Tag Archives: love

Words of Jesus – Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4 NKJV).

Wow. Jesus cares about our pain. Oh I know many people think it’s just a cliche to hear someone say, “Jesus loves you.” But He does. He really does, and our pain is His pain. Imagine that. When I am at the end of my rope, when the pain is so bad that I can’t even breathe, when the lump in my throat has reached epic proportions, and it takes every ounce of my strength just to hold myself together, He is here with me, comforting me.

Throw all your anxieties upon Him, because He cares about you (1 Peter 5:7 CJB). Isn’t it wonderful to know that the King of glory, our Creator cares for us. In the midst of my weakness and pain, He cares.

Psalm 56:6 tells He keeps track of our sorrows and collects our tears. You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. I say this often, but it’s good and it’s true, and it bears repeating… I can’t even remember every tear I’ve cried, or every sorrow that I’ve borne on my shoulders, but He does! He has recorded every single tear, every single hurt that I have suffered, and He even saved each one of my tears in a bottle, because He cares just that much. I wonder how big my bottle is? I wonder how big your bottle is?

Are you in pain right now? Have you cried out to the only God, the living God, who longs to comfort you? Or have you chosen to deal with it on your own, the best way you know how? The problem is that when we try to work our way through our pain without Him, we often end up hurting ourselves and others more than we or they were already hurting. It’s not that we mean to do this. It’s just a fact that hurting people hurt people.

If you are weary and burdened, if the pain and the grief are too much to bear, why don’t you call on Jesus and cast your cares on Him? After all, He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities. Surely He bore our sorrows, and by His stripes, we are healed. He wants to bless you with comfort.

Do you hear Him calling? He’s saying, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT). 

Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4 NKJV). My prayer for each person who reads this message is that you will receive His comfort today, in Jesus’ name! God bless you!

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers

A Love That Won’t Let Me Go – Part 3

The Lord spoke to Gomer that night that night before she fell asleep, saying, “I have loved you, my daughter, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself. I will rebuild you, My virgin. You will again be happy and dance merrily with tambourines.” 

“But Lord,” Gomer softly replied, “I left You for raisin cakes… I left You for other lovers… O Adonai! I left You for nothing.”

“Yes,” the Lord replied, “You have cheated on Me and gone astray, and I am indeed married to a harlot, but My love will make you pure.”

“Lord, I’ve hurt so many people – my husband. O Yaweh! Hosea is such a good and loving man, and I betrayed him and left him to raise my children. My Lord,” she wept, trembling as waves of grief and remorse swept over her. “I’ve lost Hosea, but if You will have me, I will give myself to You and I will walk in obedience to You from this day forth, only please, please help me. Don’t let me wander away again. Hedge me in Lord!”

The Word of the Lord came to Gomer, wife of Hosea, daughter of Diblaim, Fear not, My daughter. I have hedged you in with thorns on every side so that you cannot chase after those other lovers anymore. And yes, I will have you as My bride and I will help you. “

For the first time in many months, Gomer slept soundly and peacefully. She awakened the next morning to the sound of cursing. He was still there! “Adonai, please protect me,” she prayed fearfully as her heart pounded rapidly in her chest. “O Lord, You are my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? You are the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” Slowly, she inhaled, then, as she exhaled, she felt a strange peace envelope her.

She opened her eyes to find him looming over her, his beady eyes scrutinizing her. “Be not far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help,” she silently prayed as she cowered on the floor where she had slept so peacefully the night before, slowly rising up to sit and look up at her intimidator, holding the rag she had used for a blanket tightly in front of her.

“Here,” he said gruffly, throwing a loaf of bread and some jerky on the ground beside her, “eat this. There’s water by the fire.”

“What are you  up to, Phineas? Why are you suddenly so interested in my well-being? You’ve never cared before,” Gomer calmly stated, bracing herself for the blow which was sure to follow.

Instead of the rage that normally possessed him, Phineas threw his big ugly head back and laughed uproariously. “Let’s just say I’ve had a change of heart,” he said evilly, and his seemingly benevolent words brought a chill of fear down Gomer’s spine. “Go ahead, eat up! You’ll need your strength.” At this, he cackled gleefully, as he left the cave that was their makeshift home.

