HAPPY ANNIVERSARY DAD! I LOVE YOU!!!
Today is my Dad's one year anniversary of walking with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I have already shed a river of tears today, because I miss my father terribly. I miss his presence and his hugs. He was a great man who loved and cared for his family. But today I will also REJOICE because my father has spent the last 365 days in heaven with his Heavenly Father and his Savior Jesus. Today is my father's first year anniversary of his best life ever, and for that I am forever grateful. Below is a letter I wrote my mother after my father's death. I wanted her to know without a shadow of a doubt that Dad was safe in Jesus's arms. As you read this letter pay attention to all the ways in which God communicated to me my father's final destination. God loves to speak to his children!
I love you DAD and I will see you soon!!!
I wanted to put in writing for you the words, dreams, and visions that God gave me to confirm with me that Dad was spiritually saved by Jesus in the final days of his life, so that you never question where Dad is spending eternity, and so that you have the confidence that you will see him one day in heaven. Thank you Jesus!!! I know I shared some of what God revealed to me, while I was with you during Dad's funeral, but there is so much more that I want you to know. So here I go…
Immediately before Bob (my brother) called me on Sunday, February 4th, in order to let me know that Dad was found unresponsive in his bed, and was being brought to the ER, I woke up to God saying to me,
“Bringing People to Jesus Christ.”
“You are not going to believe this.”
So when Bob called, of course, I didn’t believe what I was hearing. I didn’t believe Bob’s words, because I didn’t believe that this was how Dad’s life would end. I have believed for years that I would have proof that Dad had accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior before he physically died.
Because I didn’t believe what I was hearing from Bob, I immediately prayed that Dad would have a near death experience while they were doing CPR on him at the hospital. I prayed that during his near death experience he would meet Jesus and accept him as his Lord and Savior. I prayed that Dad would physically come back to life, after his near death experience, and would share his story of meeting Jesus with our family.
As you shared with me later, Dad did come back to life a few times, temporarily, while CPR was being done. Even though Dad did not live, I believe that during those temporary moments between death and life, during CPR, Dad did finally meet Jesus and asked him to be his Lord and Savior!!! I will tell you how I know this to be truth in a moment.
Over the years, I know that you and I have had many conversations about Dad’s salvation. Both you and I questioned if he was saved or not. God had actually given me two dreams about Dad, over the period of a few years, confirming that he was not saved. In both dreams, Dad was alive and yet dead, dead and yet alive. God helped me understand that these dreams represented Dad being “physically alive” and yet “spiritually dead”, because of his unbelief. To confirm these dreams, a few years ago, while you were in the hospital, a pastor came to your room and offered you and Dad communion. When the pastor asked Dad if he had a personal relationship with Jesus, he replied, “Well, I was confirmed in high school.” It was obvious to the pastor and to me that there was a great disconnect for Dad. He may have believed that being confirmed in high school was all that was needed for faith. It was obvious that he didn’t know what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Finally, Dad himself confirmed the lack of a personal relationship with Jesus when you asked Dad one night in bed, over a year ago, “Do you pray?” Dad responded, “No.” Without a prayer life of any kind, and also knowing that Dad never read the Bible, it became very clear to both you and I that Dad did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
So for 7 years now, I know that you and I have been praying for Dad’s salvation! I personally knew that I needed to share with you and Dad, every time I saw you two, all of my “God stories” in order to share what it looked like, and how exciting it is, to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I know that personal testimonies of God’s love and communication with his children are very powerful witnesses for unbelievers. I made sure to continually plant seeds into Dad’s life through my stories. In addition, during my last visit to see you in August, I physically walked 7 circles around Meramec Bluffs, your home, praying for Dad’s salvation. The number 7 Biblically represents “Spiritual Completion and Perfection”, which is exactly what I was asking for Dad, for Jesus to make him spiritually complete and pure.
After finally hearing from Bob that Dad did not live, Jake (my husband) and I got into the car and started driving to St. Louis. During the first hour of the drive, I could not stop crying, because I was horrified to not know if Dad was saved or not. So, because God knew I needed to know that truth about Dad’s fate, he began talking to me.
The first thing I saw, along our journey to St. Louis, were numerous billboards for “fireworks”. After seeing these billboards over and over and over again, I finally clued in that God was trying to tell me something. God reminded me of some words that I had received from him on the day Dad went into the hospital two weeks prior to his death. On that day, God said to me while waking from sleep:
“Prepare the Fireworks”
“Victory of the People”
“Hope is rising, never give in, never give up, it’s not over yet.”
When I received these words from God I didn’t know who they applied to, that is until we were driving to St. Louis after Dad died. All of sudden I knew these words were about Dad. I received them on the day he went to the hospital. Fireworks are prepared when future CELEBRATIONS are planned. There is VICTORY when people come to KNOW Jesus Christ. There is always HOPE that your loved ones will be saved even if it is on their death-bed.
After analyzing what God had previously said to me, I started having hope that Dad was truly saved and that OUR prayers had been answered. But I still needed more. I told God that I needed to know without a doubt that Dad was saved for me to have complete peace.
Soon after this my friend Lisa texted me to let me know that when she was praying for Dad, while he was having CPR, God said to her, “Put his name on it!” Lisa knew that “it” was the “Book of Life.” So in other words, God was telling Lisa that Dad’s name was written into the Book of Life, just like all other believers, because in his final moments he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Thank you Jesus!!!
