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Love Like Jesus

September 08, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

So it had been nearly 3 weeks since dad has went to the hospital. He was transported via helicopter to the hospital because of heart failure due to too many drugs, basically an overdose. While admitted he was intubated because he couldn't breathe on his own and while there, had two heart attacks, went into cardiac arrest (was dead for 8 min) and a stroke! I have been up there everyday... And everything between us had been great; he only made me cry once! He was also very confused too so it wasn't intentional. Our relationship is not a strong one, he typically said very hurtful things while under the influence, but this time he had changed. Or so I thought. 

The Dr came in one day and told me very seriously to remove every bit of alcohol from his home including mouthwash and cough syrup. In front of my father. Up to that point I had not known that dad was admitted to the hospital with a high blood alcohol level on top of the copious amounts of drugs in his system. I was so very hurt... And angry... A very unpleasant, deep down gut wrenching feeling. Much to my dismay while calling my side kick and my support, my sister, Shannon to inform her of his drinking habits she already knew and she informed me that just the previous night he said if we go out to Juicy Tails that he would be having a few beers... WHAT?! You have got to be kidding me!! When dad came back from therapy I was so upset I didn't even know what to say to him. Knowing I was upset, he brought it up... Claiming he didn't know he wasn't suppose drinking and I quickly called his dishonesty because I was there 6 years ago with the dr telling him he couldn't or he would die. Then he claimed they changed their mind. I expressed how upset I was that he had been lying and was refusing to get rid of the alcohol in the house. After he attempted to switch the attention to me and argue, I left. In. Tears. Uncontrollable. Sobbing. 

As I was driving home my eyes flowing with hurt from my heart, I wasn't even angry at this point just pure hurt, I was questioning myself "why is this bothering me so much? Why can't I stop this pain? I have never felt this way before." You see I had came to a place with my father that I was numb in a sense. I didn't want to allow him and his words to hurt me anymore.
I was so upset that I had just restored my relationship with my father for it to be torn apart again by the very thing that kept us apart in the first place. The difference is it hurt soooooooooo incredibly bad this time. I kept searching for what I could do to change this... How I could MAKE him stop. It's going to kill him. He doesn't care. He's hurting more than himself. His grandchildren. His children. Me. Suddenly in the midst of the chaos of my emotions the Spirit of God reminded me of this:

Because of sin we had a broken relationship with our Heavenly Father, because of Jesus Christ who came and died for us as the ultimate sacrifice that relationship was restored (my dad and my relationship restored) and still those who need restoration choose not to come to Jesus because of the sin in their life. Like my dad he was enslaved by the darkness in his life. I believe that God was showing me something about His love. 

BAM!! It hit me. Spirit checked and reminded...For months prior I had been praying and asking God to give me His love... A love like I have never had before, a love I could never possess on my own, a love only He could give me. I wanted to love like Jesus. However, I missed the fine print where it said love wasn't always bubbly and feeling good with smiles and tears of joy and laughter. Love also hurts. Really. Bad. Unbearable. Gods love for us wasn't the love that I was expecting. Gods love was deeper than a superficial feeling of happiness and wholeness. It is a sacrificial love. A love that genuinely bears the burdens of others. Not always pleasant. Just as Jesus took our place on the cross and died for us because of His love. Real. Genuine. Sacrificial. Undeniable. Pure. Love. That still continues today, everyday because of those who won't accept it or turns away from it. Think about how Jesus feels when He stands with tears in His eyes and says "I love you this much" with his arms open wide, nailed to the cross, wounded, pained; and people deny Him, His love, His sacrifice and turn their face. His love for us is something I don't fully understand and never will this side of heaven. However, In this moment in my life I was given a pinheads glimpse of His love. His hurt. His heart. Now when I pray to love like Jesus I remember, His love is deep, it is pure, it is joyful, it's an amazing grace, it is divine and oh so pleasurable but it does in fact hurt deeper than anything I've ever felt. If we all aspired to loved like Jesus, how different would our lives be? Our world?

Now, I am able to share this, without the fear of embarrassing my father, I believe he has made things right with Jesus and is with Him today in paradise. I am no different than my dad. I have sins I too am enslaved by that I just can't seem to give wholly to God. I am a work in progress. As is many of you, but, good news... God has promised to continue the good work in us until it is finally finished.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. - Philippians 1:6

This image was not of my fathers service but a dear friend of mine who just recently lost her father. I had the honor and privilege of documenting this for them. I believe that God orchestrated this, He spoke to me that day through his children. I will never forget this. This day, we celebrated God completing the good work in a man set apart. His legacy will continue on for many, many years.  God Bless this family as they start this journey. Please pray for them.


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