If you had asked me two or three years ago what I would have done if I lost my pap, I would have told you that I could not even fathom the thought of life on earth going on without him. I literally could not squeeze that huge thought into my brain. I honestly believed that if my pap died three years ago, life on earth would have come to a screeching halt… stopping everything in its path.
Ask me today how I feel about my pap being gone and this is what I would tell you:
I have many, many wonderful memories of my pap. When I was just a little girl, he came and set up my swing set. The very same swing set that my brother and sister and I played on for over a decade. He could and would fix anything. Whenever anyone had a problem, we always called pap. I learned all of my curse words from my pap! I have used those for almost two decades.
And in the last five years, he had cancer. We have all been angry that cancer exists and we have all seen what it does to its victims. And I used to pray, “Lord, help me feel better. Help my pap feel better. Make my grandma feel better. Make this easy for her.” But He creates these circumstances in our lives for a reason… and that is to make us more like Him. We exist for God’s purposes, not vice versa. I heard someone once say, “Why would God provide “heaven on earth” when he’s planned the real thing for you in eternity?” God gives us our time on earth to build and strengthen our character for heaven. I have tried this prayer instead, “Lord, Use this to make me grow and be more like You.”
Paul said, “Our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory. If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later.”
When I look at my pap’s earthly body, I can’t help but to just smile. Because I am thankful for knowing him for almost 23 years. And in the last five, I have gained more respect for him than ever before. I truly saw him not grow old, but grow up. And that is what I will remember. And I am genuinely happy for him now that he is in Heaven. Both of my grandparents will be at my wedding in two weeks. And although it might seem like forever away and it will be a long road, it’s really just the blink of an eye before we are all at that family reunion again.