I walked by the cake sitting on the table. The writing on the cake caught my attention. Homecoming -46th Anniversary.
Forty six years. Had it really been that long? How time flies.
The cake was for a homecoming dinner at the church that my dad started forty-six years ago ( I was only eight years old then). My family was planning on attending the service the next day.
I was not prepared for this day. You see, for the first time in forty-six years, my dad was not there.
As soon has I set down in the pew, I knew it wasn’t going to be good. Tears started running down my face. I could see and feel my dad all over that place. I wanted to get up and leave. I didn’t know where all this was coming from.
I started thinking back over the years. How many people had come and gone through this church? How many people had already gone home to be with the Lord?
I saw my dad sitting on the front pew, lifting his hand to praise his Lord and Savior. He was standing at the piano singing “Farther along we will understand why”. Standing behind the pulpit with his bible in his hand proclaiming the good news to his congregation. This was really hard. Memories of my dad were everywhere.
When we went to the fellowship hall for lunch I thought it would be better. Wrong!! All of the memories of my dad from the previous year at homecoming came flooding back. Last year he was in a wheelchair. His last time attending church.
Today just looking at coffee and banana pudding brought tears. Coffee was one of his favorite things Banana pudding was one of favorite desserts.
Later, has we were driving home, I was talking to my husband about how emotional this day had been. I have had such a peace about my dad going home to be with the Lord. I go to my moms two and three times a week. And have not been this consumed with the memories of my dad as I was today.
But the more I have thought about it, the more it makes sense. This church was my dad. He loved this church and the Lord more than anything.
One Wednesday, when he was sick I went to visit him and we were talking about different things in his life. He shared with me that after he came to know the Lord, he asked the Lord to allow Him to do two things. One thing was he wanted was to be a truck driver. The other thing he wanted was to preach God’s word. God allowed him to do both.
My dad is an example of a life that was changed by God.
He was born in 1929. He was reborn in 1959. When he gave his life to Christ.
Before he gave his life to Christ, he drank a lot and ran around all of the time. A man who never spent much time with his wife and six kids. My mother tells the story that her family begged her to leave him. That he would never amount to anything.
But God had a different plan. God got a hold of his heart and changed his life forever. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if my dad had continued on the other path.
People who knew my dad before he gave his life to the Lord, will tell you, that God truly changed him. God did what no one else could do.
I share this story about my dad today to encourage anyone who may read this post. No matter where you are, or what you are dealing with, God is bigger than your struggle. He is bigger than you addiction. He is a God of miracles. He can change your life and your path.
God is patiently waiting and longing for you to turn to Him. He will meet you where you are.
At the end of this post I am sharing one of my dad’s favorite songs. Many days when my dad was so sick he didn’t know his family members. I would set beside his bed and I would ask him who was his best friend that would never leave him. He would whisper “Jesus”. It always gave me great comfort to know that when he didn’t know who his family was, he knew that Jesus was with him. Just a reminder that—- He will never leave us nor forsake us. No matter what is going on in our lives. WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS!!!!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”