Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 30, 2018

When Goodbyes Birth Joy

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” I Thessalonians 4:13 (ESV)

My dad would have been 90 years old last week and even though he’s been living with Jesus for over ten years, I still remember his smiling face. Despite hardship and challenges, my dad never let anything or anyone rain on his parade. His cup was always full. His step was light and laughter was dad’s pill for the day. He was the optimal optimist never allowing himself to give up.

Church was the highlight of my dad’s week. He rarely missed a service, and he loved working in the first graders Sunday School class. Faithfully serving – same class – year after year. Illness finally forced dad to slow down with a sidekick of oxygen strapped to his body in his late seventies.

Goodbyes are never easy….releasing even harder when death steals those we love away. Life has evolved, moved on and one is missing; yet we are fully aware of where they are. We fight back drenching tears. We hold back sweet laughter. We walk through each day as the moments tick by unassure of which emotion will slay us next. And right in the midst of sorrow and grief, a beautiful joy emerges. A hope known deep in our hearts that this is not the end.

Heaven is the highlight of my dad’s every week. He is fully present, aware and enjoying life with Jesus. Hardship and challenges are gone. Health has been fully restored. His cup is overflowing and he’s dancing on streets of gold. My sweet optimist dad is finally home.

So here on this temporary place we call earth, I am reminded of dad’s gracious spirit. When I face challenges, I realize it’s not the end of my world but steps of faith. When my cup is empty, I treasure dad’s perspective and exchange worry for confidence in One who holds my future. When I’m tempted to skip church, my soul is drawn to his favorite place. And if the enemy ever attempts to drown out the joy of serving, I cling to God’s promises and dad’s faithfulness to anchor my soul.

A reluctant goodbye birthing deeper joy – who would have ever imagined!

“Sweet Jesus praising You for our eternal home, our living hope that fills earthly empty with the promise of life overflowing in Your presence forevermore.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

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