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The Other Side of The Story

Posted in Encouragement, and Faith

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.

My Dad and MeI 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 brighterIn 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

15 Comments

  1. Gail Burke
    Gail Burke

    Thank you, Joy, for sharing such hope as I process my own bereavement. Adorable picture of you and Dad.

    May 26, 2015
    • Pam Smith
      Pam Smith

      What a beautiful and poignant story about the love you have for your father. My father passed away last September. I miss him so much, but like you mentioned, I know that he too is in the Presence of God! As a daddy’s girl, I always tried to show him how much I loved him by being the best, loving daughter that I could be. When he passed away suddenly, God gave me so much peace and comfort in my grief. Although I am still grieving, what joy fills my soul when I reflect upon the precious memories of our times together!

      May 26, 2015
  2. Eternally beautiful picture and article! I’m so glad that I had the privilege to have met your dad and to see what a wonderful man and father that he was. May the God of all comfort, comfort you and your family during this time!

    May 26, 2015
  3. Linda
    Linda

    Know that you are not alone, and my prayers continue to be with you and your family.

    May 27, 2015
  4. Well written. Our prayers are with you all.

    May 27, 2015
  5. Raynette
    Raynette

    Beautiful post. My prayers are with you.

    May 27, 2015
  6. Joy
    Joy

    Thanks everyone for your kind comments and prayers. I appreciate the encouragement and I feel the love.

    May 27, 2015
  7. Barbara
    Barbara

    Joy I am sorry to hear of your father passing away. I am glad that I got to meet him when he came to visit. You and your family will definitely be in my prayers. B

    May 27, 2015
    • Joy
      Joy

      Thanks Barbara.

      May 28, 2015
  8. Felicia Bryant-Sosa
    Felicia Bryant-Sosa

    A&P Grocery Store, Fireman/Paramedic, First Baptist Church, these are only a few memories that come to mind when I remember your dad. Driving down Monroe Lane, takes me down “Memory Lane,” reminding me of how God Blessed me with such wonderful neighbors and friends who have touched my life in a special way…..the other side of the story.

    May 28, 2015
    • Joy
      Joy

      Nice memories…thanks Felicia!

      May 28, 2015
  9. Kim English
    Kim English

    Thank you for sharing….the other side of the story Sis. Joy! Most people usually have some kind of memories of their dad! The blessing is there are fond memories of your dad to marinate on for years to come! That’s a blessing alone! It was indeed an honor to have met him last year. May his example of fatherhood in your life…..give you strength and peace at this time of transition.

    May 30, 2015
    • Joy
      Joy

      Thanks for your encouragement and kind words Kim.

      June 4, 2015
  10. Joy, you are in our prayers. May God strengthen you and your family and lighten the pain of grief.

    June 2, 2015
    • Joy
      Joy

      Thanks Darlene. I appreciate your prayers.

      June 4, 2015

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