Just about two weeks ago, I wrote about Holding onto Hope during the Advent Season as we waited in Hope for the Joy of Christmas.
In that post I shared that –
The interesting thing is that the past few months, even before Advent began, I felt the Holy Spirit tugging on my soul much like my three-year-old tugs my hand when he wants me to go somewhere but I’m “too busy” doing something else.
I felt God calling me, in His “still, small, voice” – Slow down, Erika. Come…come deeper with me.
I felt Him preparing me for – something, though not sure what, I knew there was something coming.
That something has been unraveling itself slowly each day in different forms.
Recently, our family has learned some hard news and serious health issues have come up in various forms that have given me enormous and profound pause.
It is with a deep sadness that I share, for anyone who reads this but may not know me and my family as well, that the very next day after writing that post, my dad was unexpectedly taken to the hospital and, much to our shock, passed away the day after into the mysterious realm of God’s eternal Kingdom.
We have spent our Christmas time working on funeral arrangements, trying to enjoy some joy on Christmas still, and terribly missing my dad.
Like I shared in the eulogy at his Rosary, it has been hard for this to happen during Christmas time but in a way, it is also quite perfect. Christmas is about remembering and celebrating that God humbled himself to become human like us and to enter into our world so that he could save us from all suffering and bring us into His Kingdom. That’s the whole purpose and great end that we all hope to attain. So in a way, all the songs and the liturgy have been a constant reminder of this to comfort us in our grief.
That said, even though I put on a smile and try to “carry on”, my mind of Faith (and everyone else) tells me that this is better for him this way and yet, my heart still aches terribly as my family and I miss him so much.
Looking back over the months, this must have been what God was trying to prepare me for. I couldn’t have known it would be this but I know He is sending our family the Grace we need through all our friends and family who have been so incredibly generous and kind to us during this time. I am literally speechless (if you can imagine) at all the support we’ve received.
The journey we started when we found out about the cancer is not over though, it has only just begun. We have to continue on this path for him, even if he is no longer right next to us, I do feel my dad is still with us in a mysterious and unexplainable way.
All that said, I know this means I have to enter into a season of silence and contemplation as my heart heals and we try and continue on. I’m not sure how often I’ll blog here for now, we’ll just see how it goes. I’m going to cancel my Simplemama Podcast for now but will continue helping host the CM Hangout Podcast with CatholicMom.com later this month. (So if you really want to listen to my old Podcasts, you’ll need to download them before I cancel the service.)
I have learned a lot through this process and, as strange as it sounds, my faith has grown deeper as I cling even tighter to my Jesus. It is hard for me to pray right now, not because I do not believe anymore, but well…sometimes the greatest prayer is a silent one. So if you could please literally pray for me (while I can’t) and I will offer my silent prayer for those of you out there who are struggling.
Cling to Jesus. Cling to Hope.