Author: Guest Writer
Category: Fatherless Grief: Memorials and Remembrance
Remembrance Days are actually biblical. We see in Scripture encouragement to stop and remember. The Remembrance Day is the date a precious one departs from this world leaving life to never be the same again. For many, no matter how hard you try, you will remember on the anniversary of your loved one’s death. May you also take time to remember the faithfulness of God during your time of suffering.
Today’s article introduces a new section to the blog team, the voice of the fatherless. We pulled out an old article of remembrance because we felt it was worth remembering. Kayla Apon Whittinghill shares lessons from her pain:
Approaching May 17th each year feels a little bit like walking out of the mall after shopping only to find that it is absolutely pouring outside. You have no umbrella – your only choice is to dash to your car and embrace the inevitable drenching of you and all your belongings. You are safe once you get to your car, but the process is always a little messy.
This day feels the same to me – there’s no way to avoid the tears, the remembering, and the revisiting of scars that many times go unnoticed. It’s not fun. I will get wet, but on the other side, usually the morning of May 18th, I feel cleansed and at peace after tasting of His faithfulness once again.
12 years without my daddy.
Has it really been that long? In some ways, it feels just like yesterday that mom came downstairs and told us through tears that we had a new daddy. On that day we joined the privileged group of people that are particularly protected and cared for by God – “A Father of the Fatherless and defender of the widow is God in His holy dwelling.”
“Do not move the ancient boundary or go into the fields of the fatherless. For their Redeemer is strong; He will plead their case against you.” (Proverbs 23:10-11.)
I never would have chosen to make the trade between a natural daddy and having God only as my Father – but I’m so thankful that God decided for me.
Every year the loss is felt in a new way. Last year, it was the pain of not having him here to know my husband; this year it hurts that he isn’t here to rejoice in this pregnancy, and I know next year I will long for him to be able to know and love my son.
The thing that hurts the most is that he chose to leave. He took his own life – no one but the enemy influenced his death. He didn’t have to do it. Yes, even in this, my soul is at rest because of what I know of my God:
- He is sovereign. Nothing can happen to me outside of His consent and all-wise plan.
- He can do me no wrong. Only because of the cross am I experiencing such grace in this life. Even the most severe trial is a taste of mercy because the pain doesn’t even begin to compete with the wrath I deserve but will not experience because Jesus drank it all for me.
- Knowing Jesus better because of this is totally worth it. If this is the way God has chosen to introduce me more deeply to Christ, if this is His preferred method of making me more like Him, and if there are lessons and treasures that can be gleaned from this trial that can be obtained in no easier way…then I am grateful. So. Very. Grateful.
- Knowing Jesus even just a little bit better is infinitely worth any amount of pain I must experience in the process. He is just so good.
I will definitely cry a lot on May 17th…I always do. But even in the pain, I know that I do not grieve like someone who has no hope. I will see my daddy again. My pain can only go so far – and no farther, because Jesus is coming back and I will see my Savior’s face, He will wipe the tears from my eyes, and then I will always be with the Lord.
“Bless our God, O peoples, and sound His praise abroad, who keeps us in life and does not allow our feet to slip. For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You laid an oppressive burden upon our loins. You made men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water, Yet you brought us out into a place of abundance. Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul.” Psalm 66:8-12, 16