I don't really get nervous speaking in front of people, but I was tonight. After the last couple of days I've had, I knew it would be a difficult task to get through. Since I am a "notes" person I wrote out what I wanted to say. I find it easier to keep my thoughts in line. I thought that was a bad thing, but then felt better about it when I saw I wasn't the only one that did that tonight!!
Anyway, this was what I shared with the ladies:
I read these words in a book Mrs. Ava loaned me on grieving the death of a father. Avi Met is Hebrew for My father died.
Since reading those words and learning its meaning, they have run through my mind several times a day, as if I am trying to remind myself that my father has died.
If ever there was a daddy's girl, it was me. If it were within his power, daddy would do anything for me. He told me daily that he loved. He always greeted me with a hug and a kiss and he always said goodbye to me with the same. He prayed for me and he prayed with me. He was a guiding force in my life to live right and do right. He taught me how to love my children. How to serve the Lord. How to witness. He taught me the importance of family gatherings and celebrations of life. He taught me that the answers to the questions in life are in the Word of God. I can't tell you how many times I would call and ask him a question about life's dos and don'ts and he would say, "What does God say about it?" And then I'd go look up Scripture or he would quote me verses on the subject.
When I was younger and even up until earlier this year, whenever I would think of daddy passing through this life, into the next, I would begin to cry. Just the thought of it was extremely painful. I always thought in my heart that when my dad died, I would fall to pieces. Bruce would be left to comfort and console a depressed wife, my children would have to fend for themselves, I would be a crying mess everywhere I went and in everything I did. It never crossed my mind that God would give THIS much peace and THIS much grace to my grieving heart.
I can't explain to you the peace that He has given in my heart and mind. Yes, I cry. I cry often. I miss my daddy's voice, I miss his touch, I miss the smell of his hands. His hands had a distinctive smell and they always smelled so good! The first thing I did when walking into his bedroom after his passing was open his closet door and his dresser drawers to smell his clothes to see if I could find that smell. I couldn't. Avi Met.
I was afraid to face each day during those first few days of his passing. Each day was a different hurdle for me. I didn't want to think about the next day, I just needed to focus on jumping the hurdle of the present day ahead of me. Once that hurdle was jumped and it was behind me, I could begin to focus on the next hurdle. It was a day by day existence those first few days. The thoughts of flowers and food did not matter to me. Avi Met! What would I do without my sweet, little daddy? The days were difficult and with each of those days, there came nightfall.
Psalm 32:7 says, "Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance."
Come nightfall I snuggled up as close to God as I possibly could because I knew if I didn't I would never get through the next day. He gave me a song of deliverance during those nights. It was He Gives Grace. I would put my iPod on repeat and just listen to it over and over again until I would finally fall asleep.
Not only did he give me peace, not only did he POUR out His grace, but he gave me a song to sing while I was in the lowest valley I have ever been in. That song helped me in ways that only He knows. God knew the words I needed to remind me that He gives grace and that He is, in fact, everything we ever need, for everything we face.
Just a day or so after the funeral, although that song has a special place in my heart, I had no desire to listen to it again like I did during those days.
Psalm 98:1 says, "O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory!"
I can sing a new song of praise because the Lord gave my daddy victory through death. When I think of how he COULD have died, the pain he COULD have gone through, the many days and nights his body COULD have suffered, I can't help but sing a new song of praise. But still even more praise because of his salvation through Jesus Christ. Avi Met! But yet, he lives.
Psalm 68:5 says, "A father of the fatherless....is God in his holy habitation."
My daddy and I shared many things, but the most important thing is, we shared a Heavenly Father. God is our bond. He is our eternal bond. I do not grieve as those who have no hope. My hope is in Christ, Jesus. It has amazed me how my Heavenly Father has lifted me up through the death of my earthly father.
Avi Met! But I am not Fatherless. And for that, I thank Jesus.