Ravenously, Gomer grabbed the loaf of bread and the jerky as soon as she was sure he had gone, and began to eat. She had only eaten a little, when she felt her stomach revolting in pain against the food, so she quickly put it aside and crawled to the warm fire that her foe had rekindled before he left. Thanks be to Elohim! He had also left enough firewood in the cold damp little cave to keep the fire burning for the rest of that day and the next. “And look at that,” she marveled. “There’s more food and water too! O Lord, I don’t know what he’s up to or why he’s being so generous and kind all of a sudden, but thank You. Whatever his motives are, I will trust You to protect me.”

Gomer smiled as she settled herself before the warmth of the fire, and she thought back to better days. She smiled as she remembered the look in Hosea’s eyes when Jezreel was born, as she held him to her breast for the first time. They were both so happy then…

“Just look at him Gomer! Have you ever seen a more beautiful child? Or a more beautiful mother?” Hosea softly spoke, as he leaned down to kiss her gently on her mouth.

“Oh! He is beautiful Hosea, and so are you my love! You are such a good man, Hosea and I love you so much,” Gomer said passionately. “So, what shall we call him?”

“The Lord said we are to call this child Jezreel, because He is about to punish King Jehu’s dynasty to avenge the murders he committed at Jezreel,” Hosea said with passion. “Yes, we will name him Jezreel, which means God sows, because He has planted this child as the firstborn of our family. He has blessed our union!”

“Yes He has blessed us, but really Hosea, can’t we just enjoy this time together with our new baby without you always preaching? I’m grateful and happy, but I don’t want to talk about religion right now. I just want us to enjoy the moment together,” Gomer said irritably, feeling instant remorse when she saw pain flood Hosea’s eyes. “I’m sorry Hosea,” she said quickly. “I love you, and I am really thankful for our son. It’s just all so overwhelming, and I’m tired and cranky. Can you forgive me?” she asked, reaching up to caress Hosea’s beard, pulling him down to lay beside her and their newborn son.

“Of course I forgive you. I love you Gomer,” Hosea responded huskily. “Don’t you remember? I love you with a love that will never let you go.”

Joyfully, the three of them drifted off to sleep until the baby’s cries a few hours later woke them up. They were so young and excited, so very much in love, and as Gomer nursed Jezreel, they talked about their hopes and dreams for their life together. They made their plans like most young people do, with rose colored glasses, never dreaming of the obstacles and disappointments that would come their way. They had no way of knowing how the everyday humdrum of life would wear on their love, distancing them, building walls between them. How could they know as they lay there laughing and holding one another and their son, so filled with love for one another and joy, that in the next few months their lives would run a course of anger, pain and destruction?

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers

A Love That Won’t Let Me Go – Part 2

Gomer lifted her twisted fingers to her sunken cheeks, wiping the tears that freely flowed, then looking at her tear soaked fingers, she silently mused, “I thought my tears had all dried up.” The wind continued to howl, and the small fire was slowly dying, as the brisk sound of footsteps brought Gomer from her silent reverie, causing a chill of fear to run up her spine. “O Lord, he’s back,” Gomer desperately prayed. “Lord, I know I’ve given You no reason to forgive me or to hear me, but please, please have mercy on me! Don’t let him rape me and beat me again tonight – please! Save me Lord!”

At the sound of his raucous laughter, Gomer scurried away from the fire, into the darkest corner of the room, hoping he wouldn’t notice her, as she shrunk down in terror. “Gomer!” the drunken beast called as he entered the room, “Come here,” he said as he fell down beside the fire. Fearfully, Gomer crept to him, being careful not to speak and send him into a drunken rage.  She knelt at his feet and waited for him to speak to her. “She won’t bring much with all those bruises and that bony body,” he mumbled to himself. “Stand up and let me look at you, Woman!” he bellowed, and though she tried, her bony legs didn’t have the strength to hold her up, and she crumpled to the floor, cringing as she waited for the first blow to fall.

“Please Yaweh!” Gomer desperately prayed silently, “Have mercy on me, O God, because of Your unfailing love. Because of Your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my shameful deeds — they haunt me day and night. Against You, and You alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in Your sight. You will be proved right in what You say, and Your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner — yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But You desire honesty from the heart, so You can teach me to be wise in my inmost being. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; You have broken me — now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. Do not banish me from Your presence, and don’t take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You. Then I will teach Your ways to sinners, and they will return to You. Help me Lord!” It became apparent that he wasn’t going to hit her after all, and slowly, shrinkingly, Gomer lifted her tear stained face up to look at the man – her tormentor, as he gruffly handed her a piece of bread.

“Eat this,” he said gruffly. “You need to build up your strength.”

