When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43: 2
For two years now I have been walking with loss. The death of my Father has left a deep void in my heart which continues to be difficult to fill. Two years ago today, I arrived at my childhood home in Panama to find it empty. The house that had been a permanent source of comfort to me stood eerily quiet…desolate, rather. The ever presence of my Father was irreversibly gone.
As I stood at the doorway, I sensed my years in that house vanish…it is hard to explain what I felt. It was as if life as I had known it up until that day had ended. Nothing would be the same again.
The walls that had received me since my first days on this earth and had kept me safe, known my hurts, heard my secrets, witness my joy, were now cold reminders of the finite state of this life.
I remember walking by my parents’ bedroom that day…all of my life, every time I walked by that door I had turned my head to peek inside and find comfort in seeing my Mom in her rocking chair praying or my Dad taking a nap, stretched out on his bed, the same bed they got when they married a lifetime away…it was different this time…it was painful…there wasn’t anyone there…the rocking chair was still and the bed spread sat neatly straight.
I walked carrying my loss throughout the house that once was filled with love and life. I dragged my feet to a dark bedroom and I slept as if to pretend it was all a dream.
But it is not a dream. It is reality, the new reality of my life. The old has passed away. The new is coming.
I surrender my loss to His Hands…the only hands that can mend the broken heart.
Though darkness is thick and terrifying, My Lord turns my darkness into light (Psalm 18: 28) for He is the Light!
For now I have tears of mourning, but one day, they will dissipate and usher in the complete joy of the promise fulfilled…
“ ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21: 4
It is hard to lose your earthly Father. Regardless of the type of relationship or lack of thereof that one may have had with him…knowing he is gone from the land of the living makes our hearts tremble. The gift is that Our Heavenly Father is here to stay. No matter what or where, in the depth of our loneliness, agony, despair, fear, pain…through the valley of the shadow of death…through the dessert…through the storm…through our loss…He walks with us and brings us to the other side, unharmed…
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. Psalm 46: 1-2