A Special Note from Joni
First, thank you for joining me and becoming a part of my world in writing. I’ve spent years blogging and loving every minute of it. When I can have an opportunity to express God, His incomparable love, and what He has done for me and for others, I am so honored to have such an outlet. I have been absent for many months but felt that there was only one obvious decision to make. Nonetheless, the Holy Spirit has always encouraged me to write through my pain and I never stopped writing. I have some very special moments and truths that God has shown me that I’m anxious to share.
I’ve often written about the moments that take you from peace one minute to the sheer horror of some alternate universe where you try to convince yourself that this really can’t be happening. At some point, suffering and loss touches all of us. But until it does in the most personal way, I realize so much of my well-intentioned words and actions were inadequate. Thankfully, I can go forward remembering the true definition of compassion is “to suffer with.” Each person has different needs, at different moments, during the “time to mourn.” A time indicates a process and God embraces us with a special grace appointed just for that season.
My wonderful father, Oscar Askoff, passed away at age 89, this past August. It was a Monday evening after going into cardiac arrest, revived three times. Due to his DNR, they had to do as he wished. He was not expected to die although he was undergoing radiation treatments after a diagnosis of throat cancer in March. Our family put life on hold to care for him and deal with the maze of the medical field and the mountain of paperwork. Somehow, God gave us the grace that is sufficient to take care of everything. I’ll go into more in my first few stories in an attempt to describe my path while honoring my precious father in heaven and my Heavenly Father.
I remember during a difficult time, I cried to God and said the same words I’d said a thousand or more, “I CANNOT, I CANNOT DO THIS ANYMORE!” That was my declaration as if I was bossing God around! I remember exactly where I was on the freeway when I heard an unexpected reply: “Never again say you can’t. Tell me you don’t know how, because I do, and that’s when you trust me with the unknown.”
Those words were a constant reminder on days where I really couldn’t grasp it all, but my hands were in the way. All my cares, hurts, and concerns belonged in the hands of God who knew what to do. His last instruction to me was, “Be still and listen.” I trust there is a treasure trove waiting in this time.
I appreciate the outpouring of love during these last months and it warms my heart when the chill attempts to creep in. I’m grateful I had those last months with my dad. There were moments that felt heaven was so near and it was. Thank you for all the many ways so many have ministered to me, my mother, my sisters, and all our family.
You are blessed for blessing, loved for loving, given to for giving, and when your heart is on another, God’s heart is turned toward yours. What a priceless gift of His grace I’d experienced through God and His beloved people.
“My cup runneth over.”
READ PART 2 NOW!