Thursday, March 20, 2008

Update on My Dad......

This is how I always think of my Dad. These pictures were taken in the mid 1980s.

Oh my goodness, I am so overwhelmed by all of your responses to my prayer request! I want you all to know how much it means to me that my family is being lifted up in this way! I have seen God work in some mighty things over the last few days and I am trying to process it all. What I know for sure is that God is near me and He is working in my life!

First let me tell you a little something about my Dad. His mother died when he was 12. A year later his older bother was placed in a State Mental Hospital due to epileptic seisures and a behavior disorder. His father was cold and distant. Through all of this my Dad had a great sense of humor. He loved to tease people and play practical jokes. Some of his jokes were over the top and some people would call them irresponsible. But that is my Dad.

We were only a family for a short time. I only remember bits and pieces. I remember he would tell me if I wished really hard, the magic fairy would leave chocolate milk and donuts on the front porch. This happened several times and I loved it. Till the time he told me to go look for them and they weren't there (he had hidden them on the balcony). That is his sense of humor.

He was a policeman when I was young. I remember at lunch one day a helicopter circled our house and through a megaphone we heard: "come out with your hands up!" That was Dad. He got in trouble with the police dept. for that one. Another time he wore his gas mask home to scare my little sister, he got in trouble with my mom for that one.

Anyway, when I was 7 my Dad found a job in sales. He met a woman at work and left us behind. They moved to California and we rarely saw him or heard from him. I did live with him and his girlfriend when I was in 8th grade. He owned a sailboat and we would spend weekends sailing on the ocean together. His girlfriend hated the water so it was just the two of us. And lots of beer. At that time he was already drinking heavily and was very moody. I moved home to Kansas.

He married and divorced 3 more times after that. I didn't see him much. Sometimes I got a very late birthday card but not often. I vascilated between anger, sadness and bitterness. He was going on cruises and vacations and didn't ever seem to think about his children. I feel like I have spent a lifetime crying for him. I wanted his attention and approval so badly. I finally realized that he has given me all he knows how to give.

My dad used to be very vain. He would primp for an hour before leaving the house. He took a lot of pride in how he looked and I always thought he was so very handsome. He reminded me of Ted Danson on cheers.

Unfortunately, you can't live the lifesyle he has lived and not pay a heavy price. I have watched him go in and out of rehab for several years. He now struggles to get by, both physically and financially. His body is old and weak. I have prayed and prayed that God would work a miracle and free him from the addictions that tormented him. Alcohol, cigarettes and eventually gambling. Satan has had a field day with my Dad.

I know that when he was in California he had a boss that took him to church. There my Dad said he accepted Christ and was baptised. A couple of years ago I talked with him and he assured me he knows the Lord. But his life wasn't showing it. How could I be sure?
A little over a month ago my Dad entered rehab again. He defeated his addictions and has been free from alcohol and cigarettes for 6 weeks now. I spoke with him while he was there. I told him I love him and how proud I am of him.

Tuesday morning he couldn't breathe and had tightness in his chest. An ambulance took him to the hospital. He had suffered a mild heart attack and was placed on oxygen to help him breathe. Wednesday afternoon he suffered another heart attack and was placed on a ventilator. The doctors have said it doesn't look good. My sister has gone to see him and I am waiting to hear what happens next.

Last night I prayed that somehow I could know where he is at with God. Will he go to heaven? Does he believe? I was led to an email that he had sent me last year. A friend of mine had just passed away and this is what my Dad's email said.............

My darling daughter Kelley,
I was so sad to read your latest email about your friend, Mary.
In all of the turmoil that life on earth presents, it is sometimes easy to question God's plan for life. I am convinced there is a reason to every end of life on earth if only to imagine a life after, filled with joy and happiness. That is the answer to our prayers. Hard to understand sometimes.

Love you,

Do you think that was my answer from God? I found another email I had kept that said in part.....

I can't sleep at night. Was up at 4am today. Worrying about my finances and my loss of esteem with family. It goes right along with my problems with alcohol. I tuned in to a religious music station on the radio and I began to sob and sing to the words of the songs that I knew.

My heart has felt a little more at ease after re-reading these emails. What a treasure they turned out to be. I am also grateful that whatever the outcome he beat the addiction to alcohol, cigarettes and gambling. Satan, you are a defeated foe and you could not win this one! Praise the Lord and give Him the glory! My Dad will be healed and whole, one way or another!!!


Kim said...

Oh Sweet Kelley~
What a BEAUTIFUL post!!!! As I read your post, the depth of LOVE you have for your Father is clear!!!!

I my heart of hearts...that your Father...has made peace with HIS Father...and you will see him in Heaven!

Often, and I'm not sure takes TOUGH life lessons, before people finally turn to God...who has been waiting, patiently...all along!!

Kelley~ All those years your Father was absent from your life, our precious Heavenly Father....was your Father. His word tells us that he IS the Father, to the Fatherless.

Jesus has wrapped you in his arms, protected you, continued to lead and guide you, and look at your life today!!! You are an AMAZING Godly woman...married and you have a BEAUTIFUL family.

I'm always SO see how God takes the ashes of our lives, and turns them to beauty!!

Know that I'm continuing to pray for you and your Father.

