I have struggled in the last five almost six years with losing my dad. We lost him unexpectedly, at a time that was crucial to me. It was no less important to my mom or my brother, but for me, there were so many things left unsaid. He used to chuckle at Brad Paisley’s song, “Waiting on a Woman”, because my mom and I would take so long to get ready. He was the type to sit on a bench and not complain- for the first 5 minutes.
I was 20 and looking for love, the one who was made to complete me; anybody want to testify that marriage isn’t about completing the other person? I can. If you think you are lonely without a spouse… marry one who is completely different from you, someone not even going in the opposite direction from you, but in a different lane, or pace. It can be the loneliest feeling in the world. I didn’t have to go hunting for him, he came right to me, and swept me off my feet. As most woman express later on, they saw something they could, “fix”. Yep. Like God needed me to help Him fix someone… not really, but I wasn’t exactly waiting for the job offer, I just took the job, and failed miserably.
I love my husband dearly now, and while we fight this war to stay married and loving towards each other daily, it’s hard. Very hard. It’s even more difficult when your family sees these things coming, but your blinders are on. It gets worse when you determine that you need to choose between the two. Even when neither of them asked you too. Pride rears its very nasty head and you LOSE. This is what happened to me. I went against every person I have ever known and loved to marry Tim, and while I know the Lord had a plan for Tim and I, I don’t recommend marrying anyone that the people who know you best advise you to be wary of. The friction we created between our families to be together is still with us today, and while Love is a beautiful thing, after it takes a beating- it isn’t so shiny anymore.
After less than 2 months together we were engaged and I moved out of my mother’s home during her workday and Tim and I went to live with my biological dad, who I really didn’t know very well and his partner. We were so young and dumb. I walked away from God, and my beliefs, completely traded in a life created and intentionally lived to honor Him, to fill an emptiness in me; something I thought magically marriage would fix. In the movies it always looks so easy and everyone displays such happiness, and it’s fun, and you get a house, and you decorate it and everything is perfect, especially when the baby comes…. WRONG!
Tim and I were married without telling my mother’s side of the family, my brother, my mom, grandparents, cousins, best friends, everyone who contradicted my love for Tim, was written out of my life in one fell swoop. It was devastating. I held my head high, and walked in such pride, to prove I was doing the right thing. Tim needed me, couldn’t they see that?
I left my career of teaching and went into all sorts of career fields, it was one wild ride. The ride started to calm, we decided we were going to get married, and planned our day at the Justice of the Peace, and realized I was pregnant with our first child a month before we got married. I was over the moon. The day I had longed for since I was a five year old little girl playing with my dolls was here. Until, it abruptly ended. I lost our first child at 4 weeks. I was utterly and completely devastated. Tim was upset, but didn’t display the emotions I did, and he didn’t know how to help me with my grief. We were married and somehow, by the grace of God, we got pregnant with our sweet Loralei right away. She rocked my world. Completely. She was the greatest thing I had ever experienced. God had entrusted her to me. About 9 months later, we were pregnant with Cash, something that was a positive for us, we wanted our children close together. Our parents were thrilled to be grandparents, all 6 of them.
Chris- my step dad, hereafter referred to as dad, was the one who surprised me the most. He was so good with children, I had watched him love and “adopt” children with my mom for years. He just wore such pride on his face when he held her the first time, and I had to look away to avoid openly crying. Throughout the trying times he had never uttered one foul, or unloving word to me, while my mom and I would battle round and round, he would just sit quietly by, and he just loved me. I think he always knew I would come back, but my mom who had never experienced that kind of anger, and disobedience in me, didn’t know what to do. She went through a spell during the time of chaos and he called to talk to me, and all he asked was that I would call my mom. “Just call her Melissa, she needs you right now. Do this for me, please; I need her and she isn’t the same right now.” It’s all I needed. I called and we talked and things slowly began to improve. By the time Cash was born we had begun to heal. I didn’t know how little time I would have left to spend with him.
We lost him July 21, 2008. I never got to tell him how much I loved him. He helped me be the woman that I am. He filled me with confidence in who I am. He taught me to be more than I was. He loved me, unconditionally, in a conditional world. He didn’t let me go, even when I let him go.
This Sunday during our Easter service our Pastor shared a little about Heaven, and showed a clip from the story; experience, Heaven is for Real. During this specific clip the mother of young Colton shared his experience meeting his sister, a child she had miscarried, and it caused emotions, I thought I had quelled long ago to rise up. He went on to share about how conducting my dads funeral was the most difficult thing he had done as a pastor, because he didn’t have an answer to the reason why for us. I think of him everyday, I think of my little girl often. The Lord calmed me long ago with a dream of her. How beautiful she was, so like Loralei but she had dark brown curls like her dad. She was gorgeous and in my dream she was running into the arms of Jesus. I love knowing she is waiting to meet her mama right there with Jesus. I love that my dad is sitting on a bench waiting to see us again. To hold his grandchildren, my mom and my brother and I. I love that he has been there pushing her on a heavenly swing or flying around, or sitting at the feet of Jesus, or doing whatever else he can do in heaven. I have such comfort knowing that all I didn’t say on Earth to my dad, isn’t even going to matter in the realm of heaven.
I love that Jesus who loves me infinitely more than my dad ever could is in heaven right now… waitin’ on a woman.