Fearfully, gratefully, Gomer took the bread, and though she was starved, she lifted it up towards heaven and thanked Yaweh, truly thankful for the first time she silently spoke these words to Him, Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all my iniquities, Who heals all my diseases, Who redeems my life from destruction, Who crowns me with lovingkindness and tender mercies,  Who satisfies my mouth with good things, So that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Then quickly, she gobbled the bread down before he changed his mind and took it from her, and when he offered her some water, she gratefully gulped that down too.

It had been many days since Gomer had eaten, and though she still loathed him and was fearful of him, she was also grateful for the food he gave her. “Got to build up her strength for a few days,” he mumbled to himself, as he drifted off to sleep in a drunken stupor. Gomer wasn’t sure what he had in store for her, but she knew that whatever it was, it wouldn’t be good. Still, for the first time in who knows how long, she had some food in her belly. He would probably sleep for hours, so Gomer quietly slinked back to the dark corner where she had hidden before.

“Could it be that Hosea was right?” she whispered to herself. “Could it be that Elohim cares for me – even now, after all I’ve done?” Her heart traveled back to another time, shortly after she and Hosea were married, as they walked back to their home following a visit to Jerusalem. “Did you hear what they said about me?” she wept, as Hosea held her close.

“I heard,” Hosea replied softly. “Listen Gomer, it’s easier for people to condemn someone else than it is for them to look at themselves -”

“But they hate me!” she sobbed.

“Yes, they hate you, and they hate me because I speak the Word of the Lord. You mustn’t worry about what man thinks of you. Instead, see what our heavenly Father thinks about you. That’s far more important, and Gomer, He loves you with a love that won’t let you go. No matter where life takes us, no matter what we do, He will always love His children. He may have to chastise you and punish you for bad behavior, but He still loves you with an everlasting love, and so do I.” He stopped and lifted her chin, gently kissing her. “All Adonai wants, and all that I want in return is to have your love.”

“Gomer, I knew about your past when I asked you to marry me, and I loved you then. Now, you’re my wife, and you’re carrying my child in your womb, and I still love you with all of my heart. You are more beautiful to me now than ever, and I want to shower you with all of my love, so that you will never want for anything! Let people talk if they want, as long as we love the Lord, and as long as we have each other, let them think and say what they will,” Hosea said laughing and kissing her again, as they continued toward their home.

“O Lord, is it true?” Gomer whispered in the dark dreary little room. “Do You really love me with a love that won’t let me go? An everlasting love? How can this be? And is it really true that all You want from me is my love? Yaweh, I know I’ve been unfaithful to You, but I see now that You are all I have. And I don’t have anything else to offer You but my love. Lord, will You accept the love of a harlot?” Gomer whispered as she drifted off to sleep…

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers

A Love That Won’t Let Me Go – Part 1

The cold wind howled, blowing rain into the dark musty room where she lay, naked, cold, alone and penniless. He would be back soon, and the thought of his return brought a sick feeling to the pit of her stomach. She loathed him, yet she needed him. She nervously tried to run her gnarled fingers through her matted hair, but it was no use. Bruises and lesions covered her body and she was filthy and emaciated. Her once flashing dark eyes were now dull and lifeless. She, who once boldly and passionately sought to live a life of luxury and good times, was now reduced to a cowering, fearful wretch.

“O God,” she wimpered, as she shivered, searching for something to cover herself with. “Forgive me. I’ve made such a mess of things and I’ve hurt so many people. How could I have been so foolish? I once had a husband who loved me and children, and now I have nothing.

“I’m hedged in by thorns on every side of me. I chased after other lovers without a thought of anyone but myself. I prostituted myself for money and wine, but now I don’t even have that, because no one wants a used up whore, no one cares if I live or if I die.

“O Lord, I remember my first love. I remember the day he came to my father’s house to ask for my hand in marriage. He was so young and handsome…”

Gomer grimaced with pain as she crawled to the fire, which wouldn’t last much longer, and threw the last of the sticks in it. She was too weak to stand, and the effort of crawling and sitting up had drained all of her strength. Then, sitting as close to it as possible, she pulled a thin rag over her back and remembered better times, when she was young and beautiful and happy…

The sun shone brightly as Gomer quickly ran up the path to her house, quickly stopping at the door to run her fingers through her curly black hair, nervously trying to smooth it, while silently hoping her father wouldn’t notice that she was late for dinner once again. “O God, don’t let him be home yet,” she silently prayed, smoothing her rumpled clothing, hoping he wouldn’t see anything amiss. Finally, gathering her courage, Gomer took a deep breath and opened the door.

