I am my Father’s daughter

Over the course of the past two and half weeks, a few truths have come to my aid. I feel compelled to share them – because I and others cannot navigate grief alone. And if I do not share what is stuck on my heart, I feel as if I might be trapped within sorrow forever.

While my father did die, he is not dead.
Deluding yourself into believing there is no death cannot be healthy. That was my initial reaction to hearing of my father’s passing. I was thinking of him as simply experiencing a new awakening into eternity. While this is true, I was using this idea to ignore his death altogether. Out of love, Jesus died a terrible death for all of us, including my father. That is the pinnacle of Christian faith, which cannot be ignored. While my dad’s soul never died, his body did. And in order to move on through the stages of grief, I must accept that.
I did not lose a father. Others did not lose a brother, twin, uncle, or friend.
I did not lose a father for three reasons. 1) Jeffery Len Bowers is, not was, my dad. Just because his spirit does not exist here does not mean he loses his role in my life. In fact, he is more real and more infinite than anyone on earth, including me. I am still his daughter, why shouldn’t he still be my father? 2) I have always had an infallible father in God. Where my biological dad falls short, God becomes stronger in my life. Now that I can’t physically be with my dad, I must rely on God’s strength that much more. 3) I did not lose a father because he is not lost. Jesus found him years ago and took him home weeks ago. I know exactly where he is. He is ALL but lost.
I grieve because I do not know eternity.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” I know without a shadow of a doubt that my dad was saved through Christ, so why should I mourn his entrance into heaven? I started thinking about this yesterday and remembered this verse just as I was writing the bolded heading for this section. I mourn my father because I cannot comprehend that he is not gone. In my current state, I cannot fathom that he is alive and living more freely than ever before. He received a new body and became eternal like his soul. Instead of praying for general comfort or general peace, I want to pray specifically to understand eternity. Now I’m reminded of 1 Corinthians 13:12 – “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me completely.” With this knowledge, death takes on a completely new role. Yes, I am sad to be separated from him for a time. But my joy for him eradicates that sorrow down into the depths where, with God’s grace, it cannot reach me any longer.

Love Is

Today, people have this massively, incredibly warped idea of love. Young girls, women and men alike constantly search for that one person who will eradicate all the bad, spoiled experiences they’ve had and show them what true love feels like. For goodness’ sake look at all the movies out today. Listen to the radio. Open a book. You are, without a doubt, going to find someone blindly grasping at these feeble illustrations of love. Now…. Ask yourself. What is the problem? The root of the problem?

It lies in that this kind of love cannot be found within another person. It cannot be found by dating, meditating, eat/pray/loving, or whichever method. It’s found in God. Simple as that.

I could end this post here. Not another word needs to be spoken or typed on the subject. But most people aren’t satisfied with just “God” as the answer. They leave the worship service, the church camp and a few days later feel exactly as they did before. So I won’t end there. Go beyond just realizing God is the answer. Look at the pedestals in your life. Who are you raising to a position above where they are meant to be? As tough as it is, you have to cut those ropes and let the idols fall. If you want to experience LOVE as it IS meant to be experienced, you have to emotionally, mentally, spiritually, maybe even physically take down those distractions.

Replacing those things with God can be the hardest part. But by grace, we don’t have to do it perfectly. We don’t even have to be consistent. Baby steps. Even for a SPLIT second if you idolize God for who He is, without anything in the way (career-wise, boyfriend-wise, husband-wise, family-wise, children-wise, pick a noun and stick it in there) you will feel an outpouring of something so indescribable no language has words to describe it. The fact is, what you’re feeling is supernatural. This love is not a noun, it’s not a state of being, it’s not anything like that. It IS. That’s it. We exist in a realm of time so for us, it is and it was and it always will be. But God is the great I am. God is Love. Love is. Remember that cute comic in the newspaper? “Love is…” Each week was a one-act illustration of what love was to the author. But when you realize you have your main priority right, by the grace of God, we realize love needs no embellishment. IT JUST IS.

If you’re like me. John 3:16 wasn’t necessarily the jaw-dropping verse most people made it out to be. It was stale after the countless sermons and lessons taught on it. It lost its fire for me. Just that verse everyone quotes for the yearbook because they know they should. But recently, I’ve begun to see it in a newfound light. Instead of diving deep into the diction and syntax and etc., just take it for face value. “For God so loved,” focus on THAT if nothing else. Remove the grammatical tense that makes sense within our realm of time. God is beyond that. “For God so loves,” is continual. It’s neverending. It’s eternal – just like the life you gain from Jesus’ death. From his love and death on the cross which was painful beyond measure we find that the love between us and God can be painless and free. It IS painless and free. No law, doctrine, circumstance, person, country, can separate you from that love. An entirely different story is when we elevate someone else in our life to this perfect love. We get let down because we expect these people to love us as God does. But they can’t. No one can, not even you no matter how hard you try. I won’t diverge there. That kind of misguided heartbreak deserves its own 1000 words. Just be aware that you’re keeping God where he belongs. And I mean that in your own life. Cause God is where he belongs regardless of your decisions. But he WANTS you to choose Him. Trust me.

I don’t know how to explain it any better than that. I’m not the best writer or communicator. More gets lost in translation from my brain to my mouth than what actually comes out right. I don’t use commas in the right places and overuse in other places. I switch tenses and have a few misplaced prepositional phrases. But I can’t sit by a moment longer and watch people mope about cause they can’t find the right person. Of course you cant! Stop looking for that person. What you are craving is all-consuming love. Love that cannot be gleaned from your romantic relationships, sexual relationships, children, work, etc. When you stop trying to replace God, whether you’re doing it on purpose or not, you will find exactly what you need.

Now, if you’re not a Christian or didn’t grow up with God. I’ll admit this probably isn’t the best. But I’m writing from my own experiences, hoping to reach someone. Because I know, someone needs to read this. And the same circumstances that led me to write this, will lead them to read this. Whether it be one person or many.