Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Little bit of Growth, a little bit of Healing, a whole lot of Faith.

Back in October (the 16th-18th), I had the opportunity to go away on a spiritual retreat with about 50 other members of my church family. Each October, we have what we call our Spiritual Enrichment Weekend (SEW) at Central Florida Bible Camp-- my favorite place on this planet. However, getting on the bus to go was really difficult. Daddy loved going away for SEW and this was the first year without him. I remember calling my mom from the church parking lot telling her I didn't want to go. I couldn't make myself get on that bus. Mom told me to get on the bus and enjoy myself and I'm really glad I did.
I can't count the times I started crying that weekend. There were moments when I would be okay and then moments where all I could do was cry. We sang some of Daddy's favorite songs and I was holding it together until someone looked at me and  I lost it.
All weekend, people would come up to me and tell me stories about Dad and favorite memories. I loved every moment. Hearing how much others loved Dad comforted me in a way I didn't think was possible. One of the gentlemen during his devotional talk read a passage, then he spoke for a moment, looked at me and re-read the passage substituting Daddy;s name for the one in the passage.
Colossians 4:7-8 "Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts." G.S. re-read the verse with "Gene Puckett is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent Gene Puckett to you for this very purpose. . . that Gene Puckett may encourage your hearts." 

He talked about how much Daddy was an encouragement to not only him, but everyone in our congregation. OF course,  I cried like a baby, but the sad tears were mingled in with the happy. On Sunday morning, I walked down to one of Daddy's favorite spots on campus, the dock, and sat down, turned on one of Daddy's lessons and listened to his voice. That moment on the dock looking over the water and listening to Daddy's voice was the closest I had been to one of his bear hugs since June 15th.  While listening to Daddy's lesson, I heard his voice say, 

"I am not living this Christian life so I can worry about dying. I'm living this Christian life looking forward to when I can leave this earth. . . If you are alive when I die, . . . Rejoice, be glad because I've finally done something I really wanted to do."

Years before he died, Daddy told me exactly what he wanted me to do. Rejoice and be glad. Daddy is where he has always wanted to be, His largest goal has been achieved. 
I am so glad I chose to get on that bus to SEW. 

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