Her heart dropped as she saw her father’s back, and she briskly walked toward the fire to stir up the coals and prepare for dinner.  “Hello Father – I’m sorry I’m late, the market was just so busy! Don’t worry though, I’ll have our dinner ready in a flash,” Gomer said anxiously, hoping her father was in a good mood, as she mustered up the courage to turn and look at him.

That was when she saw him – Hosea – the young prophet! What was he doing there? Oh, he was handsome, and his amber eyes seemed to look right into her soul, as though he was reading her thoughts. Nervously, she looked away from his intense gaze to that of her father’s.

“Gomer,” Diblaim cleared his throat. “Please prepare enough for Hosea to join us for dinner. He has come to talk to me about you.”

“About me?” Gomer replied faintly. “Why would a prophet want to speak about me?” she thought. “O Lord,” she prayed, “I hope he doesn’t see my every thought and tell my father! Surely he has more important things to prophesy about than me!” Gomer quickly turned from Hosea’s piercing scrutiny and cautiously scurried about preparing a meal for Hosea, Diblaim and herself, worriedly wondering all the while what Hosea had to say about her. Whatever it was, she was sure it couldn’t be good.

“Hosea,” Diblaim said as he cleared his throat. “Will you do us the honor of asking the Lord’s blessing on this meal?”

“Yes sir, I would be honored to do so,” Hosea replied. Then, stepping up to the table in front of an empty bowl, Hosea lifted a container of water and poured it over his right hand three times, then over his left hand three times, before drying his hands and passing the bowl and the container of water to Diblaim, who followed the same ritual, and then Gomer finsihed. Next, Hosea prayed, “Blessed are You, HaShem, our God, King of the Universe, who sanctifies us through His commandments and commanded us concerning the elevation of the hands.”

Then, Diblaim and Gomer sat as Hosea lifted the bread, breaking it in half and passing one half to Diblaim, who broke some off before passing the rest to Gomer, who also broke some off. After everyone had a piece of bread, Hosea prayed, “Blessed are You, HaShem, our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.” Then each of them solemnly placed their portion of bread in their mouths and ate it.

Next, Hosea lifted the carafe of wine in his hands, pouring some first into his cup, then into Diblaim’s cup, and finally into Gomer’s cup. When he finished pouring the wine, everyone silently lifted their cups toward heaven, as Hosea prayed, “Blessed are You, HaShem, our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.” Then everyone drank from their cups, and Hosea sat, as the meal commenced.

Everyone ate in silence, as Gomer and Hosea sneaked glances at one another. Hosea seemed as nervous as Gomer, blushing and looking away from her whenever she caught his gaze, and it quickly dawned on Gomer that Hosea liked her. Armed with this knowledge, she smiled flirtatiously at him for the first time. It was evident that he was attracted to her, and Gomer knew how to deal with men and boys who were drawn to her beauty. Now, it was Hosea’s turn at nervousness, and his face turned a deep shade of red as he quickly looked away from her.

Finally the awkward meal ended, and Hosea gave the after meal blessing. “Give thanks to ADONAI, for He is good, for His grace continues forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for His grace continues forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for His grace continues forever; to Him who alone has done great wonders, for His grace continues forever; to Him who skillfully made the heavens, for His grace continues forever; to Him who spread out the earth on the water, for His grace continues forever; to Him who made the great lights, for His grace continues forever; the sun to rule the day, for His grace continues forever; the moon and stars to rule the night, for His grace continues forever; to Him who struck down Egypt’s firstborn, for His grace continues forever; and brought Isra’el out from among them, for His grace continues forever; with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, for His grace continues forever; to Him who split apart the Sea of Suf, for His grace continues forever; and made Isra’el cross right through it, for His grace continues forever; but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Sea of Suf, for His grace continues forever; to Him who led His people through the desert, for His grace continues forever; to Him who struck down great kings, for His grace continues forever; yes, He slaughtered powerful kings, for His grace continues forever; Sichon king of the Emori, for His grace continues forever; and ‘Og king of Bashan, for His grace continues forever; then He gave their land as a heritage, for His grace continues forever; to be possessed by Isra’el His servant, for His grace continues forever; who remembers us whenever we are brought low, for His grace continues forever; and rescues us from our enemies, for His grace continues forever; who provides food for every living creature, for His grace continues forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven, for His grace continues forever.”

