Thursday, May 16

Day 16: Lot In Life

Day 16, Thursday: Something difficult about your "lot in life" and how you're working to overcome it

Let me preface by saying I feel truly blessed for each "lot" I have been handed in life.  At the time they have seemed lofty and sometimes insurmountable, but as I look back over time, I can always see there was a reason and or lesson to be learned.

I grew up with a father who struggled with alcoholism on and off for as long as I can remember.  There were many times he wouldn't come home, sometimes days at a time.  I always wondered when I would see him next.  At the time I couldn't understand why he wouldn't come home.  It hurt every time he missed a dance recital or piano performance.  I hated seeing the disappointment in my siblings eyes when he would miss their big days.  I wanted so badly for him to be there for us.  Looking back, he did it to protect us.  I can honestly say I never had to see my father drunk.  There was never alcohol in our fridge and for that I am grateful.  While I can remember crying countless nights in my room for my dad to come home, it was probably for the best that he didn't.

I watched my dad struggle for so many years.  I know he wanted to be clean.  He attended rehab more than once in hopes to change.  I can't even image the addiction and struggles he had to go through.  I know without a shadow of a doubt, that my dad loved me.  I know he loved his kids and my mom with every fiber of his being.  He always described his addiction as an itch, that no matter what he did wouldn't go away.  I remember him telling me that in his darkest times he would think of me.  He called me his shinning star.  I still have the anklet he bought for me one Christmas.  It was silver with little diamonds all in the shape of star.  I cherish that. 

Although my childhood was difficult at times, there were many other aspect that were so wonderful. My dad was a kid at heart.  He was always bringing home some kind of toy.  I grew up snowmobiling, on the lake, skiing, fishing, camping, and my dads favorite shopping.  My dad had no fear.  I really don't think there was anything he was afraid of.  He had a love for motorcycles and custom built some of the most beautiful bikes.  If I ever have money one day, I will track them down and re buy them.  My dad taught me to not be afraid to get dirty.  I loved to play in the dirt, but when it was time I knew how to clean up.

My favorite memories with my dad are when we would dance together.  Every wedding we would attend he would take me out on the dance floor.  We would always talk about the dance that would take place together on my wedding day.  He cried the first time he sent me on my way to prom in High School.  I was his little girl and he loved me fiercely.  I loved running up to his bedroom after I had just been back to school shopping.  I would put on a fashion show and show him every outfit.  He would eww and ahhh.

My dad had a twinkle in his eye and every time he would smile or laugh it would sparkle.  He would dance in the kitchen and shuffle his feet.  He blasted the Eagles and the Forrest Gump Soundtrack from his red Ford pickup.  He could tame any horse and had a special way with animals.  He had a passion for hunting and being out in the wild.

In the end his addiction ended up taking ahold of him.  He passed away in a car accident, while driving under the influence.  As much as it tore my heart apart losing my dad, I know that it was better for him. I don't have to worry about him anymore or worry if he is going to show up at some special occasion.  I feel him every day and know he is watching over me.  I can still feel his warmth on those hard days and feel of his love on those big days in my life.  My dad had some great friends who stepped perfectly into his shoes.  They watched me be sealed in the Temple to Tyson and danced with me on my wedding day.  I know that meant the world to my dad.  It did to me!

I miss my dad every day.  What I would give to see him with Penelope.  I take comfort in knowing that he is watching over me.  I have a testimony of God's plan and know that all things are going to be made right.  I look forward to the day when I will see him again.  I can't wait to feel his arms around me.  He gave the best hugs.

The Gospel is what has gotten me through the hard times.  I use what I have learned from my childhood and try to implement it into my daily life.  With Penelope's up and coming surgery there are many days I find myself struggling to find strength.  I have to remind myself that "I can do hard things."  I can rely on the Lord to carry me through.  I have my dad and Savior by my side.  

I can always turn to the scriptures to give me strength.  One of my favorite scriptures is 

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Things have been tough at times, but there has always been joy along the way and many lessons learned.

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  1. I'm sure this took great courage for you to write Janessa. But it was perfect and I felt like I was apart of it and could see those special moments take place with you and your dad. I'm glad you are able to take the positives from the time you had with your dad and just Remember and focus on all the GOOD of him.. He sounds like a WONDERFUL Man Husband and Father... Im sure he is always watching over you.... You sure did make me cry with this post... Love reading your posts..

  2. What a sweet post, I am sure your dad is smiling as he watches you as a perfect wife and mommy!!! You are making him soo proud, I can only imagine how happy it makes him to see you and the person you are!

  3. Oh Janessa, this is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this, I couldn't imagine how hard it would be to write this and share it. I adore your strength and your faith in God. I know you are stronger than you think you are, you can def get through things with Christ's love and strength just as that scripture says! :)

    much love to you,
    Shio :)