Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Just Be His Daugther

In February I took care of my Dad for 5 nights and four days as he was preparing to take his final breath on earth. 

Despite the atypical relationship we had, it was an honor to care for him. His unresponsiveness did not deter me from having coffee with him, talking his ear off, or reading him the Bible.  

I have witnessed the transition from life to death before. It is complex, exhausting, and brings with it a dichotomy of feelings. 

The last 12 hours were the absolute hardest. I will spare you the details.

In those hours, I began to get angry. I started questioning G-d. 

I could not understand the purpose. I struggled to see G-d in the midst of that night.

While this side of heaven I may not grasp the purpose of those hours for my Dad, but I was given some clarity on the purpose for me. There were 4 words that I needed to hear. 

Having friends on the other side of the world has benefits. One of those friends reminded me that my night was his day if I needed to talk. 

In those last hours I needed to talk. 

My friend shared with me that when his father was sick, he was told that his job was to be his father's son. He gave me the same advice his Rabbi gave him, just be his daughter. 

In that moment those words helped me shift from being less caregiver to being more daughter. I was able to quit worrying so much about my Dad's vital signs or lack thereof and just wait. 

There were many other words shared between us that helped me get through that dark night, however, the bigger impact of those four little words, just be his daughter, came a few months later.

In April while walking with a friend, I realized that those four words may have been meant for that earthly moment, but G-d was using those words now to tell me to just be His daughter. 

Throughout March and April my brother and I read Not Forsaken by Louie Giglio. A book that I had started in 2019 but never finished. A book all about G-d being our Father. 

Being His daughter means I have His spiritual DNA. As Louie Giglio puts it, "This spiritual DNA brings new dimensions of structure for your character, for your coping mechanisms, for your patterned responses, new building blocks for your very soul."

Without those last 12 hours, I may not have heard the words, just be his daughter.

Those released me to be my biological Dad's daughter in his final hours on earth. 

They have grown and deepened the love and appreciation I have for the Dad that raised me. 

They have allowed me to operate less from my natural DNA and more from my spiritual DNA. 

I know life is hard. I know many of us wake up with heavy hearts. 

We don't have to live from that heavy place.

Just Be His Daughter. 


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

New Year, New Word. Better Late Than Never.

My list of one word for the year ideas has sat in the notes section of my phone mostly untouched since the middle of January. I was late picking my word last year and now even later this year. I have not had confirmation for any of the words. In the past the Lord has confirmed the word loud and clear. The thought of not picking one has crossed my mind numerous times. After all, it is almost the end of February. 

However, while the Lord is not being loud and clear confirming a word, He is being quietly persistent that I am to pick a word for 2021.  

I have learned over the last 7 years that picking a word gives me an anchor. Jesus is my permanent anchor, but these yearly words have proven to be temporary anchors that assist in minimizing my drift from the permanent One and things that matter to me.

Currently, my heart, soul, and mind feel tossed by the waves. I know I can't escape the winds and currents of this life that cause the tide to swell around me, so having an anchor gives me some stability and helps my heart, soul, and mind feel less tossed. 

My goals matter. What I want to accomplish matters. Growth and change matter. My mental, physical, and spiritual health matter. Having a word anchors me in how I want to do the things that matter. It helps me focus when the things that matter are hard and the circumstances of life threaten to pull me under. It keeps me from drowning, even if I feel like I am. It keeps me from being lost, even if I can't quite find my way. It gives me breath, even if I feel like I can’t breathe.  

2021 has already given me plenty of waves. I not only didn’t have my temporary anchor in word form, but I have questioned where the permanent One has been. I know that the permanent One, Jesus, does not move. It is me. I drift. I try to control. I hold onto things I need to let go of and miss things I need to grasp. I look to false anchors to get me by. 

In the last few years I have dealt with and continue to deal with various personal things. I have faced things that I should have faced sooner. Recently, I experienced a loss that I will have to process and grieve in the months to come.

Several times over the last year it has been suggested to me that I let things go. Even in the midst of experiencing the loss I heard similar words. I have been experiencing physiological, emotional, mental, and spiritual symptoms of the stress, circumstances, and emotions I have not been letting go of.

So, in 2021, I aim to look not only to my permanent anchor, Jesus, but also to the anchor of my one word.

Release.

I need to release things that I can't control. 
I have to release stress that I tend to internalize and carry physically.
I need to release the words that are inside my heart and soul waiting to be written. 
I need to release emotions and feelings. 
I need to release my hold on things, so I can hold better things. 
I need to release stress by working out. 
I need to release anxiety by doing activities that fill my cup, my heart, and my soul. 
I need to release the breaths I have been holding. 
I need to release lies I have grabbed onto and grasp the truth.
I need to release my will for His will. 

As was suggested to me, I need to let things go. This list is just a handful of things I need to let go of and release. I don't go into a year with a word that I don't need to work on. It is a word that grows me and challenges me each year and makes me better for having spent the year with it.

Honestly, this might be my hardest one word yet. 

But, I am ready to release.