My Dad is Changing – and So Am I

No matter what is getting old, we’re part of something new.

Whoa, I thought.

I needed to hear that.

Yesterday, my teammates, Barbara and Jenny, and I attended a Beth Moore Simulcast here in South Africa. It’s been a loooooooooooong time since the three of us participated in a Beth Moore study together, but the opportunity to learn more Biblical truths and gain much-needed spiritual inspiration was a moment not to be missed. In addition, it provided me with some significant girl time – something I haven’t had much of lately. I loved it!

Beth Moore offered a number of rich points yesterday, but as I have already shared, her fifth point:

No matter what is getting old, we’re part of something new.

hit home with me.

This past week my father celebrated his 83rd birthday. His birthday came and went without a lot of fanfare. Certainly, the massive distance between Oregon and South Africa prevented me from honoring my dad in person. Gratefully, we were able to Facetime on his special day. Our family could wish him “Happy Happy Happy Birthday” and could convey our love – despite the oceans between us. I’m grateful we could do that.

With each passing year of my dad’s life, I grow more and more thankful for this amazing man for whom I call ‘Dad.’ I’ve appreciated my dad’s sense of humor, steady and strong disposition, grateful heart, wise guidance, depth of experience, Christ-centered faith, and loving and true character throughout my life. I know that both of my parents have influenced who I am and who I am continuing to become. I am doubly blessed to have parents who love my family and me without condition.

As my father has aged with each year, changes have come. His physical and mental capacities have diminished. Honestly, the wise, instructional words my dad once offered so generously, now come more sparingly. The drive and initiative my dad was renowned for, have stalled. The problem-solving aptitude my family sought over and over and over again from him, seems to have taken a recess. The desire to walk and remain physically active is absent. I’ve grieved these changes. I miss my dad’s guidance, humor, insightful conversation, and his emails of affirmation and support. A lot.

But as I sat listening to Beth Moore talk about how we are new creations in Christ, a new thought formed in my mind as I considered the changes that are happening with my father.

So, from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.

New International Version, 2 Corinthians 5: 16 – 17

I was challenged to look at my father and his changes in an altogether new, transformational way.  For even as my dad ages, he is becoming something new in Christ!

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed (or is aging and changing), we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

New International Version, 2 Corinthians 5:1

As my dad ages and changes, these changes have purpose and meaning. My dad is continuing to grow, to mature, and be transformed as he prepares to enter the Kingdom of Heaven one day. These changes in my dad have eternal significance.

One more set of  verses:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

New International Version, 1 Peter 1: 3 – 5

No matter what is becoming old and changed in my dad, that doesn’t mean that my father is not becoming something new in Christ. He may not be able to do all that he once did, but that doesn’t mean that something new isn’t birthing in his life for him, for my mom, for my brothers, for my sister, and for me.

Change is always happening.

We can embrace change as a blessing. Transformation invites us to grow, to mature, and to experience life in a new way.

Change also can be experienced as a struggle and hardship. We may fight it – not recognizing or desiring to accept the new reality, because it hurts. A lot.

Change may be feared, as well. We may not feel capable enough, strong enough, nor courageous enough to go forward.

But what encouraged me yesterday, is that no matter what is getting old, we are part of something new – whether we can see it now or not.

Our joys, our struggles, our hardships, our pain, our fears, and every aspect of our changing lives all play a significant role in the Kingdom Story of Jesus Christ – here on earth and in the Kingdom to come.

This helped me.

I confess my grief over the many changes I’ve observed from afar (I haven’t hugged my dad in over two years since returning to missionary field assignment in South Africa). In a couple of weeks, I’ll be visiting my parents and then I will see these changes and probably more – first hand.

But, Beth Moore gave me a gift yesterday. I view the changes in my dad in an altogether new, hopeful, and Spirit-filled way. The Spirit of the Living God is still at work in my father. I know it to be true. I see it in his love for my mom and for his family. I hear it in his words of affection and affirmation. I observe it in how tenderly and gently he cares for us.

My dad has slowed down, there is no doubt – but his love and devotion for us all has amped up.

My dad is getting old, but he is growing and changing and is part of something new and glorious in Christ.

And I am, too.

My dad is helping me be a part of this amazing, transformational newness of Christ – and I love him all the more for it.

I love you, Dad. Thank you.

4 thoughts on “My Dad is Changing – and So Am I

  1. The closer he gets to heavan, the more dim his sight for this world. Hard for all of us left behind, but none of us escapes watching this transition with our parents unless we go before them. Your parents are precious people. You are so fortunate to have them in your life. As they are fortunate to have you. Praying for all of you.💞

    1. Thank you so much, Nancy. Bless you.

  2. Heather- good perspective. Yes This process is a long slow goodbye for now. As one who is just a few steps ahead of you on this road, your words are good. Yes the Lord uses these things in our lives to. Change us too! The hope of heaven is even more real and I am different for having been along side my dad and. So thankful I was able to walk him home! What an honor. Praying for you in this season.

    1. Thank you Julie! Your words are so affirming and I treasure them. With love, heather

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