My cousin said some powerful words to me that I can’t explain how humbled I was by them. I had been thinking about writing this post since I wrote about my dad but other things kept popping in my head. I wanted to try to make sure I came up with the right words so I went for a nature run on a bike trail I had not ran in a few years to clear my head. As usual in these times I felt God telling me what to say, I just have to remember them, so I hope this comes out okay.
I had regrets when my dad died. That I didn’t visit him enough. That I didn’t this or didn’t that. That I would never see him again. My mom told me over the last few months before he died he was seeing a pastor and had given his life to God. That brought me a lot of comfort because I know I will see him again.
The first thing that came to mind is not everyone grieves the same. Everyone remembers their loved ones differently. The flood of memories that came back to me as I stepped on this trail were awesome. I remembered the first time I ran it and wondering what I got myself into. There are two six mile bike trails and this one is said to be the easier for bike riding so I chose it. It sucked. I tripped on roots three times and fell and got skinned up. By the way, the second trail is easier to run. I remembered when I brought Kim out here and how she hated it. She is a road runner, not a trail runner. I remembered running these trails when I was recovering from injury, because trails are softer than roads. I remembered when I fell one time and my key fell out of my hand and was lost forever. I looked for it for over an hour going back and forth over a 100 yard area and nothing. I had to walk to the nearest store and call Kim to come pick me up. All these things I remembered four years after I had ran this trail.
That brings me to memories of loved ones. How things come out of nowhere and hit you hard. I can hear my dad playing drums each time I hear Kylie playing his drums. When I want to feel him, sometimes I go play them. Not even 1% as well but I play. When I do everything I can to see Kylie play sports I remember the times dad couldn’t make our events because he was on the road. A song comes on that I haven’t heard in thirty years and I can remember asking my dad to play it on his drums. I remember him when I do the same stupid things to my kids that he did to me growing up. Things I said I would never do or say.
I feel his presence just like I feel God’s. Sometimes it’s just in a butterfly that floats by out of nowhere. Sometimes it’s in gentle breeze on a breezeless day. Sometimes it’s when I mow the grass and I remember how he taught me to mow. Sometimes it’s when I go out to get the paper and I remember the times he drove me around on my paper route in the dead of winter so I wouldn’t be in the cold for an hour.
What did God teach me on the trail today? He taught me that there is a time for everything. A time to run and a time to walk. A time when the lush green of summer turns into the abundance of color in fall. He taught me for every time I went up that there would be an easier time just on the other side. He taught me that when I am lost and in the middle of nowhere He will build a bridge to help me cross.
He taught me that sometimes old paths are made new for new memories. This picture is of a bridge that didn’t use to be there. It crosses a creek that I would have to run through to get to the other side. Now I can keep dry.
He taught me that even on a long bridge when I feel safe and secure that sometimes rocks will come up and I will have to navigate over. He taught me that He is there to help me and when I overcome this set back that He will guide me back to where I am safe and secure.
He taught me that if I trust in Him that He will carry me through these rough times. If He doesn’t carry me, He will take the obstacle out of the way for me.
He taught me even out in the forest all by myself that He will send a reminder to me. How amazing that a butterfly flew in front of me and landed right beside me.
He taught me that as I look back on the path behind me that there is still a path in front of me. That when I forget, which I often do, that He was there then, building bridges for me to cross, that He is here now and that He will be there on the path ahead. I must pick up my feet and continue forward.
He taught me that, just like Jesus, my dad is here. He is in everything I do. He is at every sporting event. He is inside of me. He helped make me who I am today and I know he would want me to continue on. He is watching from the best seat in the house. That makes me want to be a better person.
I pray that you bring comfort to those that are grieving. I pray that you will send them a reminder that their loved ones are watching over them. A gentle breeze on a breezeless day. A butterfly out of nowhere. A rain cloud on a sunny day or a rainbow on a rainy day. Have a song come on that lets them remember. Most of all God, I pray that you help them take the next step forward. That you remind them that they will see their loved ones again. In your name, amen.
Best Seat In The House by the LoCash Cowboys-
Healing by Blessid Union of Souls –
About You by Soulidium-
Together Again by Janet Jackson –
Where I Belong by Building 429 –
A Father’s Love (Only Way He Knows How) by Bucky Covington –
He Weeps by Fireflight –
I Will Remember You by Sarah McLachlan –
Holes In The Floor Of Heaven by Steve Wariner –
Old King James by Scotty McCreery –
See You In A Little While by Steven Curtis Chapman –
There Will Be A Day by Jeremy Camp –
I’ll See You Again by Westlife –
Heart Headed Home by Scott Parker –
Wings Of A Butterfly by Jimmy Scott –
Before the Morning by Josh Wilson –
Trust by Matt Hammitt –