November 14, 2009, is the day my life changed forever. It started out like any other day where I had to get ready for my shift at work, but something felt different. I could not put my finger on it, but my spirit could sense there was a disturbance happening in the atmosphere. As I neared the last couple of hours before heading home, I received a strange phone call from my husband letting me know my mother had called him and that I needed to leave work immediately. Quickly, my heart sank because I felt the seriousness in his voice and wondered if it had something to do with my father even though my husband did not mention him over the phone. So I quietly pulled my manager aside and said, "I need to leave right now because something is wrong with my father." As I got into the car, I quickly found the drive home to be challenging as my mind began to race with all kinds of thoughts.
As soon as I arrived home, my husband came to the car and told me that he would drive me to my parent's house. I can remember my nerves were so bad that I just knew I needed to get from behind the wheel. As we took the 30 min drive down the highway, an overwhelming sense of peace started to wash over me. It was as if God spoke to me the words in John 14:27 KJV which says "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Just as my thoughts began to quiet themselves, I noticed something in the sky I had never seen before. It looked like an orange colored stairway was descending from the clouds towards where we were heading. The closer and closer we got to our destination, it seemed to get clearer and did not appear to be moving even though we were. So I asked my husband if he saw it too just to make sure I was not delusional due to all the emotions I was experiencing. Upon receiving his confirmation, I took it as a sign that God was in the midst of whatever was waiting for me when we arrived.
The moment the car finally stopped, I ran toward the door and my mother, who opened it, told me the news that I had hoped not to hear. She said, "Your father passed away." I quickly hugged her as the floodgates of tears, I was trying to hold back, fell from my eyes. My sister approached us, and we all embraced each other for a minute as if letting go meant facing the reality we were not yet ready to endure. As I mustered up the courage to look upon my father's face one last time, I saw he was no longer suffering or in pain. See, my dad had lived with cancer for eight years. At the time when the doctor discovered it, he gave my father six months to a year to live, but God saw otherwise! I am so grateful for each moment God allowed my family and me to share with my father before his passing.
So this story is for all those who have ever had their lives interrupted by the loss of a loved one. I know that it is tough at times to not dwell on the sadness, even as the years pass by, that death can leave but know that there is hope. This promise can be found in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 KJV which says, "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." I pray you find comfort in these words and may your spirit be filled with a "peace that passes all understanding." (Philippians 4:7 KJV)