It's been a year today since Papa Chuck died. I still marvel at all of the events of last year. What a whirlwind his last month on earth was! I went through every emotion during that time. I think we all did.
Fearing losing him, preparing to say goodbye, cherishing our last days together as the whole family we've always known, and praising God for His incredible mercy in bringing my papa--the most stubborn unbeliever I had ever met--finally Home to Him.
I still miss him terribly, but mostly what I feel is still thankfulness. Utter thankfulness that God didn't let 22 years of my prayers go unanswered. Papa Chuck was the most prayed-for person I know. All of my family, many of my friends, the whole church family back home, prayed continually that he would listen to the Good News that was all around him and believe in Jesus Christ his Savior.
Utter awe that God opened a disbelieving heart two days before he called that heart home to Him. The last time Papa was fully conscious, he was reading the words my dad had written as a witnessing message to him. He nodded his head that he believed, and then drifted off to a sleep he never woke up from.
It's such a comfort to know that my Papa Chuck is in heaven--the one person in my family who refused to believe nearly his entire life is the one who entered Heaven's Gates before the rest of us! Praise God!
I love thinking about how Papa must have felt. I've been raised my whole life with stories about God's love for us--but still, seeing Jesus in Heaven will be an incredible moment that I can't imagine. Think about the excitement Papa must have felt, though. To go from knowing nothing about the God who created him to being welcomed into the loving arms of his Savior. All in two days. Thank you, Jesus!
I can only imagine.