Monday, June 20, 2011

Reasons to Celebrate

For the first time in three years, I made it to church on Father's Day!  Two years ago, my counsellor's advice was to be gentle with myself in my time of grief, so I participated in the worship online and when the message started, found something else to do.  Last year I tried to stick my head in the sand by going to the  Airshow with one of my sons.  Wouldn't you know it, EVERY pilot dedicated his flight to his dad!  Nevertheless, it was a great day of diversion.  But I was missing the community and worshipping online is nothing like being present when God's Spirit moves, so I was determined to attend this year's service, even though I knew it would be all about dads. 

I woke up angry and struggling, crying out to God for some means of escape from the onslaught of temptation to look back and be bitter.  As I was brushing my teeth, an invitation entered my muddled mind:  "Put off and Put on"  Put off anger, malice, bitterness, rage.  Put on forgiveness and love.  Immediately I knew which kind of choice I have been learning to make and my struggle lost its steam. 

I won't lie by saying that the Sunday service was a breeze.  It wasn't, but I'm still really glad I went.  The worship reminded me that God is a perfect Heavenly Father!  I cried through Lead Me  and heard Jesus affirm that this desire is good and right, and He wanted it too.   I realized that it was okay to learn how to be a godly dad, since that's a gap that I need to fill at this time.  Finally, I could see a bit of a smirk on God's face as Pastor Dave ended with a challenge,
 Forget the former things;
   do not dwell on the past.
 See, I am doing a new thing!
   Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? 
 He and I both know that next to forgiving, this is my chief assignment for now.  So, along with gratitude for a never-changing, never-failing Heavenly Father, I'm thankful for my dad who continues to be my greatest champion.  And, I'm anticipating more reasons to celebrate as I look up, look ahead and embrace His best for me.