Storms of emotional pain

Last week I went to a funeral. Now mind you, I’ve been to quite a few funerals in the past 15ish years, but this one was different. This was the funeral of the patriarch of a large family, many of them family friends since my youth.

I believe this was the most emotionally painful funeral I’ve ever attended. That’s not because I was extremely close to him personally, though I have good memories of him, but rather because of what his family members, my childhood friends shared, talk of what a wonderful father and grandfather he was.

His second son, who is an amazing speaker, had us laughing and crying. But somewhere in the middle of his talk an awful pain began to stab me deep in the heart, realizing all the wonderful things I missed because my father was not like that.

I can honestly say that I’m not jealous of our friends for the relationship they had with their father. I am very happy for them all. It just pains me greatly that my father chose the road of the “flesh”, as Scripture calls it. In other words, instead of relying on God and building a spiritual family like our friend did, my father relied on himself, on his own limited strength and understanding.  His lack of seeking God caused numerous problems. He built things and was proud of his work, but he didn’t seek to learn how to build his family up. He had his good points, but we will never be able to have a funeral for him like our friends did for their father. For our mother, yes. She is a saint. But not for my father.

Driving back from the cemetery, I got behind a Chevy and noticed that part of it’s emblem, a cross of sorts, was tarnished. The part that was still a shiny gold color reminded me of the profile of a horse. This may seem a little random, but it got me thinking that

God is able to bring something beautiful out of the deep, dark, painful places of our lives.

He is able to bring life from the painful deaths of our dreams.

He is able to bring hope beyond the hopelessness.

The fact that my dad did not walk in God’s perfect plan for him made it difficult for me to recognize God as my Father, because I didn’t have the experience of a godly father.

But over time, I found in God all the good things that had been lacking in my life.

I found in God the PERFECT Father!

God is for me everything I need Him to be and more!

And He wants to be that for any of you reading this who maybe had a less-than stellar father or a father who was absent for whatever reason.

As the day of the funeral drew to a close, I felt like I had been through quite a storm. My heart was still in pain,

but I knew then, and I know now, that I have the Heavenly Father with me at every moment, He Who gives me rest through the night and bright hope for tomorrow!

What do you think?

Can any of you relate to any of this? Please let me know in the comments.

How can we learn from this to be a parent that pleases God?

How can we learn from the mistakes of others?

Is it a good idea to just wing it as a parent when we had less-than-stellar role models?

What things can we do to learn to be good role models for our children and grandchildren?

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25 thoughts on “Storms of emotional pain

  1. Relate? Oh yes. My father was an atheist and angry with God, if that makes any sense. How I wanted my father’s approval. It’s taken me years to understand that the only approval I need is God’s. I didn’t have a spiritual model in my mother either, and I’ve pitied myself plenty about all of this. In my better moments, I wing it with God, pray for the Spirit’s guidance, and model the love of Jesus however I can for my grown children and granddaughter.

    Thank you for your post. Suffering grows us if we let it into our hearts.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m sorry that you had to experience these difficulties. But you’re right, suffering does grow us if we let it. And I wonder if we would have sought and found the approval that God had/has for us if we had gotten all the approval we needed from our earthly fathers.
      I can’t even imagine what it must have been like not having a spiritual model in either parent. Praise God that He brought you through the difficulties to the other side and is with you still to guide you with your family now!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry for the loss of such a dear friend and father-figure, Ruth. Also for the pain you endured because of your earthly father. Thank you for sharing the hope-filled reflections God comforted you with. Yes, “God is able to bring something beautiful out of the deep, dark, painful places of our lives.” Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We do the best we can with God’s help. It is not always easy to parent if we didn’t have stellar role models, but we do have his Word which shows us the character traits we need to have. We must let love guide us at all times and we will not fail!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, we do, Valerie! And you’re right that it’s not easy. Even with reading the Bible every day from the time I was 13, I didn’t always get it. I learn best from pictures, as you may have figured by the types of things I post. Pictures help me learn and also help me remember. But there are a lot of pictures in the Bible, in parables and other passages. God knew that many of us would need that; praise God for how He reveals Himself to us in a way that we can understand!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. I can relate to your feelings because my father was mostly absent from my life for almost twenty years. He missed his grandchildren growing up and having great-grandchildren. But he knew what he had missed and was very sorrowful on his death bed. Relationships are important to maintain, even if you have disagreements. God is Hope, Love and Forgiveness!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Vicklea! Yes, it is sad when so many good things are missed by both sides in a broken relationship. I’m glad for you and your family that your dad was able to express his sorrow and bring some healing and closure before he passed. Time will tell how things will play out with my dad before he passes. I forgive him, but that doesn’t take away the pain and the process of working through it. The best thing that has come from all this, though, is that God has shown Himself to be the perfect Dad that no earthly father could ever be.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I can easily get lost Ruth in what I want for my life which is not always in the best interest of my family, but I must seek God first in everything. I have to listen to His gentle reminders when my priorities get out of whack. This painful testimony from you reminds me of that more than ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Brittany, we all can, and we must actively keep on seeking to put God first. Praise God for His gentle reminders! And good job listening to Him! I’m glad this testimony spoke to you. I woke up this morning wondering if I had shared too much.

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