of God’s goodness…yes, despite all of this pain. God was still good. And I let Him know that.
Once again the praise and worship music filled my car. But more importantly, it filled my heart. Death may have come but Christ still lived inside of me. And now my father was in Heaven, experiencing Christ in a whole new way—able to breath without struggle, strong and vibrant in a way never experienced on earth.
When once a verse I’d had familiarity with through reading His Word, Job 1:21 became a personal experience. “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
Friend, in spite of your circumstances…regardless of how you feel…no matter the terrible deal life has dealt you…God is not only worthy but He is deserving of your praise. Let the name of the Lord be praised!
This song carried me through the death of my father.