Today at church I passed around 3 cards for various members of our music team who are having difficult times right now.  Two are grieving the loss of family members.  While I’m passing those cards around I hear that one of my dear friends went to the hospital with chest pains yesterday.  There are some seasons where it seems that the difficulties just come out of nowhere.  I was writing to one of the friends who lost their mom this weekend.  It reminded me of when my own father died.

My father passed unexpectedly in his sleep in 2003.  He lived alone and was found by a friend after he passed.  Both me and my mom didn’t have cell phones during that time which left his side of the family without a way to contact us.  We almost didn’t find out except that someone remembered where I went to church at the time and came and found me there on Sunday morning.  As soon as I heard the news it was almost like a movie that I was watching happening… it was just surreal to me.  In several ways, God has been preparing me for his passing since 1999.  I couldn’t leave my Dad without saying I loved him or gave him a hug.  If I did leave, I would get this prompting to remember that this could be the last time I see him.  So when my aunt tells me that my father has passed it’s like “wow… ok… here it is… this is reality now”.

In a lot of ways I was already “ok” with it.  He had some health issues (Diabetes and a congestive heart condition) but he was doing fine – he had plans to go to the movies the next day.  He was only in his 50’s.  We’d started spending random time together, catching a movie and talking about his memories growing up.  We’d begun to work through some of the difficulties in how we bonded and showed each other love.  God renewed our relationship.  Some things that came out of that restoration I didn’t realize until at least a year after he passed: He was proud of me. To this day, that realization gives me strength like nothing else anyone has ever said to me.  I’ll write more about that later.

One thing that helped me through the time after he passed was the song: “A Song of Strength” by Fred Hammond.

[ Verse 1: ]
What do you do
When the life you’ve
planned is shattered
What do you say
When the one you love is gone
How do you live
Seems like no hope for tomorrow
Pain doesn’t care where you
live or who you are

[ Chorus: ]
Lord You see my life is broken
And I don’t know what to do
While I’m in this
change, help me remain
I will count on You, oh, oh
When I can’t see, I know You’ll guide
When I cry out, I know You feel
Now I’m praying, I know You hear
I’m praying for healing, I know You will

[ Verse 2: ]
Who do you call
When no one has the answer
Where do you go
When the place you’ve know is no more
When will they stop
All the tears they just keep falling
Pain doesn’t care where you
live or who you are

[ Repeat Chorus ]

[ Channel ]
We ask you to forgive
And we will do the same
We receive Your love
Lord we’ll take time to heal

[ Vamp ]
Hold on and wait just a little while
He’ll bring a song of
strength in the midnight
Touch our lives with Your loving Hand
Hold on, we’ll hold on

Hold on and wait just a little while

I hope that you find encouragement and strength in your difficult midnight hours. –Darren