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My Daddy

Well with today being Fathers Day I thought I would post a little about my Daddy.

My dad was born Billy Ray in 1956 to a very poor family. Daddy grew up living in tents in national parks around the US. His father was a sever alcoholic and the entire family reaped his abuse.

Dad's very first pair of shoes were given to him by his teacher. After several weeks of coming to school bare foot the teacher felt moved to buy Dad a pair of shoes. Dad often told me about that teacher.

Dad grew and had many challenges and burdens in his life. He was born a juvenile diabetic and dealt with sickness his whole life.

Dad met my Mom when he was just 18. She was 25 and already the mother of 2. I was 18 months old when Dad and Mom married. Dad never had a proper example of how a father should act so he did his best. He made mistakes but he sincerely tried to be a good father.

Dad had developed some very bad habits. He had an addiction to drugs. He used drugs as one would cigarettes but I never thought anything about it, this was normal for families.

When Dad was 32 he developed sores on one of his feet, the end result being amputation. After 5 hard years Dad had lost both feet and was now diagnosed with a systemic bone disease brought on by the diabetes.

Dad lived a very hard and painful life and through it all he had no one to lean on or turn to. Dad didn't know Jesus and didn't know how wonderful His comfort could be.

At 17 I moved out of our troubled home and into the home of my husbands family. The laws were laid out in the beginning, what was allowed and what wasn't. For the first time in my life I realized that my family wasn't normal. Families actually ate went to church and talked sweetly to one another. Life was totally different in his family.

At 18 Johnny and I were married. A month before the wedding Dad had a stroke and was paralyzed on his right side. He was very worried about walking me down the isle, and pleaded that he didn't have to. He was now confined to a wheel chair. It was wonderful holding Dad's hand as Mom pushed his wheel chair down the isle.

Not long after the wedding Johnny was preaching and I had begged Dad to come. He had been in church once in his life and that was for our wedding. He said a few choice words and then informed me that he wouldn't be coming to the church, not today or ever. Imagine my surprise and elation when the back door opened just after the congregation began singing it's first hymn.
My Dad, my Dad had come. I had been praying for years for his salvation and here he was. I sat in the pew the entire time praying and begging God to save my Daddy. As Johnny concluded his sermon and began the invitation my heart yearned for Daddy, I begged God and then it happened; Dad got up on his prostheses and hobbled down the isle. I almost stood on my pew and clapped when Dad bowed his head and asked King Jesus to save him. Dad was never the same.



When I was pregnant with our second son Dad began to develop sores on his fingers. As the months passed he lost one finger after the other. Dad was now a man with no legs and the possibility of loosing his ability to use hands.

Within the next several months we spent many a night at the hospital with Dad. He wasn't every going to get better and there was nothing anyone could do. I began praying that God would take him, he was already living the worst nightmare possible. I asked Dad often if he was sure he would go to heaven if he died and his answer was always the same, " Yes Sister, I would." My worry was eased and I begged God to take him home and end this misery.

Sitting in my mother-in-law's living room the call came and I knew this was it. Dad had been taken to the hospital and was not expected to live. We rushed to the hospital and I knew Dad wouldn't be going home. I think God allowed me to know that Dad wasn't going home. I sat on the side of Dad's bed and held his hand. Near the end he lost his eye sight and eventually fell into a deep sleep. I held his hand until his heart beat for the last time. He had such a serene look on his face and I knew he was with Jesus.

My Dad wasn't the best father and he didn't instill the wisest insight but he was Daddy and I think my Heavenly Father for every moment he let me spend with my Daddy.

On this Fathers Day, my thoughts are on my Daddy.

*Originally posted Father's Day '06

18 comments:

  1. Thanks for reposting this, Tori. What an amazing story of Christ's love... to your father, and through YOU, someone who could easily have been bitter.

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  2. That really moved me to tears. What a story. That is why I always say you don't always have a choice what happens to you in life, but you do have a choice in how you react to it. Be blessed!

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  3. Tori, That was such a wonderful testimony of God's grace to your Dad and to you. He let you see your Dad saved and on his way to heaven! Glory to God!

    ~Elaine~

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  4. What an amazing testimony! It brought tears to my eyes.

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  5. That's quite a story! I'm so glad that your dad got saved!

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  6. Tori,

    Thanks for sharing with us about your Dad. It really spoke to my heart.

    "Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" Psalm 107:8

    God is so good to us.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this moving tribute.

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  8. All I can say is WOW!

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  9. What a powerful story about your Dad!!! Praise the Lord you will see him again!

    Kate

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  10. What a beautiful tribute!♥

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  11. *Wiping tears*
    Tori,
    Thank you for sharing this story about your daddy. It will inspire us to keep on praying for lost family members.

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  12. Very touching Tori. I sometimes take my dad and homelife as a child for granted. These types of stories help me realize that not everyone was blessed with being raised up in a Christian home. Blessings to you.

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  13. Such a great post. I know I've read it before, but again, it moved me to tears.

    ~Kristi

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  14. I am so glad that you will see your dad again...what an amazing testimony to God's hand. Thank you for sharing this with your blog audience.
    May God continually bless you and your family!

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  15. Dear Tori, That touched my heart very deeply and I am so glad that you shared it. It is amazing what God can do . When He does it there is no question that it was God and not a man. Man can not do such wonderful things, they don't last for one thing. I am sure one day you will see your Dad in heaven and he will be whole in body and spirit. love you, connie from Texas

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  16. If I could see the keyboard through my tears I would probably write a better comment. What an amazing testimony of God's grace and power to change a person. Thank you for sharing a such personal story that I sure has shaped you into a better person for The Saviour's sake.
    I love reading about you and your family and all that you are doing for the Lord in Croatia.
    Carrie

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  17. PAT RASBEARY9:28 AM

    THANK YOU, TORI FOR A WONDERFUL FATHERS DAY STORY. PRAISE THE LORD, ISNT HE GOOD...YOU CAN REST KNOWING YOUR DAD IS IN HEAVEN...HE HAD SUCH A TRAGIC LIFE ON EARTH BUT HE IS REJOICING IN HEAVEN. LOVE YA PAT

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  18. Praise the Lord!

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Hey thanks in advance for leaving a comment, sure do appreciate it!!

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