Steps Forward

As time inches forward, or better yet, leaps forward, I find myself noticing the absence of my dad more and more. Of course I know he’s been gone, but these days it’s much more evident. Why, after almost 5 months, is the feeling of missing him pressing into me so strongly? Quite frankly, it’s a bit frustrating. Before, I could easily think about my dad and all would be well; now, however, those same thoughts can bring me to tears in about 2.5 seconds.

There comes a point when the realization that I must live the rest of my life without my dad hits me. I haven’t been in denial; however, I’ve just been taking it day-by-day and letting Jesus carry me forward. Now, though, the future is looming and refuses to be ignored.

It’s so hard to continue moving forward; probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my almost 22 years of life. No more of his hugs, no more phone calls, no more getting on his nerves as I talk about men, no more laughs or teasing one another, no more lectures, no more corny jokes, no more “I’m so proud of you”, and no more of his love.

The relationship between a father and a daughter isn’t easily explained. He was the first man I loved. And he was the one who set the standard high on how I am to be treated. He taught me to walk, ride my bike, and drive; he tried to teach me how to punch and change brake pads on a vehicle (he lost that one before he even started); but most importantly, he taught me how to love the Lord.

Not only that, but my dad would always come to my rescue. I have a vague memory of him sprinting towards me after I smashed my hand in a door. He hurtled towards me at lightning speed, hoping to ease my pain and to provide comfort. When my jeep died in the middle of nowhere, he drove an hour and a half to come pick me up. When I went to my first boy-girl party, I humiliatingly remember him awkwardly warning me about boys. Although he did forget to pick me up once or twice (I never let him forget it either), my dad was always there for me.

And now, when life’s biggest decisions are approaching, I can’t turn to my dad for his advice. I’m graduating college without a clear direction and a degree I quite possibly might not use. One day, I’ll have to walk down the wedding aisle without my dad by my side. And I’ll have to raise my children without my dad’s fatherly advice. What I wouldn’t give to just have one more day with him. To ask all the questions I still have and gather up enough of his love and advice to last me the rest of my life.

I have never missed anyone so much. It’s an ache that doesn’t subside, and I imagine it never will. But this is where God’s great love comes in. Even though the thoughts I’ve shared have the ability to hinder me from moving forward, I will not let them. God has imparted an incredible strength in me, which I will use to glorify His name.

Yes, I want nothing more than to have my dad back. But if God were to approach me at this very moment and offer to bring my dad back to this life, I would say no. No, I’m not crazy. How can I selfishly wish for my dad back when he’s at rest with his savior, Jesus? He is now spending eternity worshipping the King of kings and Lord of lords. And I couldn’t be happier for him.

With that being said, I must pick up the pieces and keep moving forward. Life is out there and an adventure is waiting. Yes, I lost my dad too soon. But no, I refuse to let it stop my life from continuing forward. Like I’ve said countless times, God is using this for His glory. I’m not the same woman I was 5 months ago; I’ve been strengthened in my faith, as well as gifted with more wisdom. I have absolutely no idea where life is taking me; do any of us? But one thing I can be sure of: I serve an incredible, loving, gracious, merciful God who is faithful through all of life’s ups and downs. And it is my hope that I continually seek to glorify Him through it all.

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