Monday, January 27, 2014


There are moments…

Moments when the reality of my dad's death catches me off guard, and the tears flow.

One happened the other day.

When we "inventoried" everything that we brought home from the rehab facility, I realized that two of my dad's shirts were missing.  No one else thought it was a big deal, but it was to me.  I wanted everything that belonged to my dad to come home.

So I called the nursing station, and they thoughtfully looked in the laundry area and located the missing shirts.

The other day, I went over to pick them up.

I was doing pretty good when I walked in the front door.  Had a very nice visit with the receptionist guy, who remembered my dad's name.  I was a little shakier when I walked to the nurse's station and saw, just a few feet away, the doorway to my dad's room.

I couldn't help but think, that’s the last place that my dad ever lived. It was weird and sad.

When they handed me the bag with Dad's shirts, I crumpled a bit.  Held it together through their very thoughtful condolences.  But then, when I returned to the car and climbed in next to "The Hub" – I lost it.  Cried and cried.  He felt terrible that he hadn’t gone in with me, but I told him it was OK.

It felt like a journey that I needed to walk alone.

As we were driving home, I took the visitor sticker off of my shirt, and placed it on the front of the bag holding my dad's shirts.

And that's when it hit me.

Dad is home!

He was but a visitor on this earth, nothing but a pilgrim passing through.

Aren't we all?!

Why do we lose sight of this?

Well, for one thing, we have an enemy who likes to keep us near-sighted. Why does he do that?  Because he's afraid.  He knows that if we focused on our future, our real future, our inheritance, then we just might realize who we really are…

…Children of the Almighty God.

And if we realized that, well, we might just become dangerous.

Strong, powerful, effective, unafraid.

You see, the enemy knows the truth of something we tend to forget – that when he looks at us, he sees JESUS!

Yup, JESUS – as in Risen Savior.

The devil might have cackled in victorious glee at the sight of a broken and battered body hanging on a cross.  But the empty tomb was no laughing matter!

So when he sees Jesus in us, he sees his greatest foe – our Victor.

And when one of us believers dies, well, he is reminded of his ultimate defeat and final judgment.

This is why he works so hard to make us think that this life is all there is. It's why he throws constant arrows at us – distractions, defeats, discouragements, despairs to keep our vision blurred to the reality of who we are, where we're headed…

…and the ONE who made it all possible!

We're all travelers, pilgrims – sojourners on this tired old planet.

But we're headed somewhere.

And that's what we must keep our eyes focused on.

My dad has left the temporary depot that is this world.  He has boarded the Train to Eternity.  His REAL life has just begun…

Now I'm asking you – what if we all focused on that, and lived like we believed it?

Might we scare an enemy?!

I don't know about you, but I want to be dangerous!!

 This world is not my home,
I'm just a-passin' through,
I'm on my way to see Jesus,
How about you?

"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.  And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.  So be truly glad.  There is wonderful joy ahead..." 
(1 Peter 1:3-6, NLT)

"You love him even though you have never seen him.  Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls." 
(1 Peter 1:8-10, NLT)

"Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.  For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.  And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory." (Colossians 3:1-4, NLT)

"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.  Enter into the JOY of your master.'" (Matthew 25:23, ESV)

(Albert E. Brumley, c. 1937)

This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Oh Lord, you know, I have no friend like you
If heaven's not my home, then Lord what will I do
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Just over in Gloryland we'll live eternally 
The saints on every hand are shouting victory
Their songs of sweetest praise drift back from heaven's shore
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Oh Lord, you know...

What keeps you from focusing on eternity?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Sharon, in every trial and tribulation, the Lord will get the glory when it's all said and done ...whether we recognize it right away or not. Your post today is an example of that. Through your experience with losing your dad, you are able to share your heart to help someone else who might be reading this right now and is going through similar circumstances. Bless you for being so transparent...and praise God, this world is NOT our home!

    God bless you and continue to bring you peace.

  2. I love that old song, Sharon. I know it must be so hard to process the grief that comes after a parent passes. I pray that, when I have to go through such a loss I can remember how true the song is. Death is but a doorway to the next life, the one that lasts forever, where we'll never grow old, where all tears are wiped away.

    Prayers for your this morning.

  3. Amen that we are all visitors here and some day will go to our true home. I know the day you do, Sharon, you will be much welcomed by Jesus as well as your dear dad! I always think going through grief, it is good to let the tears flow, they can be healing (and remember God stores each and every one of them, that's why I'm convinced when I get to heaven there will be a Lake Betty, or perhaps an Ocean Betty :)

    hugs to you; keeping you in my prayers


  4. Hi Sharon, Another brilliant blog from your heart. God be with You, well I know He is and I know that you know He is.

  5. Your writing always speaks to my heart... ALWAYS! You say what I think, so many times Sharon. Thank you!


    P.S... My dil would love the link for Kathy, who has the tea room in the mall, when you have a minute. Thanks.

