I am one of those people to whom dates have significance. Even in my subconscious mind I recognize upcoming momentous days and without intention begin to feel the weight or excitement of those days in advance.
This morning I am sitting in my room missing my dad. I need his wisdom, I need his encouragement, and I need his strength, but he is gone, and we are left here to miss him.
I remember so vividly the days leading up to his death and the days following. There was a snowstorm coming and my fiancé and I were planning to recreate our first meeting, and had made reservations in WV. On my way out of town I stopped to visit with dad, and in that moment, everything began to change. The exciting weekend we had planned to celebrate our anniversary came to a crashing halt as we suddenly had to face the reality that dad was not going back to his house in Lancaster, but that he was going home to be with the Lord and my mom.
I think it was a little over a year later when the reality of dad’s death brought my world crashing down. I avoided thinking about it and realizing the reality of his loss for a very long time. It’s not that I was in denial, but I was angry and I have discovered that there is something within me that makes me feel like anger is somehow wrong. That feeling the depth of hurt that crosses into anger is in some way less Christian.
Now two years later I find myself in a place of loss and hurt once again and once again I am trying to ‘take the high road’ in my own thoughts and feelings and I have found that I am not acknowledging my own hurt and my own anger. Monday marks the two year anniversary of my dad’s passing and Tuesday marks what should be my third anniversary with a man to whom I had made, what I saw as, a lifelong commitment. The anniversary of my dad’s death will never change, the days leading up to the moment I lost the most important man in my life will always impact me. Maybe not so intensely with each passing year, but they will always bring with them a sadness. The anniversary that should be happening with the second most important man in my life will not be celebrated. Thirty six days ago he and I spent an incredibly love filled day together, throughout the day he tearfully expressed how he wished things could be different, but followed with an unwillingness to stick together and do the work in order to make them so. I was wronged, I did nothing to deserve this severing, neither one of us did anything, he made a choice on his own, without guidance and decided to sever what was shaping up to be an incredible life together. Today I find that I am finally beginning to come to a place where I am acknowledging my anger and that is okay, as long as I take the depth of that anger to the Lord and nowhere else.
I want what is best for him, and I pray for him daily, but God gave me emotions too, and I have to remember that He does not expect me to suppress those emotions and not talk to Him about them.
Be angry and yet do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger. Ephesians 4:6
Being angry is part of being human, it is our actions that determine if we are sinning in our anger or if we are feeling an emotion that God has placed within us with the intent of working toward healing.
But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged. 2 Timothy 2:23-24