The Faultless Father

One of my favorite stories that my dad likes to tell, is when I was quite young, I had a cracker that I had broken somehow, and with total trust and assurance that my dad could indeed do what I was asking, I extended the fractured pieces toward him and said, “Daddy, fix it?”

 

Though our human fathers may be capable of many great things, not one of them can fix in us, all that is fractured. However, our Heavenly Father, can. I know today is a mixed bag of emotions for many, as not all have access to their earthly fathers, nor the desire to do so. There is a Father that we all have access to, who is waiting with arms open wide. Jesus came to heal the broken, love the hurting and save all those who are feeling lost and alone. Peace is found in Him who created each of us, and knows us better than we know ourselves.

 

Dad and boys

Cautious, Super Spouse & Adventurous a few years ago…

May we each make time,

to celebrate You;

our ultimate Dad,

whom hope is held through.

Please bless all the dads,

who honor You well;

that love as You ask,

in whose hearts You dwell.

Be near to the ones,

who have lost their dad;

memories of joy,

rather than the sad.

Stay close too, to those,

whose fathers are not;

what they’re meant to be,

will You fill that spot?

Lord Jesus, today,

I’m happy to say;

You’re our perfect Dad,

on this Father’s Day.

 

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. – (Psalm 68:5)

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that whether we have a wonderful dad, an absent dad, or anything in between – You are our Father without fault, who loves us unconditionally. Thank You that You see and know us, yet still love, in spite of ourselves. Thank You that when we come to You and commit our lives to You, You welcome us into Your family forever. Forgive us for our failings with our fathers, and heal fractured places in each of us. May today be a reason for all to celebrate fathers – and above all, a celebration of You, our Heavenly Father. Let our hearts hold fast to the security we have in You, and may we live and love as lights to all whom encounter. May many come to know You as their Heavenly Father today. Be exalted as we celebrate You and the fathers who reflect Your heart and character today. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

 

 

Treasures to Hold

Just over three months ago, a very dear friend of mine breathed her last breath.  She had fought long and hard, a battle that would have caused many to quit, yet never in the nine years of the invasion of that devastating disease, did Anne even once, allow cancer to define her.  She knew with all certainty that she was above all, a child of God.  Her faith in our Heavenly Father did not waiver, regardless of what the doctors had told her.

Her perseverance and unwavering faith, are two of the things that I most admired about Anne.  So often, she would extend encouragement to those who were providing her medical care.  Laughter and light-hearted banter were common during many of her appointments.  The verse that brought her great comfort in her final days was 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” For she had indeed fought and finished in firm faith.

A dear friend asked me how I might remember Anne this Christmas.  I was a bit taken aback, as avoidance has been my coping mechanism of choice.  However, it is nearly impossible to navigate this season without reminders of my dear friend, as we have had many outings in this most blessed of seasons gone by.  As we spoke, I realized that perhaps part of me had avoided actual shopping in stores for gifts this year, as that is something that Anne and I have done together many times over the past few years.

I do not yet know if I am meant to do anything in particular to remember Anne, but I do know that I am to embrace her memory – the gift of friendship that I was given in her – and to be grateful for the example she set in perseverance and faith, and for the assurance that I have, knowing that she fought the good fight and is home, where I will one day see her again.

My heart will now hold,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

memories so dear;

treasures of friendship,

hope that is secure.

The faithful fighter,

no more needs to fight;

now in heaven’s hold,

our Savior’s delight.

I will remember,

the blessings I’ve known;

modeled endurance,

such steadfast faith shown.

