In January of 2018, my family received news that my dad’s cancer was most likely terminal. This was really hard news to receive, but we went forward, praying and seeking different treatment methods.
As my dad’s treatments continued, his cancer continued to spread, and I knew that this was my “yes to God” moment. I was going to learn to say yes to loving my dad, and loving him well.
I had been praying for years—probably since I got married in 2001—that my dad and I would have a good relationship. There were times when I couldn’t be in the same room with him because it was too painful and difficult.
So the thought of caring for my dying father didn’t sit really well with me, but I knew I had to press into it. Then, saying yes began …
I said yes to meeting him at the hospital for a doctor’s appointment. I said yes to meeting my family in ICU when my dad was there.
I said yes to driving in the car behind my parents as we went home with hospice care. I said yes to sitting next to my dad when I wanted to run away.
I said yes to making another trip to stay with my parents and help my mom. I said yes to leaving my children again.
I said yes to holding his hand. I said yes to giving him meds. I said yes to sleeping on the floor next to him and holding his hand so he didn’t feel scared in his last days.
Over time, he wept with regret over things he wished he had done. He cried because he wished he had held me more.
I said yes to holding his hands and telling him it was okay, that I loved him. I said yes to speaking the gospel over him as he passed to eternity. And ultimately, I said yes to letting Jesus heal the deep wounds in my heart that I never thought would heal.
My YES wasn’t one that I said at the beginning of all of this—“just forgive and forget,” or suddenly act like everything was okay and like I wasn’t hurting. It was a YES to the next thing. And the next and the next and the next …
God used that small series of yeses to do a miracle in my heart—something I had prayed for for years.
My dad passed away in October of 2018, and I can honestly say that I’m not angry anymore; the place of brokenness in my heart has been touched by Jesus and put back together.
I am eager to see my dad again one day. I miss him, but I’m so thankful for the miraculous work God did as He gave me the strength and courage to keep saying yes.