After Hosea blessed the meal, Diblaim invited him to step outside to speak, while Gomer cleaned up, wondering all the while, what they were saying about her. Finally, the house was clean, and Gomer was sitting at the table, nervously twisting her hair, and wondering what was going on. After what seemed like an eternity, the door opened, and Diblaim stepped inside beaming, as Hosea stood outside the door.

“Father,” Gomer began as Diblaim closed the door, “whatever he said to you, I can explain.”

“Quiet child!” Diblaim said sternly. “Hosea is outside, and he wants to talk to you, but before you go to him, listen carefully to me! You have a decision to make, and if you make the wrong one, you will not be allowed to remain in my home. I know that you’ve been up to no good, and you have done nothing but bring shame on me since your mother died, and I am tired of it, do you hear?”

“But what  did he say, Father?” Gomer asked. “Truly, I can explain!” she pleaded.

“I promised that I would let him tell you why he’s here,” Diblaim stated, “But understand this. You are a shame and a reproach to me, so you better choose wisely, because this is no longer your home. Now get out there and listen to him,” Diblaim said, opening the door and pushing Gomer outside.

In fear and trembling, Gomer looked at Hosea, whose heart broke for her as he saw her pain. Softly, gently, he spoke her name, “Gomer, fear not. I mean you no harm. I’ve spoken to your father, and he’s given me his blessing to ask you to marry me. I know you don’t know me well, and though I’m certainly not a wealthy man, the Lord has provided generously for me, and I promise that I will love you and care for you for the rest of your life.” Walking up to her, Hosea gently lifted her chin and looked into her startled eyes. “Gomer, daughter of Diblaim, will you marry me, Hosea, son of Beeri?”

“You, a prophet of the Most High, want to marry me?” Gomer asked in disbelief. “Haven’t you heard what people say about me? Don’t you know?” she asked turning scarlet and averting her eyes from his passionate gaze, as he continued to cup her chin gently in his hand.

“I have heard, and I love you. Will you marry me, Gomer?” Hosea softly whispered. Gomer forced herself to look intently into Hosea’s eyes, and there it was, love, boldly shining in the depths of his amber eyes. “I promise to love you forever, Gomer, with a love that will never let you go, if you will agree to marry me. Will you have me as your husband?”

Tears began to flow down her cheeks, as Gomer looked back at Hosea and whispered softly, “I will have you…”

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers

Goodbye Dad

Last night I came face to face with some issues in my heart that I need to deal with. It’s funny how the Lord works. You see, just this past Sunday He spoke to my heart and told me to begin writing again. Actually, He commanded me to write daily for the next 31 days, which is what led me to start this blog… You see, the Lord knows my heart, and He knows how to heal it. His word tells us, Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23 NKJV). And so, as I write these words, I believe that healing will spring forth, not just for me, but for others with broken hearts.

A year ago, on September 14, 2011, I saw my stepfather take his last breath. My sister and I were together in Dad’s hospital room as we witnessed his last gasp for breath, and then he was no more. My sister was consumed by grief, while I stood there numb, comforting her. You see, my sister was his true daughter and I wasn’t. Her relationship with him was entirely different than mine, and though I loved him deeply, I didn’t mourn his passing.

Even now, more than a year later, I don’t miss him. I can’t share this with my sister or my mother, who both still grieve for him and long for him. But the truth of the matter is, how could I possibly miss someone who caused me so much pain and rejection? This man that I loved so deeply and thought of as my daddy, is also the one who abused me and molested me, and never repented for it. In fact, he blamed me for the abuse he inflicted on me and denied that it was even abuse.

I thought I had dealt with all of this years ago, and I truly did forgive him, but then, before his death, new issues sprang up, and rather than dealing with them honestly and facing them head-on, I chose to revert back to my old way of dealing with things… I buried them deeply and ignored them, hoping they would just disappear. And then last night, during bible study, the Lord began to speak to my broken heart, and you know what? I want to be healed… I’m ready to dig that pain up, face it and deal with it now. I need to do this in order to move on and be the woman God has created me to be.

You see, the Lord desires truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part He will make me to know wisdom (Psalm 51:6 NKJV). So here is the truth… About two or three days before he was admitted to the hospital in August last year, my stepfather brought some paperwork to the nursing home where my mother lives and had her sign over the deed to their house to my sister and me. My mother has dementia, and she thought she was signing over 50% of their property to my sister and 50% to me, but that’s not what he had written in the agreement. Rather, she signed 70% of the property to my sister and 30% to me, and he and my sister called me there to sign the papers also, and this is when I did something stupid. I signed those papers without reading them.

