Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Saddest Day of My Life

July 15, 2014 will forever be etched in my memory because it is the day that follows the dash on my father's gravestone. Two in a half weeks ago, my dad, at the age of 64, went to be with his Savior suddenly following a heart attack.  My heart has a hole in it that is now filled with deep sadness.

I had the privilege to give a reflection at my dad's funeral.  Here's what I said -

As I pondered coming before you to give a reflection about my dear father, I thought I was going to talk about his love for people and how he brought so much life, joy, and laughter to every group that he was with.  But you probably already knew that.

Next, I thought I was going to talk about his love for the elderly who were homebound and how he would joyfully visit them, take communion, and speak God’s Word to them. But you probably already knew that.

Likewise, I thought I was going to talk about his love for gathering with God’s people and how he would delight in being present whenever the doors of the church were open and how he served the church diligently.  But you probably already knew that.  

Then, I thought I was going to talk about his love for caring for his family and how he sacrificially served us in any way that he saw a need. How he countlessly drove 10 hrs to visit my family and joyfully took my disabled son on walks around our neighborhood. But you probably already knew that as well.  

So, what should I say about a godly man, loving husband, caring father, and faithful friend? Nothing other than that my dad was born a sinner like all of us but he put his trust in Jesus & at that point God began a good work in him and saw it to completion.  The morning after I got the news that my dad had passed and was now with Jesus, I read Psalm 138.  
The Psalmist begins by giving thanks to the Lord for his steadfast love and faithfulness. And it ends by saying, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.”  As tears flowed down my face that morning, I gave thanks to the Lord for his steadfast love and faithfulness towards my family through my dad’s life.  And I was overcome with peace and assurance that the Lord fulfilled his purpose for my dad.  On the evening of Tuesday, July 15, I believe that my dad was given the most glorious welcome that he’s ever received as His Savior said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’  

Please pray for my family especially for my mother who lost her beloved husband of 41 years.
My Parents ~ Valentine's Day 2014


Linda Lang said...

Thank you for sharing, Caryn. He sure sounds like a wonderful man and father! May God's peace comfort you.

Steven said...

Love and hugs! What a testimony of your dad loving Jesus, and of serving others in a way that shows God's love for them. He clearly left a legacy that blessed so many! May your mom, you, and your family find comfort and peace in the same Jesus who made your dad such an gracious man!

Laurie said...

Oh Caryn, I am so sorry for your loss. In this time of sorrow and the grave reality of death, I pray for comfort, peace and faith … clinging to the hope and joy of resurrection.

Our Family said...

My heart aches deep over this! Yes, he is with Jesus. Praying for peace and comfort for your family, especially for your sweet Mom. You always point me to Jesus and I love you for that example. Thank you!

Debby said...

Your tribute to your dad was beautiful and God-honoring. Thank you for letting us see some of the amazing man God made him to be. We're praying for you and your mom and your whole family as you grieve. Love you.

Lee Burtman said...

Such a beautiful tribute to a godly father and a great God. Thank you for sharing this. May His peace be yours now and forever.

Anonymous said...

Caryn, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your father but what a beautiful tribute to him. I will be praying for all your family in the days and weeks ahead.

Stine said...

The 41 year “date”
On June 2, 1973 my husband, Curtis Gilbert, Sr., took my hand and asked me out on a “date”. During that “date” we planned our future, traveled, worked, loved, laughed, danced, cried, argued, honored, shopped, encouraged, complained, disagreed, prayed, worshiped, served, celebrated, shared, dined, gave, entertained, promised, respected, nurtured, courted, and had two beautiful babies. Most importantly, we learned the significance of having Jesus at the center of our lives.

On July 15, 2014, after 41 years of marriage, he brought me home from that “date”. He told me good night in the most caring and loving way possible as he entered the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I miss him deeply, but know that I will see him again