  6. (sigh) Amen Sharon! Spoken (written) as a VICTORIOUS beloved Dad's daughter.

    I was not sure that I could read this without sobbing with you and thought I would hold off until I was stronger to read your heart but I sensed a note of strength, even in the crying moments through the message you were sharing and the simple Truth that we are"just passing through". You give testimony in the midst of your grief to the Spirit of Aslan and JOY in this journey. You truly have an anointing that takes this much deeper for all of us, as we may "lose sight" in our own "whatever" that the enemy pitches his many arrows but is powerless to the Victor: Jesus! WOW! What great revelation you captured when you made the spiritual connection for us. Truly J.O.Y. has shown you this Victory in the middle of the grief, sentiment, and passing through the places that you must (where dad once lived) but now he lives eternally. Gathering the earthly remnants or treasures just seem to help with closure and realizing earthly vs. eternal focus.
    Your pioneering way and this pilgrimage will help others along this journey ... because you give us the HOPE from your heart and its healing, and I see the strength in you. Even with the song, scriptures and great question for us:

    What keeps you from focusing on eternity? tactics of the enemy to keep me earthly bound ... maybe earthly worries, future fears, even fear of letting go or actually dying or how. I would hope to go in my sleep ... yet one never knows. I think also the enemy tries to convince us often that "this is all there is" (of course, it does not help that I have an unbeliever that tells me this) ... lies or doubts that we let into our minds when we should be transforming them rather than allowing our thoughts and ways to conform like those who do not BELIEVE in Jesus. May we cling to our belief in the Resurrection Power and the authority that you have fearlessly written, standing on God's Truths. Well done, sis!!!

    To the beginning of your dad's real life and heaven's hope! Boarding pass ready and stamped for the "train to eternity"! Yep ... Jesus Only You! "Strength for today and all my tomorrows" Thank you for this eternal hope! Thanks to the One who makes it possible! Glory to the King, who reigns eternally.

    Thank you, Sharon for sharing from your grieving heart how we can grieve God's way and press on ... covering your heart and family still with prayers believing in Our Comforter! (((hugs))) love and another "very small heart" that holds a rather large amount of gratitude ... for you, your gift of writing, and your J.O.Y. I love you Sharon ...

    Blessings, Peggy

  7. Hi Sharon! Your post today reminded me so much of a Psalm. David often starts off his songs in sadness, then reviews how much God loves him, then ends in praise.

    I'm sorry you are grieving so much. It really is hard. But it's also a testament to how much you loved him. That's the double edged sword to love. It brings so much joy, but when it's gone, it brings on the sadness.

    I know you'll be transformed to the realization that your Dad is happy, and your sorrow will be turned to joy. But in the meantime, I think it's ok to cry. It's ok to miss him. It's the love talking. And God is love.

  8. Just visitors...yes, and praise God! I had moments like that (and sometimes still do) following my dad's passing. They tended to sneak up on me when I least expected it. However, just like you, when I remembered where Dad is now, that his life is truly just beginning, my heart is filled with joy. I like to think that my dad is "up there" playing bridge with some old friends and teaching campfire songs to new buddies, all while dancing with Jesus.

  9. Thank you for sharing this private and tender moment with us here at "Tell Me a Story." It is amazing how God can use such a little thing as a "Visitor Sticker" to illustrate a truth to us.

  10. Beautiful post. Your photo is a powerful reminder that life is but a moment. We have today. Let's live it fully, making it count eternally. I am so glad that I stopped here from Tell Me A Story. May God continue to bring you comfort & peace. Blessings!

  11. Oh my sweet friend...I just found out about your Dad when I saw your comment on Lidia's blog!
    I am so sorry for your sorrow!
    I read this and cried, but had to wipe away the tears when I realized that your Dad is home!
    I can see your heavenly Father comparing notes with your earthly father right now...They are proud of their little girl!
    You are such a good daughter.
    ...And a good friend...I Love you~ Lisa

  12. My heart is racing, and I want to stand up and cheer but cry at the same time. I guess that's a little tiny bit how you feel. I love that you put the sticker on the bag, and I hope that you keep that beautiful bag as a reminder forever. We are all just visitors, and on the other side of the Jordan, our real home waits, complete with Dads who are already there and, if we can be so bold as to say... even better... a Heavenly Father who has been waiting since He formed us in the womb to get us there.

    I loved what you said about the cackle, and I LOVED how you followed it with the thought of the empty tomb.

    I will continue to lift you, Sharon. People with big hearts feel the hurt of them so deeply. You are such a person.

    (And I'm sorry to be so late. I feel the need to tell you that because I care about you and what you're going through. We're anticipating a monster storm here and I'm a little scattered trying to get ready. It has hindered my computer time.)

    I hope they are all crying wolf...

