I've thought a lot about heaven since Dad took up residence there. My view of life and death and heaven and Jesus didn't change when Dad died, but it intensified to a new perspective. One where Dad became a focal point.
For the longest time, every time I had a random thought it would occur to me that Dad knew what I was thinking. So every time I had an unkind thought I would stop and be mortified that I could in any way be a disappointment to Dad. That he could hear my thought and disapprove in some way. If I had any thoughts or feelings, I wanted them to be ones he would be proud of.
And then I thought, "Why wasn't I monitoring my thoughts before… when it was God instead of Dad knowing every whim of my mind?"
Dad being there brought this whole new perspective on my relationship with God. It made God even more personal to me. Suddenly it was the image of Dad and Jesus standing side by side that brought a humanness to the God made Man.
God the Father became more real as I envisioned my father with Him, as I have trusted them both with my life. And I trust letting other people go now, too. I trust that my Grandpa is safe in the arms of my dad and the Father. When my friend's father-in-law, Pat, passed away last week, she told him to look for my dad when he got there because he was a good man and would show Pat the ropes. It feels less like losing and more like passing them along to the man I know will take care of them.
It's how I felt about Jesus when Dad went there himself. That there was a good Man who would take care of him and show him the ropes. Just a heavenly perspective intensified. Made more personal. It doesn't make that deep ache for him any less, but I don't worry about him at all as he spends eternity in heaven. And that's a gift for those of us left behind.
One thing that was a huge gift to me in that time after Dad died was reading the notes and comments from all of you. When my (in)courage sisters got together and made it possible for you all to send me real, hold-in-my-hands cards in a beautiful card basket, it felt like a lifeline at my fingertips. I've kept them and cherished them, and now we have the opportunity to give that lifeline to someone else.
You may remember a few months ago when I made some canvases to sell at my friend Heather's etsy shop in order to raise money for her little girl, Emma, who was born with medical issues and had begun having seizures that impaired her communication. On Good Friday, Emma passed away at the age of nine. She was a beautiful little girl who was loved beyond measure, and we want to help in some small way by letting her family know how much they are thought of and loved.
So the amazing people at DaySpring have offered to sponsor a card basket for Heather and her family. We'd love it if you'd participate. You don't have to know Heather. You don't have to follow her blog, or mine, or anyone's. You just have to want to help...to reach out to a mother who has lost a child.
Because DaySpring is sponsoring the card basket, you can send a card to Heather at absolutely no cost to you. DaySpring will gather up all of the cards created for Heather, package them beautifully in a basket and deliver the card basket to Heather's home.
To create a card for Heather's family, click here, or use the link at the end of this post. When you checkout, use HEATHER as your coupon code, and DaySpring will pick up the tab. We'll accept cards until midnight on Saturday, and I'm sure Heather would appreciate your prayers.
Thank you so much for helping us love on one of our (in)courage sisters like you all loved on me.
Link to Heather's DaySpring card basket: http://bit.ly/gxC0U3