A Gift from God- John 3:16 I Love You The Most

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Hello Friends & Family,

It has been awhile since I made a blog post either from myself or from Lifesong for Orphans.  My dad became ill back in November 2014.  He passed away at the end of March 2015.  It has been a rough road since he passed.  I really have not fully or adequately grieved for many different reasons. I went back to work within a week of his passing and with family, activities and work taking time to let go and grieve has been difficult.  My mom has been lost without my dad and I have tried to comfort her as best I can in the midst of this family trauma.  They had been married 45 years on February 7th of this year which was also his 81st birthday.

This post is dedicated to my sweet papa daddy, Kenneth Solomon Williamson.  My dad was a brilliant man with an exceptionally high IQ. However, it was his love for family, his sense of humor and his beautiful smile and smiling eyes that I remember fondly.  He loved Alabama Football, a good meal with great fellowship and he loved family. 

My dad was my hero as a child. My dad was a gift from God.   He was always there for me  throughout my life in the good times and bad.  He was at every important event and activity I participated in throughout my life.  During the difficult times as a child and adult he was always willing to encourage and support me and would give me his intake and wisdom and guidance along the way.  Simply, he was a treasure.  He and my mom worked to give me a childhood full of happy, loving memories.   I was an only child and our family of three was blessed to have one another.   I cherish the memories we shared together as a close knit family because I know many who are not so fortunate.

Things I learned from my dad:

  • My dad’s inborn desire to win was instilled in me from the earliest of age.  He would take me to Alabama football games throughout my childhood and in our family there is only one University in the state of Alabama and that is the Tide.  Yeah Alabama. Roll Tide!!  Probably one of the first questions he probably asked Jesus when he got to heaven was how the Tide was going to do this year.
  • My dad had a sense of humor as well.   My  first Easter Egg hunt that I remember we had at our home. I was probably about four or five years old.  My mom invited school and neighborhood friends and family. The day before my dad took me outside for a trial run. He hid the eggs and then took me around and showed me where they all were. Then he had me race to get all of them so that I would be ready for the egg hunt the next day. We had a great turn out the next day. We all lined up and I was in front at the back door ready to go with my friends. The eggs were hid and they said ready set go and I was off in front of all the kids. I literally got every egg in our yard before any of the others kids could get their bearings to look. My dad was a proud papa, my mom and the other mothers well lets just say they were horrified!!!    So long story short, they re-hid the eggs and I was not allowed to hunt the eggs that time. I cried and really did not understand but looking back it was the right thing to do.  I get a great laugh when I look back at this family moment in time. My dad had a great sense of humor and to be able to laugh at things like this is better than the alternative.
  • As stated earlier, my dad believed in trial runs and practicing hard for things such as  dance, karate, math, etc. This taught me discipline and I often became better at whatever I was practicing with this type of regimen.
  • My dad believed in not giving up and persisting through difficult circumstances. I went through a time period during my middle school years where kids were bully’s and were so mean to me. I wanted to give up, I wanted to go to a different school and start over. My dad would not allow it. He did not want me to give up, but to work through it because it built strength and character. Though it was difficult and there have been challenges, it was good for me to stay and work through it.
  • Lastly, my dad believed in fellowshipping with family and friends. He believed in getting along with one another, forgiving quickly and working through problems. My dad and his mother had a rift over religion. As a result, I did not go to church until  my middle school years when I went through an extremely difficult time with my peers at school. My dad and grandmother did not reconcile until six months before she passed. He regretted not going to her and working through their issues. He regretted not being the peacemaker. Life is too short to let things fester between family and friends. Whenever my mother and I would have a disagreement where we did not want to speak to one another, my dad would come to me to be the peacemaker. He would tell of his regret with his own mother and petition me gently, calmly and lovingly to go to her to make amends whether I felt she was right or wrong in the matter.
  • The last words my dad said to me were “I Love You The Most!” This was our favorite saying created by him to me and passed down to my family.  But they were not just words they were action in the way he loved me throughout my life.  This is how I want to love my husband, my children, our parents and our family and friends. 

