There are two sides to every story. The significance of this saying is growing deeper for me. This past weekend I’d planned to visit my dad. He’d been in hospice care the last couple of months and his health continued to decline.
I thought of having more conversations with him about his love of family, sweets, and anything that had him at the center of the story. But last Friday, my dad died. Our last visit a few weeks ago was our last visit. Although his love for his family was strong, his body grew weaker with time.
It was hard to see my first hero’s strength diminish. Each time I saw my dad I sought to find a sense of closure. I didn’t know which visit with him would be my last. The only thing I dislike more than sad endings are open-ended ones. Thankfully, our time together is cemented by the memories we’ve shared and a faith that grips us both.
Now instead of tracking my dad’s health, I’m on the other side of the story – where my grief journey begins. I need more of God’s strength as I struggle with my loss. I need more of His comfort in the midst of my pain.
The loss of other loved ones prepared me for this familiar sting. But each loss leaves its own imprint upon my heart. Each one carries the prospect of finding a new normal, while cherishing the memory of what the old normal looked like.
Whenever a page in my life turns, I may not like it but I still have to live it. As I live this next chapter I’m focusing on the hope I have in Christ. Moments will come when the tears of missing my dad may blur my focus. But the lively hope Christ gives does not require me to deny my feelings. It is a hope that assures me of who He is regardless of what I feel.
As I sort through my grief, life feels lop-sided. I know God is bigger than my sorrow but there is a process as I experience Him absorbing my pain. As I release my pain to Him, the lop-sided effect will subside and the testimony of the Comforter will emerge.
I know the other side of the story is brighter. In this case, it’s not just brighter for me, it’s also brighter for my dad. There is shining potential as my siblings and our families live out our dad’s godly legacy. But the brightness my dad is experiencing is a brilliance beyond what we know. Because of His faith in Christ, my dad is in the eternal Presence of God.
If you’re waiting for a page in your life to turn, here’s some good news: your story may feel a bit lop-sided, but God’s grace and truth is the equalizer. He is behind the scenes, in the midst of the battle, and on top of the situation. There is another side of the story and it is more glorious than we can imagine. As we hold onto faith in Christ, it is the sure way to experience hope in the heart and joy to the soul.
“Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.” – Psalm 145:7 NLT