Later that evening, on the day of Dad’s death, a friend of mine named Tammy texted me with more words from God. As she was praying for a word from God for me, she heard God say, “Purple.” The color purple represents “priesthood and royalty” as it is the color that the priests wore, and it is the color of the robe that Jesus was clothed in before his crucifixion. Scripture tells us that believers become God’s priests when they become children of God. Tammy said that her heart was beating out of her chest when she heard God speak this word, “purple,” audibly to her. She didn’t know what the word meant, but she knew that I would.
1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Tammy’s words confirmed once again that Dad was now with Jesus in heaven, and that he was clothed in purple. All of these confirmations brought me so much peace that it was hard for me to be sad that Dad had passed away. For I knew that finally Dad was walking with Jesus, in his marvelous light. It was something that Dad did not get to enjoy while he was alive on earth!
So how did Dad come to know Jesus Christ in the final days of his life? I know that on the day after Dad was sent to the hospital I told God, out loud, for my husband and friends to hear, that I had done what he had asked me to do (dropping seeds into Dad’s life time after time again), and now it was up to him to do his part in Dad’s salvation. I asked God to send someone in his final days of life to lead him to salvation, to eternal life.
What I didn’t know at the time, is the person God planned to send to bring Dad to salvation was going to be you. The very next day, after I prayed this prayer, I received an email from you saying that you asked Dad the night before if you could pray for him. He said “Yes, Please.” He had shared with you recently that he was scared and afraid of all that was taking place. After you prayed with Dad he said, “Thank you.” You stated that praying for Dad felt so good and so right and that you were going to pray for him again. What I came to find out later is that you prayed with him every night for the next two weeks, as well as declaring Psalm 23 "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want..." over him. What I also didn’t know is that you had been praying Psalm 23 silently over Dad every night for over a year, and probably more, prior to this.
I know without a shadow of a doubt that Mom it was YOUR ACTIONS of praying and declaring scripture over Dad, as well as your own prayers spoken out loud that, in the end, saved Dad’s eternal life. I believe that the seeds of truth that I had planted into his mind through all of my God stories throughout the years were finally brought to his heart during his last two weeks of life. For it was during this time that Dad finally needed a Lord and Savior to save him. He accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, because he finally trusted what you spoke to be the truth. In the end it was Dad’s bride, you Mom, that brought him to salvation.
You stated that it was on the last night that you saw Dad alive, you prayed over him, read Psalm 23, and then had Dad say out loud, “Jesus loves me!” before you left him for the night. Those words are absolutely beautiful and they paint such a beautiful picture of Jesus pouring out his love for Dad in his final moments. I thank God and Jesus and give them praise and glory for all that transpired. As you said at the funeral, in your tribute to Dad, Jesus HAS successful carried Dad over the threshold into heaven, from death to life.
When I got home from the funeral one of my friends asked me about Dad’s wedding ring that you gave to me. I was wearing it at the time. I told my friend that you had bought Dad a new wedding ring on your 50th wedding anniversary. I showed her the picture of Dad that was taken at Meramec Bluffs after you moved in. You said that you had made sure that Dad’s ring was seen in the picture. When I enlarged the picture so that my friend could see a close up of his wedding ring on his finger, she and I both saw what can only be described as a “CROSS”. It was another confirmation from God that Dad was indeed with Jesus. God had made sure that Dad’s ring was visible in that picture for such a time as this.
I also realized after I was back home that you had said that it appeared to you that Dad was getting better over the previous two weeks. However, when Bob reported on Dad, he said that he was not improving. It dawned on me that what you were seeing is Dad’s spiritual health coming to life. That is why you stated that he appeared to be improving. Bob on the other hand was only seeing Dad’s physical health. What a blessing that God allowed you to see Dad coming to spiritual life! Because Jesus’ light and truth was entering into Dad’s heart, he probably appeared visibly brighter to you.
When I first heard that Dad was in the hospital, I could not remember one memory of being with just Dad, and it saddened me greatly. So I asked God to remind me of one of those moments that we shared. On the way home from St. Louis, God reminded me the most important memory of being with Dad. It was my Father-Daughter dance during our wedding. I also vividly remembered Dad walking me down the aisle on that wonderful day. Mom, the best thing Dad did for me is place me into my husband’s, Jake’s, arms, safe and secure! I will love Dad always and will miss him greatly, but I am also so very happy for him, that it is hard to be sad! I truly have a peace that passes all understanding that is hard to explain. I pray that you do too!
1 Thessalonians 4:13, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will NOT grieve like people who have no hope.”
Isaiah 25:1, “Oh Yahweh, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things, plans formed from old, faithful and sure.”
Bob said to me on the phone, while he was witnessing Dad having CPR at the hospital, “This is not going to end well.” Well…Bob was right and wrong. Because Dad physically died, it did not end well. But, because Dad became spiritually alive in Jesus Christ during those moments, Dad had the best outcome of all.
It is time for a CELEBRATION of Dad’s NEW LIFE with Jesus Christ!
It is a TIME for FIREWORKS!
I love you Mom,
P.S. Yesterday at church we sung the lyrics, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back!” As I imagined Dad saying these exact words to God, in his final moments of life, I was brought to tears of pure joy!!!