Recently, I saw a movie where a father lost his daughter in a car crash. It was tough watching this man agonize over the death of his daughter. Especially since I've recently had a daughter of my own. The father of this little girl reached a breaking point and needed the counseling of his pastor. The father asked his pastor how he could get past all of the hurt and anger over losing his only 9-year-old daughter. The pastor said, "Well, you have a choice. You can either be grateful for the time you had with your daughter. Or you can be angry about the time you don't." That statement, I'm sure, is quite easier to say than do. But there is so much truth in it. It was just a handful of years ago that I lost my own father. He didn't die. But he chose to walk away from our family. He and my mother divorced after 33 years of marriage and since then, he's had next to nothing to do with me, my husband or my children - his very own grandchildren. Although he hasn't died, in a lot of ways, it has felt like a death. Having him in our lives one minute only for him to be gone forever in the next. I've spent a lot of time during these past few years being quite angry over time lost. It's been very sad for me to realize all of those dreams I had of my dad being around during holidays and family birthdays...the dreams I had as a little girl of my children crawling all over his lap the way I did in my own grandfather's lap...may never come to be true. It's easy to be selfish and to wallow around in the anger that comes from not having things go the way I planned them. But today I choose to be thankful. Today, I choose to praise God for all of the wonderful memories I have of my father. He was a good dad to me when he was around, and I sure miss him.
Thank you, Father, for giving me all of those years as a daddy's girl. And although I've always been Your little girl, too, I couldn't be more grateful, Jesus, that today I can sit in Your lap and experience a love I never knew until recently from my Heavenly Daddy.
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. AND BE THANKFUL." -Colossians 3:15 (NIV)