One year ago today, my father in law passed away. He had been sick, so we knew it was possible that we would lose him. However, we also thought he was getting better. His tests and his spirits seemed to be getting better, and he seemed to be gaining strength back. There was always the hope that God would heal him while he was still on this earth.
I remember the week leading up to his passing. He went in for a routine visit. He was unable to receive the treatment he needed because he wasn’t healthy enough. He was admitted to the hospital and never left. He went in on Tuesday. Thursday night, my sister in law bought a last-minute ticket from Alaska to come see him. That’s when I knew it was bad. I didn’t want to admit it. He got increasingly worse, and passed away Sunday morning.
The kids and I went over to our friends’ house so I didnt have to be home that Saturday while Tony and the family were at the hospital. It gave us the distraction that we needed just to be around other people. I talked to my kids individually about what was happening with pappap. These conversations were hard. I had never had to have these kind of talks before, let alone with my kids. I didn’t know what to say. The next morning, I got the news that he had passed. I cried for probably ten minutes, then told the kids. I struggled with how to tell them. I remember not even getting any words out when my daughter said “He’s gone, isn’t he?”. I just nodded. All I knew to do was scoop them up, hold my kids, and just cry with them. I had no idea what to say. I had no idea how to deal with it. I wanted to be strong, but I wanted to show my kids it was ok to grieve.
There were definitely times during that week when I felt like God wasn’t listening, that He had ignored our prayers for healing. The song by David Crowder Band “All I can say” really explains how I felt during this time.
“Oh didn’t You hear me cryin? And oh, didn’t You hear me call Your name?Wasn’t it You I gave my heart to? I wish You’d remember where You sat it down”. I had moments when I wondered if God had just dropped my heart. I felt at times like God had forgotten about us.
I may never know why God chose not to heal him on this earth. I may never truly “get over” his passing. But, looking back, I realize that God was holding me while I was holding my kids. God gave me the physical presence of close, dear friends to help take my mind off the situation and provide me with companionship. God held me and helped me through, moment by moment. He gave me exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. I didn’t even know what to ask for, but He gave it to me because He knew what I needed.
A year later, God is still reminding me how He holds me, sends people into my life just when I need them, and gives me what I need, even if I don’t ask for it. Just like we want our children to trust us to meet their physical needs and keep them safe, even though they don’t ask for it, God does the same thing. He gives us what we need when we need it. Even when we don’t ask, or even know what we need.