 

I reflected back on these life lessons I learned from my brilliant, loving dad.  I truly cherish the time I got to spend with him.  In his latter days on this earth, my dad had stroke induced dementia.  Some days were good and some days were not.  He fought us about being able to drive and felt he was fine and should be able to drive.  For his protection and the protection of others, we felt he did not need to drive.  This upset my dad and he was angry with my mom and me many of his last days. As a result, I was not able to enjoy my time with him always in his twilight years.

There have been times throughout his life we doubted his salvation.  In my dad’s later years because of the dementia he began to dwell on the negative experiences throughout his lifetime from his childhood, his college years, working years, etc.  This was not my dad because I remember that in his younger years he would look for the good in people and had a positive approach to life, people ,and family. In his latter days, he had an unforgiving spirit and fear of death.  He really was in denial that he was ever going to die. I worried that God would not be able to work through these issues of life for him because of his dementia and his inability to reason anymore. And, Praise be to the Lord above, He is capable of anything and everything we could ever hope or imagine!   God can work through any illness to bring about healing, redemption and salvation.  When people have an illness like cancer or dementia he can use this to humble people in such a way the defenses of arrogance, bitterness and an unforgiving heart can be mended and healed and made whole.  Perhaps because maybe they become more like the child of faith during the time of illness whereby Jesus can finally get through to the heart of issues and simply let them know how much he loves them.

Jesus works behinds the scenes:

For many years, I prayed for God to work on my dad’s heart.  I did not come to a realization of the all the pain my dad had incurred throughout his life until he had dementia because he simply did not discuss those things.  So I prayed that God would heal his heart, that he would be able to forgive those who had hurt him, that he would not fear death but embrace the opportunity to live eternally with our Lord and Savior.   I prayed with a friend very specifically that God would minister to him and show forth his loving kindness to him.  We prayed that when he closed his eyes he would see Jesus and when he opened his eyes he would see Jesus.  Amazingly, my prayers were answered and confirmed down to the detail.  I don’t know why I was amazed; he had answered my prayers for a Godly husband, for children, jobs and a host of other things.  This has been a prayer I had been petitioning God for my whole Christian life. At times my mother and I were quite weary because we did not know if God was working behind the scenes. But he does work behind the scenes, he does hear our prayers, he cares deeply for the lost and he wants them to come to him more than anyone. He loves his children.  Never doubt that!

The answer to prayer

My dad had broken his back and had a large kidney stone surgically removed all in the same week-end the week-end after Thanksgiving.  He had returned home just before Christmas.  In early January he was crying at midnight in the living room.  My mom woke up and heard him and went in the living room to find out why he was crying.  He said when he closed his eyes he saw John 3:16 and when he opened his eyes he saw John 3:16 on the wall, on the T.V. on his plate, and on the clock. He recited John 3:16— something he had never done my whole life and I am 44 years old. He said he had forgotten the love Jesus had for him and he loved him too.  When he had a 5.4 stroke inside his brain a few months later, many would have died instantly from it but he didn’t.  He hung on and held off Jesus from taking him that night because my mother wasn’t ready.  He looked up to the corner of the room and moved his arm up and down asking them to hold off because she wasn’t yet ready.  After he died, God gave me a vision of my dad in Heaven in a beautiful field next to a beautiful tall oak tree.  He was young, tall and thin again. I received three confirmations of his salvation.  Sweet relief came for me and it was hard for me to be sorrowful when inside I rejoiced that he was saved and with Jesus and that I would see him again one day. Never forget that God fights for our loved ones; he does everything he can for them to come to him.  He works behind the scenes.  He hears our prayers for the lost because he loves them most of all and desires for them to be his.  This is what the Potter’s Plan is all about.

                        Verse of the day to pray: John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  NIV

Dedicated to my sweet dad who is in Heaven:

Kenneth Solomon Williamson 2/7/1934- 3/29/2015

Don’t give up on your lost loved ones, pray diligently for them and know God is working on them to come to him.  He loves them more than we do, after all He died for them so that they would come to know him and our Father in Heaven and be with them forever one day.

Favorite Photos from my dad’s life.

ChristmasatAuntJanies

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  Wedding Pic baby me

Daddyandme

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 proudpapadaddy2proudgrands1ourfamily1

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MOMandDadbestpicdadandgranddadstreetphotoGrandparentsandyoungdaddy

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dadsbabyphotograndmaireneandbabydad

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