cleansing her by the washing with water through the word

Monday, June 20, 2011

This is our God

Father's day. When your dad has been dead for 7 years, this holiday is tricky. Because on one hand, you're MARRIED to a father. But on the other hand, you don't really have a father anymore. So, while I attempted a celebration of the father my children have by running to Cub to get the biggest cinnamon twist you ever saw (seriously...what in the world? are they feeding bears with the day-olds?), my heart was heavy as we entered into church.

"I can't come to Bible study tonight b/c I have plans with my dad." "We can come over but have to leave early because we are having dinner with my dad." "I need you to remind me to call my dad today."

Leaving me with the all-day reminder of the always there hole in my heart.

But I put it aside, hoping that today, the stronger-than-she-was-a-year-ago Katie would be able to make it through her first father's day service since her dad died.

Buck UP, KB! This isn't about you!

Of course, someone had to mention it, bringing it right back. The elusive idea that God is our "heavenly father," the one who is so perfect but can never really hold me in a 6'2", 300 pound bear hug. So really, how does this help?

Then the offering music.

...I don't understand Your ways
Oh but I will give You my song...

Oh, she's good. She doesn't even sound like she's trying. I'm wish I could sing like her. This is nice. There's the basket...I wish I had a sign to hold up that I do EBT with our tithe so I don't look like I'm giving nothing when the basket goes by. I should have bought Jason a card. Pay attention, KB.

I'm desperate in seeking, frantic believing...

I love her outfit. Maybe I should offer to help with the kiddos. I hope Maiz does okay today. I wonder if I should ask J to pick her up...


It was like the song got louder. Like I was wearing an in-ear monitor with just the vocal.

wait...what Lord?


Wait, God? What?

This. That. That day. This journey. Your heartbreak. That hole. My faithfulness.

Tears are pouring out now.


Jason put his arm around me. The song is beautiful. My little tears were quickly turning into Oprah's "ugly cry." Why did I almost make us late because of mascara this morning?

See? 5 years ago he would have had no idea what your heart was crying about right now and he totally knows. It's gonna be worth it.

It's already worth it.

Oh the song done? I can't stop crying. I am going to be so distracting during the message. Curse my front row insistence! I should probably leave. Oh, Lord, please don't let Jason follow me out.

Um...there's, like, nowhere good to go to be alone in our church when God has something he wants to say to you that you know you aren't going to get through without some snot and sobs. There are people everywhere. So I went in the only place that offered any privacy, the newly remodeled one stall bathrooms. And like any good Christian girl wanting to hear from God, I bring a church-issued Bible and sit right down on the floor. Hey, I know who cleans it, and I know what their house looks like, so I think I'm okay.

And then the brand new, super-high tech, energy saving, motion detecting lights turn off.

Really? Are we really doing this?

There I am, in the darkness with a Bible that isn't backlit and my tears. And the holy God. The God who spoke to Elijah in the gentle whisper: the Elijah who, like me, had a God experience only days before and was already alone and searching for more.

I don't have anyone to call, God! I don't have anyone to take out to dinner! I don't have anyone to mail a meaningless $4 card to! GOD! I am fatherless and alone.

True, true, true, and then...there is the lie. Right there.

God, I can't even see my Bible, I need you to tell me the truth, AGAIN, with your word, God. I want to know it's from you...I already know it, but I need it again. I need it new.

Be still, Katie girl.

Wait. Wait. Oh, I hope the door is locked, God, this would be so weird. Wait.

Slow down.


Quiet. As I know He wants. Finally, quiet. On the floor of the church bathroom, the only light is coming through the crack under the door. And He has the message I have needed my whole life. The one that I have already heard, but that I needed to really, really believe.

I have summoned you by name.



But I know that....


It's sinking in...

I am father to the fatherless. YOU. ARE. MINE.

No, you don't have a dad on earth. But you have a dad in heaven. And I will be there.
I will be there. I will be there. I will be there.

He chose not to be there, but I choose to be there, because YOU ARE MINE. And you not having a dad and having to depend on me as your only father is gonna be worth it.

So I'll wait, God. I'll trust you and I'll wait. And in the meantime, this still hurts. But I am going to make the choice to believe you today. Please, God. Don't let me forget. I am not alone. I do have a father. And, no, I don't get a bear-hug, but I do get a new heart. So I'll take it. And I'll believe you that you are going to do that thing you do so beautifully and continue to redeem my circumstances.
Thank you.

Isaiah 43:1-2
But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

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

Song: Worth it All, Rita Springer


  1. Love getting to hear this, Katie. Thanks so much for putting it out there, in all its wonderful, raw, witty candor. HUG to you, baby, Tara

  2. Katie, thanks for this real and beautiful post. Earlier to day I read this: Isaiah 30:18- Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!

    You are waiting for Him, and you are blessed for it. Thanks for your example of choosing truth over lies. -Anna Hughes

  3. Please continue the blog. I spent almost EVERY Sunday service for two years in the bathroom sobbing (except ours wasn't as clean as yours is). And I chose to sit in the dark hoping no one would come in because I had to drag my feet up on the toilet lid to appear invisible. I love you so much and that love is truly deeper sharing this loss, so maybe that is one blessing to count. And I think maybe Maizie is another somehow, I don't know. And my Christian walk is real now, too. Who knows. And your dad is waiting in heaven with all the knowledge he lacked on earth and a big bear hug for you.

  4. Thank you for sharing this Katie. I love you sister.