Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)
TITLE: Weeping May Endure for the Night
By Wendy Ragan
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"Why Lord? Why do you want my Dad? He's the only solid one we can look to. My sons need him…..Your sons. This can't be Your perfect will!!"
I ached from the depths of my being. Nothing seemed real. A few months ago I was planning activities for the boys and looking forward to spring. Now spring was here and though I had never dreamed of having another child, especially at 38; the wee life of our fifth child fluttered within me and I was faced with the reality that the wretched cancer that had returned to my Dad may take him this time.
I wanted to do something. I wanted to pray better, work harder …or scream louder. I wanted to make a difference.
I walked to the window where the sunlight found its way into my darkness. I could see the boys playing. Their world seemed unaltered. They still were laughing and the wonder of life still danced about them.
"Who will teach them to fish, Lord? Who!?... Who will joke with them? Who take them for trail walks Lord. PLEASE Lord!!! Don't take him."
Suddenly in the quiet came a reply. "Daughter…I have to take your father home …but I'm going to give you the daughter you had prayed for."
I fell to my knees and wept tears that tore at my soul. This can't be.
Weeks passed and the doctors said they could do nothing. Many precious friends stormed heavens gates with prayer for my Dad. He was so easy to love, so gentle, caring and full of humor and now so tormented with pain. Yet his condition worsened.
The words I thought I'd heard from the Lord haunted me. I still could not make sense of God wanting to take my dad. Yet the strange event unfolded and I was forced to play a part in it …big and pregnant
The family from out of town was called to try and come as soon as possible. And the nurses made a special effort to keep Dad comfortable. In a quiet moment I sat beside him alone not knowing what he was aware of anymore. I held his hand in mine and thought of all the times he had taken mine in his. He always had away of making everything alright just by his quiet presence and a touch of his hand. The little life inside of me not knowing his wonderful Papa was an unbelievable thought. I whispered that I loved him and that I would miss him more than he would ever know. I bent to kiss him and squeezed his hand like he had squeezed mine so many times and walked out of his room.
Early the next morning, a perfect, fragrant April morning my precious Dad went to be with his first love, his Lord and Savior, Jesus.
The months that followed were like a dream. Nothing seemed real. We had been so sure we weren't having any more children that we had gotten rid of all the baby stuff and now I had to gather it again. Life was just weird. And all the while I was rearranging our home to make room for another child, a wave of reality would wash over me and I would remember that my dad was gone.
Fall was warm and I was huge. I could stop traffic while I walking down the street I was so big. Everyone would agree it was time for my baby to be born. I had hoped it would be born in September near my dad's birthday, but God had other plans.
Midnight a few days into October I woke up shaking. My husband pulled himself from his sleep and we fled into the night. My body so tense I couldn't make out any definite contractions.
Once in the maternity ward the nurses began checking to see what stage I was in delivery. Then a nurse looked at me with a smile and said "its time ... you can push.
My husband held my hand and within minutes our baby was born. Exhausted I lay still with my eyes closed. Then the room filled with words I had never heard before…" It's a girl". In awe I couldn't speak …the daughter He'd promised was here. Joy had come in the morning!
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