Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

My Husband Restored My Faith in Fathers

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There’s been a song in my heart for the past several weeks…Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece”, in which she sings from the perspective of a woman who’s father abandoned her when she was young. It goes on to uplift her husband who redeemed in her mind what a good man and father should do for his family. It brings me to tears every time I hear it.

“He’ll never walk away.

He’ll never break her heart.

He’ll take care of things.

He’ll love her.

Piece by piece, he restored my faith 

That a man can be kind

And a father should be great.”

 

Yes, a father should be great. On Father’s Day, we honor the men in our lives who have been fathers; either biologically, adoptive or spiritually. Since my own father’s passing seven years ago, the day is always a mixture of celebration of my husband and also a bit of sadness, mourning not just the passing of my father but also the relationship we didn’t have. My dad was an imperfect man. In fact, he wasn’t a very good man in many ways. I don’t say that to dishonor him, because I’ve come to forgive him for the wrongs he did against my family and I. He was a sinner (like the rest of us), and he did choose to follow his own selfish ways rather than to be a father. It hurt. It still hurts to think on it. I guess that’s why I’m so grateful that my daughter has a father who, like in the song, has restored my faith that a father can be faithful, self-sacrificing and great.

So today, on Father’s Day, I honor my husband. William, you are the best father to our daughter. There’s not a doubt in my mind that you will never leave her, break her heart or stop loving her. It blesses me beyond measure to see the relationship you have with her. She adores you. She loves spending time with you. As you take her on your Daddy/Daughter dates and to dances and buy her flowers, you are showing her what a good man does and how he treats a lady. You are becoming the standard at which she measures the men that will cross her path when she is older. She will know that she is to be valued and respected and cherished.

Thank you, William. Thank you for being a wonderful Father for our girl. Thank you for your faithfulness to our family and for serving us. Thank you that I never have to fear you are going to just walk away and leave us, like my dad did. I can’t tell you how much that means. We aren’t a perfect couple and we’re not perfect people. We all have issues to work through, but never have I ever questioned for a minute that you are a good man and an even better father.

For those who are reading this who are struggling today with pain because maybe your own father, like mine, hurt you or left you, I’m praying for you today. Praying for comfort. Thanking God that He is our Heavenly Father and that He will never abandon us. For those who are hurting because your children do not have a good father in in their lives, I’m so sorry. Praying for you and your kiddos. Please know that God says He steps in and cares for the widows (abandoned) and the fatherless. He is there. He will meet your kid’s needs. Praying for spiritual and adoptive fathers to step in and show these kiddos what it means to be loved and cared for by a father.

Happy Father’s Day to all of those Dads, stepdads, adoptive dads and spiritually fathers out there who are faithful to their families and to the Lord! We honor you!

 

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My Experience with Pain

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Pain. Anyone who has experienced a broken bone, has had to pass a kidney stone, has given birth, has suffered severe injuries or has chronic illness understands pain. Everyone goes through times of physical pain. People get arthritis, back aches, muscle pain, headaches, etc. Pain is a part of life. For some, pain is a part of daily life. For the chronically ill or those who suffer from lifelong injuries, pain is a constant enemy that tries very hard to beat us up physically, emotionally and even spiritually.

I’ve suffered from pain for the last six years. That’s about when I believe my Lyme Disease started. It began with arthritic-like pain in what they call the cross area of the back (neck and shoulders). Pain was the first symptom and it has never left me….not in six years. I’ve had good and bad days, but it’s always there and it’s always getting worse.

Over the course of the six years I saw many doctors in search of answer and help. I had other symptoms as well and so I was tested by GPs for markers for lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and more. They would run blood panels and find no answers so eventually they would tell me I was fine and to go home. I knew I wasn’t fine. I also saw many specialists. Over the six years I saw a cardiologist, a neurologist, a gastroenterologist and two rheumatologists. They did x-rays of my neck and saw arthritis. One rheumatologist told me I just have a bad neck (forget about the rest of the pain) and just to take good care of it. The other gave me a shot in the shoulder and then sent me to a few months of physical therapy. The pain continued and got worse.

All of these doctors and still there were no real answers for the pain, and definitely no solutions. It was hard but for a long time the pain was tolerable. It wasn’t fun, but I could pretty much do what I needed to do. The other symptoms (dizziness, heart issues, numbness and tingling, stomach problems, headaches, etc.) were also frustrating but not terribly bad. Then I went through a tremendously stressful event in my life and it put my symptoms into overdrive.

The past 12 months have been indescribable in many ways. How do you explain that kind of relentless and crippling pain? In the morning, before I’m fully awake, there is a brief period of intermission between sleep and awake where the pain hasn’t registered yet. I value those few seconds because in a moment all of the sensors begin to awaken, reminding my brain of the widespread pain throughout my entire body. I can tell you that in those moments when the pain comes alive again to plague me for another day, sometimes all I can do is weep just a little and cry out to the Lord for help.  I imagine it’s how someone might feel after being beaten up the night before by a team of boxers. Except there are no bruises…no evidence of the pain that anyone can see.

So this pain…the pain that never goes away and never lets up… it does leave you feeling beaten up. Obviously the physical pain is there. It also affects you emotionally and spiritually. Emotionally there are times when the pain gets the better of you. It steals joy away. It reminds you that your life isn’t what you thought it would be. You can’t do what you want to do. You feel alone (even with loved ones offering support). You feel like no one understands. It can affect your marriage and other relationships. With Lyme, you worry about finances and you’re never sure if you’re choosing the right treatment protocol. Sometimes there’s a lot of fear. And sometimes you just can’t handle the turmoil of knowing that you may be looking at a lifetime of pain. It never lets up. Never a break. Imagine having the flu forever. Every day. The pain can bring you to times of struggle with depression and anxiety for sure.

Any Christian who has experience pain, physically and emotionally, knows that it can be a spiritual struggle as well. Accepting that God is allowing you to suffer isn’t always easy. We know the He never promised an easy life here. His disciples all suffered. Jesus suffered more than we can imagine. Still, in those times when you cry out to the Lord for help and healing and yet it doesn’t come at that moment, it can be hard. We ask God why this is happening to us. Why me when I have strived to serve you? Sometimes we feel overlooked or abandoned by our churches, often because we don’t let them see how badly we’re suffering and that we need help. We don’t want anyone to know that we are struggling. We don’t want to complain or be a burden.

Pain beats you up but I fight back and I’ll never stop fighting. I’ve been a Christian for many years and I believe God has a purpose in the pain and suffering. He brings me comfort and He reminds me that this present pain is not worthy to be compared to the glory that’s coming. He gets me through day by day, step by step. I praise Him that I can still teach and that I can still go out and spend time with my daughter. I know that He can heal me completely, and of course that’s my daily prayer, but I also trust Him that if He tarries in bringing healing it’s for a reason. I know that He has abundant grace for me on those days when I take my eyes off of Him and have them focused on the pain. He loves me when I fail and on those days when I let the pain get the better of me. He never leaves me or forsakes me. He is my Deliverer and my Comforter! Thank You Jesus!

This blog may have some across as dark and miserable, but I leave you with words of great joy. Beloved, there will be an end to pain! Yes there will!!! Pain may attack us and beat us up while we are here on earth, but there is glory and healing and complete restoration coming when we put our faith in Jesus! We will not suffer forever. We will not be left in torment. We will be delivered and restored and every pain will be chained up and thrown into the pit. Pain loses! Jesus wins! He already has won. So, even in the hardest times here on earth, we must keep our eyes on Him. We must remember we have victory in Jesus over pain and sin and every other evil thing. Victory over pain!

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