Now I consider myself to be an intelligent woman, but I found myself reverting back to the little girl who wanted to be accepted by her family, so I signed those papers. A couple of days later, my sister, who was helping Dad, called me to ask for my social security number, and I asked why she needed it. She said it had to do with the papers we signed, and I asked her what it was that we had signed. That’s when she informed me of the 70-30 deal.

I was crushed… The pain of rejection pierced through my soul as it dawned on me that I was the child that received only 30% of his love. It was an insult and a slap in the face. After all the pain I had suffered at his hands, he was now punishing me for bringing the abuse to light and for refusing to live under that darkness any longer. Rather than admitting his guilt or showing me any love or recompense for what I had suffered, he chose to punish me!

I spoke to my sister later (I’m not sure if it was 1 day or several days later) and I told her to tell him to take my name off that document, because the only thing I ever wanted from my parents was to be loved by them, not their money or anything else. Within a few days of my signing that document, Dad entered the hospital. I knew he was dying, and I didn’t want any anger or bitterness to be between us. You see, in spite of everything I loved him.

My birth father had died more than a decade ago, but he had never been a father to me. I only got to know him the last nine months of his life. My stepfather was the only father I had ever known, and he wasn’t always bad to me. There were a lot of good memories as well as bad ones.

So I visited him at the hospital during that last month of his life, taking time off work, supporting him and my sister, loving them both. And putting everything else aside, I wanted more than anything to show them Christ’s love. The last 2 days before he died, I stayed in the hospital with Dad all night, while my sister stayed during the day.

I’ve never witnessed such torment before, as I watched my dad suffer, writhing back and forth in pain and opening his eyes every few minutes then shaking his head as his eyes focused on the demons that tormented him, saying, “No, no, no – Stop it, stop it, stop it!” It broke my heart as I prayed for him quietly. The morning before he died, I went home but I couldn’t go to sleep until about 11:00am. At 3:00pm, I awoke from a dead sleep and called the hospital, telling my sister that I would be there shortly. I knew what I had to do, and that his death was imminent, so I quickly showered and went to the hospital. I told my sister that we needed to let him go, and asked her to bring Mom to see him. I knew in my spirit that this was it.

When my sister left, Dad opened his eyes and looked at me. I could tell he needed something, so I asked, “Do you want me to wipe your forehead?” He shook his head no. He was so weak. I said, “Do you need something?” And Dad replied softly, “A kiss.” I was shocked. I had not kissed my dad in years, and he was not the sort to ask for a kiss, and so I bent down and kissed his forehead and said, “I love you Daddy.” I hadn’t called him “Daddy” since he had molested me so many years ago. I loved him so much! And I asked him if had made peace with God and if he had accepted Jesus as his Savior. He said yes. I pray he was telling the truth. At approximately 3:15am, just a little over 12 hours after I had awakened that day, my stepfather drew his last breath.

A couple of weeks later, my sister showed me the will that he had drawn up the day before he was hospitalized. And there in the will, it stated once again 70% to my sister and 30% to me. It hurt. I didn’t want it and I told my sister this once again. I’ve told my sister that I cannot accept this punishment several times in the last year, and I meant what I said.

And now, I find myself in a new place… At the end of August, I was approved for short-term disability from my workplace, and my husband and I have been left with virtually no income for the last month, and the future is questionable too. So I find myself in need, and yet I still can’t bring myself to accept the 30%.

And so, Lord, I’m calling out to You. You have told me to, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you…” (Isaiah 43:1-4a NKJV)Father, I believe it when you said, “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore” (Isaiah 54:4 NKJV)

And now, O Lord, I give You praise, because You have truly blessed me and called me Your beloved. You have heard the cry of my heart, and You know the pain that I have clung to, and I bless You, because in facing the truth and admitting that I have harbored bitterness in my heart, You have freed me, and whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Thank You Father, because in writing my pain out and turning it over to You, I’m able to think of Dad without anger and bitterness springing up. And I can say in love, “Goodbye Dad.” In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

For those of you who take the time to read my long-winded post, I pray the Lord blesses you, and if any of you are grieving and in pain, I pray that the God of all comfort will wrap you in His arms, and that He will give you peace in Jesus’ name.

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers