My Dad. He was a tough man, sometimes very tough on us kids. He was a perfectionist but not perfect. Perfectionists never are and this failure to “measure up” frustrates them which often overflows in anger. This I know. That anger is rooted in fear of never being “enough.”
My dad’s own upbringing was pretty rough and he wanted better for his kids than what he’d experienced, so when we screwed up, and he blew up, it was because he was afraid that we would settle for less than the best. No matter what, we all knew that he loved us deeply.
Welcome to FREEDOM FRIDAY – A devotional, emotional, spiritual and sometimes hysterical series that I will be sharing on occasional Fridays, in addition to my regular Old Things New posts. Why? Because though once bound in chains Christ has set me free – FREE to live, to love, to dance, to sing, to be who God created me to be!
Late in life the tough dad became the soft-hearted dad. Mesothelioma, the result of years in the construction field working with asbestos, tried to claim his life. It did in fact claim the lives of every single friend and co-worker that received the same diagnosis. My dad though . . . he had a praying wife . . . and praying friends.
Surgery, chemo, loss of hair, skin and bones, we entered church that day and sat to listen to the speaker. I don’t recall what the message was about but I do remember afterwards standing in the church foyer, waiting in line with all the others to shake the hand of the guest preacher. I was probably anxious to get out of there because in my late teens church was the most boring place I could spend one of my precious weekend days.
This day. It was different. When my dad’s turn came to shake this preacher’s hand the man asked him the simple question, “Can I pray for your healing?”
Now my dad had received lots of prayers before and during surgery and chemo but this was different. I wasn’t raised in a charismatic church so it wasn’t the norm for me to see hand-laying healing prayers. My dad was ready.
The Preacher prayed. My Father received what was offered. The Heaven’s shifted. My dad walked away from church that day believing that he was completely healed of cancer.
From that time forward my dad grew stronger. He eventually returned to a healthy weight, his hair grew back black, not the gray color it had been prior to the cancer. After a couple of years he became so much stronger that he and my mom bought a mini farm where they tended a large garden and raised beef for the family. There he also took up woodworking in his little shop out back and learned to build beautiful furniture from sticks of wood.
My dad’s harsh heart became soft like a child’s after this very personal encounter with God. Jesus’ touch that healed his body also healed the wounded places of his heart and for that he was forever grateful. He had such a special relationship with his Lord in fact, that he would stand at his workbench praying and blow kisses to Jesus. I believe that in working with wood my dad identified with Jesus the carpenter and that seeing a block of wood transformed into a beautiful creation reminded him of what Jesus had done in his own life.
After that time, I never saw my dad sit through church without tears spilling from his eyes and down onto his cheeks. He was forever grateful that God had restored the wasted years of his life and Joel 2:25 became one of his favorite verses of Scripture. He lived fifteen more years and saw the birth of all of his grandchildren. He loved his family with a passion and prayed that all would understand the transforming power of Jesus in their lives. It wasn’t about following rules, or being good. It was ALL about a personal, kiss-blowing relationship with the Creator. Experiencing firsthand His healing power then loving Him because He first loved us.
My dad’s relationship with Jesus and the fullness of his life after his healing is the greatest legacy he could have bestowed upon his family. Now as I work with my hands, just like my father, making broken things beautiful, I have decided that I will take up my dad’s torch. As I see transformation taking place beneath my hands I too will lift my fingers to my mouth, stretch my hands toward the Heavens, and blow kisses of gratefulness toward the Redeemer of my soul.
Lord, thank You for the life changing transformation I was allowed to witness in my earthly Father. Thank you that his and my mom’s prayers were answered as you also redeemed, set free and delivered me. Thank you that you are at work in the hearts of all my father’s children, grands, and great grands, to bring them to a place of KNOWING you in the deepest places of their hearts.
“Our children will serve Him; future generations will hear the story of how God rescued us.” Ps. 22:30 The Voice
“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.” Ps. 16:6 NKJV
Happy Father’s Day dad,
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Carol Cook says
What a beautiful post!
Sharon H says
Oh. My. Gracious. I have no words to express myself…and I know you find that difficult to believe! Yet, it’s true.
This is a beautiful picture of total Grace….and I began singing this beautiful chorus in my mind…
Grace, Grace, God’s Grace….
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, Grace, God’s Grace…
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
Thank you for sharing this very personal story! You are an amazing, and precious, work of heart.
Blessings be yours today and always,
Kathy Nielsen says
Dearest sweet Patti, I just read your testimonial to your father. Thank you for sharing. My dear father had similar shortcomings for probably the same reasons. But I loved him so. He was a faithful servant of the Lord and our family. Patti thank you so much for sharing your story and may God bless you for you wonderful words from the heart.
Wonderful testimony of the Power of God’s Grace!
It’s so wonderful that your father was able to be transformed in Christ! HE alone is powerful.
Lisa notes says
What’s odd is that this month I’m focusing on “perfect” versus “enough” and this is exactly what your opening quote talks about! My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010 and although he also had praying family and friends, the Lord still took him on shortly thereafter. I still miss him. I’m glad your dad received a miracle of more days with his family here and an opportunity to share that with others through his transformed life! Such a blessing!
Oh Patti, what a WONDERFUL, inspiring story…and to think it was your own true experience! What a wonderful testimony – I would have LOVED to meet your dad!
Thank you so much for sharing this at Coffee and Conversation today. Next week will be too late to feature, but I’ll be pinning and sharing this on our FB page…
Have a wonderful weeknd, friend… Sending hugs to you!
What a beautiful story of God’s great grace and his healing power, hallelujah. Thank you for sharing!
What a beautiful story. I’m so glad your father had the chance for rebirth. xo
At Rivercrest Cottage says
thank you for this wonderful tribute to both your fathers. My father lived for 15 years after having his lung removed due to asbestos. One day he went to the hospital and they opened him up and closed him up and said they couldn’t do anything for him. He was sent home from the hospital and a week later, on a Friday, he walked into the doctor’s office and the doctor gave him 6 months to live. The next day he didn’t know us and he died Sunday at 5 pm. I believe he willed himself to die. I wish your preacher had been there to pray for him too. Gone but not forgotten since Feb 6th 1994.
I fight this battle daily …the “never enough” fight that never seems to end. It’s a scar I carry and a cross I have to bear every day. As a mother, I don’t want to pass that attitude down to my daughters. Thank you for the extra resolve I needed to stay the course, today.
What a lovely tribute to your sweet dad and a testament to the power of believing prayer!
Deanna Rabe says
God is good!
What a powerful story. A great tribute to your faith and your father’s recovery. You were lucky to have witnessed that pinnacle moment in your father’s life. Thank you for sharing your powerful story with us on #shinebloghop
Beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt message. I love the way you describe blowing kisses to heaven.
Kathleen Grace says
What a beautiful testimony. Thank you for sharing this story.
From one “Patti with an I” to another, beautiful testimony of God’s grace and His ability to do exceedingly, abundantly all we could ask for.
Patti @ Embracing Home
exceedingly, abundantly above all we could ask for….wish there was a way to go back and edit comments
Katie Mansfield says
I love this post. Beautiful. I’m sharing it on my Facebook page.
What a blessed miracle.
What a beautiful story about God’s restorative grace. It is free to all, if we only will accept it. I too struggled with the not “enough” the perfectionism, until I realized perfection is never achieved, the only one perfect is Christ himself and He has forgiven me and accepted me right where I am. Thank you for sharing.
Beautiful in so many ways! Blessings!
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful message.
I feel as if I have been blessed in reading it.
White Spray Paint
Lux G. says
A beautiful tribute.
Our dads are far from perfect indeed but God still blessed us with one from whom we can learn the lessons we need.
Thank you for sharing such an uplifting story. So often we just take answered prayers for granted.
~ linda says
Absolutely beautiful, Patti. My heart feels the heart of the Lord in this story and in your father’s life. I am praising the Lord for the gifts He has given.
Tiffany Garza says
That is such an awesome testimony of your father and a beautiful reminder it is never too late for God to transform.
Thank you so very much for sharing about your Dad.
So very much appreciated.
Richella Parham says
Oh, Patti, I love love LOVE this post. What a tribute–to your less-than-perfect dad and to your perfect Father in heaven!
Thank you so much for pouring your heart into this. And thanks for sharing it at the Grace at Home party. I’m featuring you this week!
Patti, this is one of the most beautiful posts that I have read. What a lovely testimony to the transforming power of God. Thanks so much for sharing!
Oh Patty, tears are streaming down my face after reading this beautiful testatment to our Jesus and your dad. It is so true about the love, grace and redemption that Jesus gave to your dad (and to all of us who believe). It touched my spirit and although I am a true lover and follower of Jesus, your dad’s story renewed my soul and gave me hope for so many of the things in my life that have bogged me down lately. Just a beautiful, timely, lovely testament to God’s goodness and grace in our lives. Thank you and blessings to you always, Michele
Wow! What a redemptive story that blessed the socks off me. I am so glad to know you. We have more in common than you think, but it was my mom who was the perfectionist. And yet, she is the one who deeply loved God and shares her faith with us kids throughout the years, and with signs and wonders being a Catholic! But we know know we have That Perfectionism be jade we received the Pwrfect One in Christ. It justi doesn’t look how I thought. Yay God, you are good!