Thank You, Lord Jesus,

for Your gifts of grace;

may we be steadfast,

secure in our faith.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gifts that You give us in friends.  Thank You for the blessings that they bring, be it for a season or for a lifetime.  Thank You for the lessons that we learn from one another, when we are securely rooted in You.  Forgive us for not facing painful or sorrowful things, and help us to embrace each of the experiences that You bring, trusting that You have a purpose and a plan to use each experience for our ultimate good.  Teach us to persevere when things are difficult, and to have a faith that is unwavering, even when all seems to be shaking around us.  May our confidence and security in You, be a living testimony to all who are around us.  May many come to call You King this Christmas.  Be our hope and our help, Lord God.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Knowing Our Need

In the midst of a weekend of remembrance, I found myself flooded with many memoires of Anne. It seemed no matter where I went, little things were reminding me of her, and the sorrow seemed to want to wrap itself around me like tightly bound burial clothes. Each time the sorrow would attempt to seep in, I would shove it away, dismissing it, as I deemed the moments as inappropriate to deal with the emotions as they attempted to ensue. Ongoing repression tends to lead to agitation, and I found myself getting irritated with my boys over things that usually do not phase me. God brought to my attention the need to seek a sister in the body, as He was not asking me to process this alone. A few texts later, and I was on my way to a pleasant escape.

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – (I Corinthians 12:27) Just as I needed time with another to verbalize what was going on, so also, others need the gifts that He has placed in me, in order to be their best selves, and function best in their role in the body. He created us to need each other to function as a whole. Not all of us are teachers, nor apostles, nor administrators, yet every one of us can make ourselves available in some capacity to serve one another. As we choose to serve, our gifts begin to unwrap.

To be the body,Aine and Me

we must do our part;

place best foot forward,

be willing to start.

Faith is required,

in order to move;

we must trust in Him,

all doubt be removed.

Just come as we are,

He takes what we bring;

and creates beauty,

with our offering.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created us to be relational people. Thank You that we were designed to love You and love each other. Forgive us for where we have failed to do either, and help us to choose love anew today. Thank You that we each are given different strengths to best benefit the body as a whole. Please teach us how we are to use our gifts to edify the body, encouraging one another in love. Lead us to love as You love us, and may many come to know the amazing grace available to all who seek Your face. May we be a united body before You. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

In Sorrow’s Stay

Be HolyWithin this grief,

this state of loss;

I can’t help look,

upon the cross.

For on that day,

such loss was known;

His dying words,

foundation stone.

Because He loved,

enough to die;

those who believe,

our tears He’ll dry.

The promise held,

because of grace;

since on that day,

He took our place.

On the third day,

He rose again;

defeated death,

conquered all sin.

So now we stand,

in righteousness;

because the truth,

resides in us.

Though waves will come,

our hope, secure;

the Prince of Peace,

is dwelling here.

“He will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will pass away.” – (Revelation 21:4)

For nearly twenty-four hours, all I had felt was numb and lost. Perhaps it was Christ’s provision so that I could maintain my daily routine and not wallow in grief, or maybe it was simply a wait until I slowed down and sat still. Whatever it was, I suddenly could feel a flood coming. As I drove back toward the house where Aine had been held until she was ready to take His hand, the pressure behind my eyes was building. All I could do, was breathe. I walked up to the all too familiar door, saw a smile, and was waved in. Loving arms reached out to embrace me, and held fast as the wave hit. For the first time in many weeks of this wearying walk, I allowed myself to fully feel. So much sorrow seeped out as I was held. It felt as if it would go on forever, yet peace did at last, come. Stories and sweet moments of sharing memories, followed. His grace and peace permeated every pore.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You hold us up in our space of such sorrow, for You have known the greatest grief of all, as You sent Your Son to die for this sinful world, so that we might one day dwell with You forever. Thank You that You love us where we are at, and remind us that this is not our home. Forgive us for fearing that the mourning might not end, and remind us again how Your joy comes in the morning. Thank You that You bring beauty from ashes and hope from despair. Please continue to hold our hands and hearts in the process. Thank You that Your presence is permanent when we choose to follow You, and Your faithfulness never ends. May many move to make their hearts Your home, as the story of Anne’s life and death is shared. We love You Lord, and are so grateful for Your endless grace. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present