  13. I told you I was scattered and a bit frantic. Look at the stringy message I left. Sorry. My own post was a hot mess too. Hugs, Sharon.

  14. Sharon, this correlates so well to something I read earlier today about us being just visitors here on earth. Far too often my thoughts are centered here but I'm but a visitor here as well. Hugs to you.

  15. You know I saw them wheel my mom and brother out of their rooms with just a sheet on. I learned then this world was not mine.

  16. Sharon, so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. (been away and out of the loop for awhile!) It never gets easier for those of us left behind, but praise (!) that he is sitting up there in heaven's glory looking down with a smile while he waits for you to join him!! When we think of these things we can bear our sorrow and look forward to the day when we go home! :)

    Blessings sweet sister!

  17. AMEN!!! That is the truth I hold on to!
    I am also holding you in my heart with prayers and tears in my eyes.

  18. And, yes, one of the main things I focus on is that we live here for decades ... not always seeing family and friends or going where we want to to see them [in my case, Uganda], but have said to some that decades are part of reality, but eternity IS reality. I'll see my parents, so many friends, so many in history or Biblical history that have grabbed me long ago, for instance, Jeremiah and Nehemiah and so many others. That's what/all I can count on. Ain't good enough here; WILL be there. VERY GOOD! And you'll truly have a wonderful time with you Dad. That's all we can count on.

  19. Nothing makes eternity more clear than when one of our loved ones gets there before we do. Death is so final, until we remember as you sid so well, that they are HOME. It stamps on our hearts again that this is not our home. I love your bag with the label Sharon. I have a rubber ball that we gave dad to squeeze in the hospital after his stroke, he did, and it probably helped him as he was a baseball player. Even though he died 2 days later, and I kept the ball, my heart is glad as I know yours is, that they are HOME!

    Love you sister, praying for comfort each day.

  20. Lived like we believed it! That comment really stood out to me. My pastor preached recently along the lines of... You are a Christian, now act like one. I don't think those were the exact words but your comment made me think of that. In too many ways I still don't live like I believe...doubting who I am...and oh how that creepy enemy feeds on that.
    Continuing to keep you in my prayers, Sharon.
    Much love,

  21. How present the Lord was with you in that moment. And, an epiphany with a glimpse of a Heavenly Truth. Hold fast to that gift as you work through this year and hit more milestone moments - like the door to his old room. Not there - better place.
    Be ye blessed . . .

  22. What began with tears you finished joy and hope! Thank you for sharing and I, too, want to live dangerously until we go to our real home.

  23. Visiting from Faith Barista... I'm so sorry about the loss of your dad, Sharon. I wish you strength for each day. Love the powerful lessons you have learned! How the enemy wants to keep us near-sighted, but "You see, the enemy knows the truth of something we tend to forget – that when he looks at us, he sees JESUS!"

  24. I'm visiting from Faith Jam. What an honest reminder of the reality in which we live as Christians. Thank you for sharing this part of your journey with such hope and beauty.

  25. praying for peace to continue to enfold you
    yes, he is home
    while we here still walk feeling the pain of loss

  26. Sharon, it's very hard letting a parent go; the tears are OK. Just remember that Jesus will put all your tears in a jar and release them as blessings....A post that is a precious honor to your Dad....Praise God He knew he was going home....

  27. My heart hurts for you sweet sister. So very sorry for your loss. Praying for you, and loving you.

  28. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart hurts with you. Praying God's arms around you.

    Thank you for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday. God bless.

  29. I know you are grieving, but I was relieved to read how the Lord got you through this day. So true, this is not our final home and I also related to your feelings of "I have to walk this alone." That was me in 2012 when my mom went to her final home. Take your time with it and I'm so glad that you feel some comfort. Thanks for stopping by with birthday wishes and making me laugh!

  30. This is a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing and reminding us that we are but a moment.

  31. Sharon, I think I shared with you that I have a good friend who is heading home to heaven soon after fighting cancer for 5 years. All week long, the same hymn you shared here has been on my heart. I looked up the words earlier this week, and actually posted a You Tube video of Rich Mullins singing part of this hymn to my facebook page. I had to smile when I landed on your page tonight and saw the hymn here again. God is so good to me.

    I am thankful that I know that He has prepared a place for me. It comforts me and gives me courage on tough days. May God continue to wrap Himself around you. Big Hugs

    Thanks for linking up at Thought-Provoking Thursday! :)

  32. Oh Sharon! Keeping you in my prayers. May God wrap His arms around you and continue to bring healing.

  33. Hi Sharon,

    My heart hurts with you. May you feel our Lord's tender embrace, and feel lifted into His arms when you need Him the most.

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

    I want to live dangerously too. So thankful this world isn't our home.

  34. Sharon, thank you so much for continuing to share your grief so openly. It is easy to forget our dwelling on earth is temporary but our heavenly eternal home is yet to come.
    Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)