For your Fathers healing, either here...or in heaven. And, for you...for your heart...your memories....and for complete healing, knowing that you are a special woman.....and Kelley, even if you would have been the ONLY person here...our precious Jesus...would have STILL walked the road to Calvary!!!!

Jesus LOVES you so much...and so do I sweet Kelley!!!

Standing in the gap for you!!!


luvmy4sons said...

Oh dear sweet friend in Christ. Your heart is so out there in this post, and I think it is beautiful. God bless you. God love you! The following statement is the wisest thing you could understand about your dad: "I finally realized that he has given me all he knows how to give." I too had to learn it with my parents. Wise, wise girl! If big hugs and a nice soothing cup of joe and a cozy little talk by the window in the sun were able to be passed on through this computer...I am passing it along! Love hugs, prayers sweet sister.

Tonya said...

Kelley, I'm so happy to hear that you're at peace with this. GOD IS AMAZING in how HE prepares us for whats to come. (Even by leading you to find those old emails)

Thanks for updating - we'll keep praying!


Stephanie said...

Hi Kelley,
I just stopped by your blog from Tonya's(Safe in His Arms). What an incredible post! I could sense your great love for your father, even in the midst of all the pain you have endured. Your faith inspires me and I will pray for your father.

By the way, I saw that you love Jodi Picoult novels...I cried my way through one last week and could not put it down!

Love to you and your family!

Debbie said...

Your love for your dad is evident and your love for the Father is evident. I am praying for you and your dad!!


Rhonda said...

Thank you for sharing your story of your Dad. What a life he has had.

It must have been so difficult for you to have felt more like the grown-up at times.

But in the midst of all of his bad choices; you must know that your Dad really loves you.

Becky @ Boys Rule My Life said...

I don't have any great words of wisdom as these other ladies do, but I can and will pray with you. :)


Joyful said...

My very dear friend, I read this after responding to your last message to me. Thanks for your heartfelt sharing. I love the pictures you included of your Dad - he really does look like Ted Danson. Thanks for sharing so many memories. So glad for the way the Lord has spoken peace to your heart.
Continuing in prayer and sending love and hugs,

Yolanda said...

Continue this journey, Kelly, with HOPE, LOVE and the forgiveness that Christ has shown each one of us. You are strong, Girlfriend, because He lives on the inside of you!

Love ya,

Susan said...

Oh Kelly,

I'm sooooooooooo sorry I'm just reading these posts. I promise to pray for you dad.

I was so TOUCHED to read those emails he wrote, what a GIFT from God for YOU.

I believe God has touched him deeply and will use all of this for HIS glory.

You've been through alot. One day I'd like to share some of my past with my dad with you.

Keep believing, I'll keep praying♥

It's All Good! said...

We'll be praying the Lord's peace be so evident in yours and your dad's life right now. God bless.

Jenny said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I think that was a reminder from God.

My grandmother didn't go to church much, she was distant and could be mean. When she got sick I ended up staying in the hospital with her all day while the girls were at school. When she died, I was so sad because I didn't know if she knew Jesus for sure.

When we were cleaning her things up, I found an old Bible, marked up. I found certificates where she had taken her children to VBS. I felt like God was showing me, she knew him. She had just drifted away.

Later, my mom told me what at that time was a family secret, her husband papa (who died when I was 8), had an affair with a woman of another race. Openly, for a good length of time. It caused all kinds of family issues, especially in that day and age. I kinda thought maybe when that happened, some bitterness set in, and maybe the church people didn't respond as well as they should have or maybe the shame was just too much.

Anyway, I went back and read all the passage she had marked, and then packed the Bible up to keep it safe.

I'm sharing this with you, to say, God knows that sometimes we need reassurance, so you can believe that is what it is and rest easier!

I'm praying for your Dad and you! It is wonderful that you got to see him turn his life around.


Jamie said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I will continue to pray!

Jenny said...

I just prayed for your dad's physical heart and his spiritual heart.
I have tears in my eyes.
Your dad reminds me, to some extent, of my own dad. The love for an earthly father is something that runs sooo deep. I will continue to pray for him as he comes to mind :)

MrsJoeB said...

Kelley-I am still praying. I felt so emotional walking through your life in this post. Thank you for sharing. It has been a blessing to be here. Hang on to Christ!
In His Graces~Pamela

Shari said...

It sounds like God is working in your Dad's life. That's great that he was able to overcome the addictions. I just prayed that God would help him and his spiritual condition.

Christina said...

Thank you for the prayers you are praying for my mom and I will pray for your dad. I have been reading what you wrote and am very glad to hear that Satan cannot have your dad. How awesome God is. I will pray for a miracle for you too. God bless you and your family and your dad.

Ang baylis said...

This is THE most amazing post I have read in a LONG time! I am so grateful for your openness and honesty! You are an authentic friend and I appreciate you so much! I am praying for your Dad!

Much love to you,
Angie xoxo

Lelia Chealey said...

This is absolutely heartfelt & beautiful! Philippians 1:12 my dear friend. Read it & believe that God is going to use ALL of your past for HIS glory. You'll be able to help others.
I love you my friend.

Lelia Chealey said...

I have to add as I'm typing this right now, my husband has our 6 year old on his lap and they're praying. I think if I hadn't just read this post I would've just blocked it out as I've heard them pray many times together before. Thanks Kelley for sharing everything and making me aware of the good my kids' daddy is doing.
Love you.