Faith

Jesus Called my Daddy Home on Christmas Eve.

At 1:45 a.m. on Christmas Eve, I woke up to the sound of my mom screaming & panting to the beat of doing CPR, our dog barking deeper and faster than we’ve ever heard. The blood left my body in the bed before I could get up. Running into the room, seeing my amazing, strong father laying lifeless on the floor, my superhero mom doing CPR on him (for 12 straight minutes) yelling desperately, “call 911!”

While answering a thousand questions that the dispatcher designed to calm me down, I couldn’t swallow, I might throw up, I didn’t get to say ‘I love you,’ I didn’t get to hug him, I never said goodbye, they’re taking too long, there is no way this is happening…why am I STILL not hearing the sirens? Why hasn’t he started breathing yet? What is happening?!

When paramedics (finally) got there, there was nothing they could do – so we rushed to the ER.

We arrived at the hospital & saw him rigged up on the bed. The nurse whispered to my mom & I, “let them do their magic” so we still had hope, but not much – because next to his name on the trauma ward screen, it read – ‘cardiac arrest.’

An eternity later, the Doctor came in. I knew the verdict just by looking at his face.

“I’m so sorry.”

Like a thief in the night, my daddy was gone.

I’m writing this still in disbelief. But I’m not done loving him, I’m not done being his daughter. I’m not done being proud of the great man God made when He breathed life into him. It seems far too soon. Even in this pain my family feels & this gap missing in my mom’s, my, & my sister’s heart… Even in this disbelief and sadness…

But God.

When we are God’s children, we are everlasting. God is our only real peace. God is our only true joy. We have hope & we will never know death. He has paved our way, free from death, walking in His perfect light. God gave His life for us, conquered the grave for us, so we never have to know ‘goodbye.’ My daddy is not gone, his spirit has just left his Earthly body & is forevermore gazing at the beauty of Heaven, he is walking with Jesus…

When we miss him, we think of what he would tell us – in Heaven, gazing at the glorious King of Kings – I think he would say something like this,

“Just wait, beautiful. If only you could see how amazing Heaven is. Don’t cry for me, not once. If only you could see Jesus sitting on His throne, praying for you constantly. If only you could hear the trumpets of the Angels, if only you could see the sunrise from here, there are colors I’ve never even seen. If only you knew how QUICK our time on Earth is. It really was just a blink of an eye! Soon you’ll understand. If only you knew what walking with Jesus is like. If only you knew just how soon you will see me again. If only you could hear the voice of God telling you, ‘well done, good and faithful servant.’ Soon you will know how perfect eternity with God truly is. I’m always with you, I’m watching everything through Heavenly eyes & I am filling you with the presence of my spirit – I live on in you. I’m not dead, I’m more alive than I ever knew possible. Just you wait, my darling.”

I can pray & ask God to “tell daddy I love him,” when it hurts that I couldn’t say goodbye. But the thing is, we never have to say goodbye.

In Matthew 28:6, when Mary Magdalene went to see Jesus’ tomb, an angel of the Lord told her that, “He is not here, He is risen.”

God did that same thing for all of us, too. We are not in the grave, He raised us to everlasting life. We may have buried daddy, but that’s not where he is. We KNOW exactly where he is, and he isn’t dead.

Christmas is his favorite time of the year, dad’s nickname is ‘Father Christmas’ and TO THIS DAY, he would tell you Santa is real. Before I could get angry at God for taking him on Christmas Eve, he helped me realize that Christmas is only Christmas because of Jesus giving us everlasting life. This is the greatest gift, salvation in blissful eternity with Jesus, so in God, we will never know death.

My dad is not dead, Jesus raised him to everlasting life. He is in Jesus’ arms. He is not “was,” he always “is.” His days on Earth were numbered & he lived them all. Even though it still seems too soon, God knew his purpose was complete. We aren’t supposed to understand, even when it hurts.

Honestly, having Christmas Day in dad’s honor was the hardest things we’ve ever had to endure. But we felt him here when mom opened his presents & we laughed about the great deals we got. We felt him here when we wear his mismatched socks & paint-stained sweatpants. I see him when I look in the mirror.

In God, we are forever – in God, we are everlasting.

We are God’s first. My father is first and foremost, God’s. Only God knows the number of hairs on our head and days in our lives. All we have in life is faith & God is all there is. When we place our whole meaning in God, we may stumble, but there is nothing that can make us fall. We may be weak, but the King of Kings will carry our burdens & be our strength.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. ~Matthew 11:28

In God, our loved ones NEVER die – they get to watch everything with Jesus, through His eyes.

My father is not dead, he is now more alive than we know. He is with Jesus, he is here & talking to him is simply a prayer. He’s as accessible as Jesus & somehow that’s comforting.

Dad loves us as God would, especially while his spirit inhabited this Earth. He always answered the phone with “hello beautiful,” and never hung up without saying ‘I love you.”

FATHERS: Love your loved ones deeply, be God’s hands and feet. Teach your children the truth & put the treasures of this world last. Also, men… the lesson here is PLEASE GO TO THE DOCTOR, take the medicine for blood pressure (don’t try to heal things like that with herbs) and be wise in all you do.

My Earthly father is now with my Heavenly Father. He gets to walk with JESUS.

LOVE you forever & ever, daddy.


I don’t want it to seem like this is a ‘the end!’ kind of story. This story is still being written everyday when I miss him so much I go smell his shirts. This story is being written everyday with tear-marks and hours of watching old videos. This is grief & it’s a shadow. But in Christ, we are more at peace than we knew possible. In Christ, instead of being angry that we have no answers as to why he was taken so soon, we can take comfort in knowing that we don’t HAVE to know all the answers & that God is still God.

So instead of the end, I’ll say, to be continued.

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Marie Sherbondy
    January 7, 2018 at 8:25 am

    Oh Heather, I am so very sorry about your Daddy. And yet as you have so beautifully shared with us…he’s not gone. He is alive and in the presence of the LIVING God.
    I am so grateful for this hope. This eternal hope that we will be together again, forever. So until that time, hope is what we cling to. Jesus is who we cling to. And He WILL bind the heart of the heartbroken. He will meet us at our every tear and ache of loneliness.
    I have been, and will continue, to pray for you and your family. I will trust that our Heavenly Daddy is holding you close to his heart and loving on you as only He can do. Thank you for sharing this truth. For delivering the gospel at such a time as this. The Lord will use this, and you. Much love and sympathy.

  • Reply
    Janice Wright
    January 7, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    What beautiful words for your dad!!! You are so wise beyond your years! I know your mom and dad are so proud of the godly young woman you have become. I don’t know if you remember me or not. My son, Bo Wright, went to Dominion and I believe you guys were in the same class. I remember hearing you sing at an event for Dominion. God blessed you with a beautiful voice.
    I went to high school with your dad, he graduated a year before me. Your dad was my first high school crush. He was just such a super nice guy and cute too. My husband went to North Cobb and knows your mom and aunt Rochelle. Your grand dad was our accountant when we were first married.
    I am so sorry you’re family is having to walk through all of this. I can’t imagine the shock of losing your dad so quickly. You & your family have been in my prayers continuously. But I know because your family belongs to the Lord you will indeed persevere through this with Him by your side! Thanks for sharing your heart, it’s an inspiration to many!

    God Blessings!
    Janice Wright

  • Reply
    Erin Bushman
    January 14, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. What a shock. Thankful that God is comforting you in your grief.

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