I was blessed to have a wonderful dad who made me feel loved and protected and deeply cared about my whole life. Until the last three months of his life.
He was sick and struggling. It effected his mood and his thinking and even his clarity. When he was still at home, in the beginning of his illness, I went over to try to talk him into going to the doctor and he yelled at me, “Get out of here! No doctors! Ever!” He sounded vehement and angry and I was crushed.
I tried calling him later and he wouldn’t answer the phone. He told my son, who lived with him, that he didn’t want to talk to me. I was so worried about him and at the same time so hurt that he wouldn’t talk to me.
We were all getting so concerned about his health. My husband felt led to go and talk to him about going to the hospital. I had people praying fervently. It felt like a miracle when Dad agreed to go. The ER doctor said he would have died that night if he hadn’t.
After that, Dad went in and out of being his loving self, and being angry and challenging. He was dealing with so much. I don’t blame him for having emotions. But it was hard for me to see him like that.
I started taking notes during that time of how Dad was doing, and how I saw God encouraging us through other people and circumstances. I’m thankful I did. Some of it is hard to read, remembering all the stress and heartache of it all.
But I love the note I made on Friday, February 9th. “Dad told me I was precious to him.”
It is a tender mercy to read that now. Because I know that was his true heart. Those are the words he would want me to remember. And I know they are true. I was precious to him. And he was precious to me.
We are going through new challenges in our life right now. And it could be easy to wonder if God is upset with us or punishing us.
But I opened my Bible the other day and saw a passage that touched my soul. Daniel 10:18-19. “Then the one of a human appearance touched me again and strengthened me. He said, “Don’t be afraid, you are treasured by God. Peace to you; be very strong!”
And I know this is true. God does treasure me. God treasures you. He loved us all so much that He sent His son to die for our sins, so all who believe in Him can have eternal life.
We are treasured, friends. We are treasured by our Holy Abba Father! And He is with us to give us His strength. He is with us to give us His peace. We can depend on Him. We are weak, but in Him we can be very strong!
No matter what kind of earthly father you have, or had, we can know that we are treasured and deeply loved by our heavenly Father. He cares about us and is watching over us.
He whispers to us, “Don’t be afraid.” He holds us close and says, “You are so precious to Me.”
I think that is one of the reasons I blog. I like to write down some of the special things that happen (well, the hard stuff too). It’s important to be able to re-read it when it ALL seems to be hard stuff and see how God’s hand of grace and blessing is all over the ups and downs of the caregiving journey. Thanks for the good (and timely) reminder.