“From life’s first cry to final breath. Jesus commands my destiny.” – Natalie Grant
This momma misses her dad.
And then – there were a number of numb years, where I made poorer and poorer choices. I had little regard for my health and well being as I felt used up, washed out, worthless. I began lying, stealing, smoking and drinking. You name it , been there, done that. I had a lot of friends, some real true friends that I cherish to this day. Yet, the majority of the crowds I spent my time with were not the kind you brought home to meet your family. A few found themselves in jail, others addicted to drugs and I at the young age of 17, pregnant.
I confided in a few of my very dear friends and my older sister. Devastated and scared, I wrote my parents a letter. You see way back then, the same as today, I found it easier to ‘speak’ by pen and paper. When I woke the next morning, my mom and dad were waiting for me in the living room. My heart was in my throat, I began to sweat and could not look them in the eye. My mom began to cry, I set about to sobbing. An uncontrollable, want to puke right here right now kind of sob. My dad, my rock, took me in his arms and said, “Everything happens for a reason Erica. We are in this together”, and that was that. I went back to sleep and he went to work. My mom, well I could hear her crying on and off all day, and who could blame her?
∞ Thank you to my entire immediate and extended family for the love and support you gave to me and my unborn babe. Thank you to my church family and my school community for caring and providing for our needs. ∞
Mid-May of ’97, as I waddled down my highschool hallways and into my classes, it became evident I would need to start preparing for the birth of my first born. I stopped going to school, finished up the assignments I could, and rested at home with my mom by my side. My newborn son was born healthy on May 27th 1997 weighing in at 8lbs. 4oz. Maybe not crazy big for the average woman but freaking huge for my little body! He immediately filled my heart with such joy, immense love and a healing hope I could never have imagined possible. For the day my son was born, starting his life here on this side of paradise, I too started my new life – apart from my past. God is good!
My dad, my comfort, held my son and cried, “You are the reason, my grandson”.
From that day forward, many ‘reasons’ have become evident for the past choices I made and situations I found myself in. This ‘new life’ I was gifted with lead to the one of the most profound turn of events – G and I started dating! My husband and I grew up together, starting Kinder in 1984 and graduating high school in 1997. G and I had a bizarre love/hate relationship for many of our pre-teen and teenage years. It was not until my son (who is not biologically G’s son-just incase there was a little confusion around that) turned one, did I realize I have been in love with G for a very long time. Here was a nineteen year old young man, interested in coming to my sons birthday, risking awkward conversation, dealing with difficult introduction. All along, this man of mine had never given up on me. God had a plan for us all along. Our journey together has never been perfect but it has always been beautiful.
My dad, my mentor was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and declined very quickly. That’s not to say he didn’t suffer for years prior. Despite enduring spine surgery, then battling Guillain-Barré syndrome and then struggling to regain his speech and mobility after a stroke he still continued to find moments to instill in us the will of God in our lives. Dads faith was unshakable.
My son and my dad had 14 years to nurture immense love and respect for eachother. They were inseparable. On one of the final days dad spent here on earth, they spent a few minutes in a conversation that will forever remind me of God’s constant presence.
“Grandpa, please don’t go. I need you. I can’t do this without you.”
“I have to go, I’m going home. You will be ok bud. Everything happens for a reason. God has big plans for you my grandson.”
As they held each other and cried I could not help but lift praise to my Almighty Father for blessing me with three of the most amazing and loving men – my dad, my husband and my son.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal happiness at your right hand. – Psalm 16:11
My friends, may you feel God’s presence today and always. In all circumstances and in all trials, lean on His word – dive into the Bible – find comfort in his promises. You are where God wants you to be at this very moment. Every experience is part of His divine plan.