Wednesday, January 23, 2013

When I Finally Make It Home

The grief experts say I get a solid four years to recover from the suicide of a loved one, if I don't get stuck someplace in the grief process. I'm at three years and counting. I don't really know if I got stuck somewhere or not because grief is messy and indefinable.

What I do know is that a song came on Pandora this morning that made me stop folding laundry, tuck in my chin, put elbows on knees and hands on forehead, and just breathe. Again. For the billionth time since Dad died.

It begins:

I'm gonna wrap my arms around my daddy's neck
And tell him that I've missed him
And tell him all about the [woman] I became
And hope that it pleased him
There's so much I want to say
There's so much I want you to know
When I finally make it home

The second verse says:

Then I'll gaze upon the throne of the King
Frozen in my steps
And all the questions that I swore I would ask
Words just won't come yet
So amazed at what I've seen
So much more than this old mind can hold
When I finally make it home

And the sweetest sound these ears have yet to hear
The voices of the angels
When I finally make it home

I remember, about three or four months or so after Dad died, telling a friend that I didn't want to turn 34 because it took me farther away from when he was alive. She knew about waiting to see someone again because her brother is currently a prisoner of war. She said, "Don't look at it that way. Look at each day as one day closer to the day you'll see him again."

When I finally make it home.

This afternoon, I chatted with Jeana online, and we got around to discussing our weaknesses... the ones we know about and the ones we have yet to discover. I said, "That's one of the things I love about God. He doesn't force us to view the whole of our depravity in one sitting. We would die."

I meant it in an Isaiah kind of way. Woe is me, for I am undone. But instead, my mind flashed immediately to Daddy, sitting in his truck, having just escaped the conflict he was having with me, staring out at the snowy hillside, viewing the whole of his depravity. And then writing my mom the note. And then dying. I wondered if God had really given him a glimpse of the whole of his depravity... if that was part of what God allowed that day... if Dad seeing his own depravity made him die.

And then Jeana said, "But He died instead."

Yes. Truth.

Glimpses of our depravity are never meant to cause us to spiral downward. They are always meant to propel us upward. Toward Christ. Toward redemption. Toward grace. Toward forgiveness. Toward freedom. Toward righteousness. Toward home.

I love the way MercyMe coupled seeing Daddy again with seeing Abba for the first time. And the way my friend coupled aging with getting closer to Dad, not farther away from him. And the way God used Jeana to remind me that because Jesus died for my dad, he did not have to die for himself. That Jesus' death covered Dad's suicide. That Dad is now hearing the voices of the angels.

That because Jesus also died for me, I am sure that I will see my daddy again and wrap my arms around his neck and tell him that I've missed him.

When I finally make it home.

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf." ~Hebrews 6:19-20a