One Year

November 11th will make one year. I relive the day often. It runs through my mind, playing endlessly, a constant reminder.

Helplessly watching a room full of doctors and nurses trying feverishly to put life back into my dad. Listening to the sound his chest made as they did CPR. Clinging to my dads’ leg, begging him to come back. The feeling of the wall against my grief-stricken body as I slid down it, the devastation too heavy to bear.

The tear-streaked faces of my family as they filed in, one by one, after receiving “the call.” The emotionless face of the doctor, telling us there was nothing more they could do. The heartbroken faces of friends, faithfully remaining by my side.

364 days have since passed. But there are many times when it feels like just yesterday. Just yesterday that we were in the backyard, tossing a ball back and forth. Just yesterday that we were gathered around the campfire, soaking in the warmth of summer. Just yesterday that we were downstairs playing Ping-Pong. Just yesterday that he was cheering me on at every home swim meet.

I’d be lying if I said it hurt less. It hurts just as much as it did the day it happened. Sometimes I think people have a misconception of grief and losing someone: that, with time, you’ll just get over it. This isn’t the case. The second my dad died, my entire future was altered. The vision of what I thought my future would hold was completely obliterated with only 6 words: there’s nothing more we can do.

Not only am I grieving the loss of the man I called dad, but also the future I thought we still had together. I lost the opportunity to share life’s greatest moments with him, from graduating college to sending my own kids off to college. In my version of the future, he was there for both…and everything in between.

If there’s one thing that I have learned, it’s this: life does not go as planned. I never planned on staying in the Sault and attending Lake State. And I certainly never planned on working in the ministry. Yet, here I am: a graduate of LSSU and an intern for His House Christian Fellowship.

And I most definitely didn’t plan on losing my father at such a young age. Remember that one quote: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” I’m sure God has gotten quite his share of laughs at all the plans I used to have. Now, God isn’t up there laughing that I thought I’d have my dad longer, but the message remains the same: His plan will prevail. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I can look at my life and confidently say that I see God’s hand all over it. In all things. All the way from remaining in the Sault longer than I would have chosen to the people who have left my life, whether in death or by choice. The Lord has made a way for me, he has guided me along his path even when I did not notice him, and he has protected my heart at every corner.

Friends, life is hard. It straight up gives you a beating sometimes. It hands you things you never imagined would happen and makes you question everything. We all have faced hard times, and each of us have battle wounds from living in this fallen world. And in the end, we often find ourselves feeling alone. That nobody fully understands.

But there is one who understands perfectly. And that is Jesus Christ. Jesus is all too familiar with facing intense battles, which he endured humbly and perfectly. Why? Because he knew that one day, you would find yourself on your knees, unable to continue on, and his sacrifice would be able to restore you. His death on the cross would enable the Spirit to fill you, to speak gently to your soul, whispering words of love and comfort.

I can assure you, life will give you more than you can handle. There’s no question about it. Your heart will break and you will wonder if you can possibly go on. But it is in that moment that I hope you also see that you weren’t meant to handle it alone. There is a God, who created all things, that will see you through it. It is by his strength alone that you can find your way. Apart from Christ, life is meaningless. But with him, you can endure all things. HIS love endures all things.

This past year, I’ve often heard people tell me “you’re so wise” or “you are so strong.” But apart from Christ, I am neither of these things. It is Christ living in me that enables me to speak truth and realize that my troubles on this earth are “light and momentary” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

I am thankful for this past year, for God has revealed himself to me in innumerable ways and he has given me a story that seeps with his glory. And as the years continue to pass by and I find myself facing more battles, it is in Christ that I will place my hope; I will look to him for my help and bow before him, rejoicing and praising in my good, good Father. And even though every detail of the day my dad went to be with the Lord will forever be etched in my mind, Christ’s light will always shine brighter than the darkness of that day.

{When you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, look up. Psalm 121.}

2 thoughts on “One Year

  1. Tarah,
    It is such a blessing to read your writings. I know your daddy would be so proud of you, yet I believe your Father in Heaven is watching you and is saying that’s my girl. I know you will touch many lives and minister to the hurting. Continue to seek the Lord and He will guide your steps!

    Liked by 1 person

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