Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Don't worry...

Yesterday my dad left the hospital after his second blood transfusion in a couple weeks, transitioned from the care of his oncologist and went home where he and my Mom with be connecting him with hospice care.

As I look at that sentence I am flooded with emotion and wonder if there really is anything more to say.

A couple of days ago I awoke with this question.
Do I really believe in eternal life?
I eventually answered yes. In part because of the example of unwavering faith which my parents have modeled for me, for a lifetime.

I am a fixer by nature. This is so beyond my ability to fix. My head is spinning with uncertainty and decisions which may neither be right or wrong. Do I leave my life here, to go be there. When? Does my Mom need me more now or later? What does my Dad need most from me now? Can I be any good to anyone here? Why do we move away from family? If dying is so natural, why does it feel so unnatural?

I can't stand the thought of him in pain. I am comforted by the idea of him home in the arms of a loving Father. How do people do this without faith?

Throughout Dad's discovery and treatment of his cancer, which spans nearly 10 very good years he has repeatedly shared this verse, this way to live, with me...
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. - Philippians 4:6
This morning I am clinging to this passage expanded and in the message translation.
Philippians 4-5Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
6-7Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
8-9Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Fill your mind and meditate on... the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise and not to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me... this is some of what I've learned from my Father.


Melinda said...

This is a good record of the meandering thoughts and vistas you are journeying through. Poignant. Honest.
Hugs to you!

Stephanie said...

Praying for you, friend. I can't imagine how hard this must be. Know that you are loved!


Anonymous said...


I lost my dad to the big c 9 years ago and it still sucks. It's not fair, it's a ripoff & there are a lot of whys. Phil 4:6 is a great verse to stick with. Your right, how can you go do this without faith?

Call him. Speak to him and listen to him.

I know he's proud of you because of unwavering faith your parents modeled for you and he knows that you are doing the same for your children.

M Hall

Kristin said...

Janet, I would say since you just spent some time down there with your folks, I'd wait until later. I know the tendency is to rush down there now, but my guess is your mom will need you more after the fact...when everyone else has gone about their business.

I'm sorry that you're having to go through this pain, and there really aren't any words that can make it ok. Know though that your friends and family are praying for you, and because of your shared faith, you will see him again :-)

Anonymous said...

i love you and am praying for you.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Janet -
I heard through the grapevine that your Dad's liver was not functioning well, and that Don Charles had canceled his trip to Montana. On Wednesday, Dale was pouring the foundation for his new house and the whole family was together, so we though it would be a good time to go sing to your dad. He sat in his chair and smiled the whole time. The birds on the porch were singing, just like they have as long as I have known your parents.
Your dad was the one who encouraged me to play the piano in church when we were in high school. He played the introductions, because I was nervous, and we had an understanding that we would always change keys if there were 5 flats - I still don't like 5 flats :-)
As you know, when I married Paul, your dad became "Uncle Jay". He has always had a sweet spirit and a smile on his face. I've always appreciated his faithful service to the Lord in playing the organ.
You may find it quaint "that people around here still wear plaid shirts and pay for their groceries with checks" (although not really that many), but I guess they are just like your dad: always consistent, dedicated, unpretentious, and happy to just be with you. By the way, I went and bought Isaac and Luke a plaid shirt - just because of what they represent - they think they are great :-)
Please let me know if there is anything we can do to help with your dad's service - anything!
I imagine I'll see you soon -

Anonymous said...

j-girl, death is not natural. i don't think it was ever intended for us. it is horrible to watch, horrible to suffer, a horrible separation, an awful result of our sin. we don't have to somehow "make peace" with it, or resign ourselves to "its just a part of life..." its an enemy---our final enemy, says God. but because of our faith in Jesus we can look death right in the face and say, "you can't keep me. you can't keep my dad." when your moments come be courageous, sing for him, remind him, pray with him, talk to him even if you think he can't hear you, walk him out like he walked you in, knowing its not over. death just isn't powerful enough.... dan