Tuesday, March 4, 1980. The day after my dad died. I woke up. It hit me. My dad is dead. I felt so empty there was a heavy weight to the feeling.
Today is Good Friday. The day Jesus gave his all for me so that I could have abundant life here and with him. For some reason, I always think of the disciples on the day after the crucifixion. I can feel the weight of their emptiness. There is nothing quite like losing The most important person in your life. The loss leaves a gigantic empty hole in your heart.
But with The death of Jesus, we know the tables are turned. Sunday is coming. The tomb is empty! Christ is risen!
And because Christ is risen, my hope is when I get to heaven I will discover that my dad’s grave has been empty all these years also!
It is finished!
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NIV)
It’s Friday. I have a four day weekend. The weather is perfect. A cold front came through last night bringing cool temperatures and cool breezes. I’m thinking about heading out into the wilderness for a little car camping and a little hiking. Sounds perfect right?
But, I am not defined by these things. Not by my family. Or my job. Or my pursuit of the great outdoors. I am defined by the love of God in Christ Jesus my Lord and Savior.
The question I ask myself nearly every day is, am I allowing the Michelle Who is defined by God’s love to be the Michelle The world sees?
On this date 37 years ago, he laid on that operating table, chest closed, waiting to wake up. He didn’t wake up. His life over. His purpose fulfilled. He was my dad.
It’s an honor to remember him each year on this date, to remember his purpose. He was a Young man. He was a father. He was a hard worker. He was a provider. He was even a pioneer. Because he was brave enough to offer his heart to his surgeon to practice bypass surgery. Because of him, and others like him, people today have successful heart surgeries. Even now, 37 years later, his purpose ripples on.
I didn’t know him for very long. 16 years. He was a good dad. Always encouraging me to pursue life by his example. And through his illness, I discovered my life’s work, My purpose. I am a nurse as a direct result of my dad’s illness. How amazing is that?