I’ll warn you up front- this post may sound rather strange to you & will be long. That being said, I want to share my story to encourage & help people understand just how much God truly loves His children!
As I mentioned previously, my father died on Monday, October 23. That day was strange as were the following days.
Early that Monday afternoon, a neighbor of ours came by to visit as he frequently does. He could tell I’d been crying & asked what was going on. I told him that my father was being taken off life support that day, & I was sick of people attacking me for not being there. He gave me some good advice that I want to share with you in case you’re going through a similar situation. (Pardon the bad language in advance- this is just how he talks. He’s not one to sugarcoat things, obviously, but he has a good heart.) He said, “”Girl, you gotta protect your heart. Don’t let that s**t get inside you. Crazy a*s people need to mind their own f*****g business. They don’t know s**t about your situation. You do what you need to & f**k them!” My neighbor was absolutely right. In these situations, people do need to mind their own business (not that they usually do unfortunately)! You also have to protect your heart & not let their hatefulness get inside you.
A little later that same afternoon, before I knew my father was gone, a good friend of mine got a word from God. He told her that He left my father on life support for so long to try to get him saved. My father talked to God about many things but mostly why I wouldn’t see him. He even argued with God & even said he was a good father. God showed him otherwise. My father also didn’t want to die with unfinished business- he wanted to see me, & God told him that wasn’t going to happen. He showed him Heaven & Hell & told him to choose. He eventually repented & chose Heaven. About one hour later, my father was dead, passing quietly once life support was removed.
While my friend got this word, I was outside with my husband & our neighbor. I saw a monarch butterfly & it felt odd somehow. Usually butterflies are something my grandfather & I shared, but this didn’t feel that way. Also, for some time, I’d had an odd sensing off & on of my father fighting with God & I felt it again when I saw the monarch. I came inside my house a bit later, & saw my friend’s message. She said yes, my father was indeed fighting in the spiritual realm for quite some time. God told her to tell me my father will see me again one day & he’s very sorry. Also it’s because of all the prayers he finally got saved, & I am to continue praying for my mother. (Never give up praying for someone, Dear Reader!! God truly hears those prayers!!)
Later on Monday, I took a shower. When I was about to get into the tub, I suddenly remembered something important. Not long after my father went into the hospital, I’d asked God to give me a sign if my father was with Him after he died. That was the monarch butterfly! And, God spoke to me saying that me not having any contact with my father for his final few months served an important purpose- not only to protect myself, but also to get my father to reach out to God.
I messaged my friend with this new information once I got out of the shower. She agreed that I have my sign, the monarch, that my father is with God, & also to never give up praying for my mother. God also told her those who judged & harassed me had better stop He’ll intervene. Thankfully she also prayed a hedge of protection around me.
My friend also said she asked God, “Why do they wait until the last minute!?” The Lord told her, “Because they allowed the devil to take them captive to do his will,” (2 Timothy 2:25-26 “in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26) and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” (NKJV) )
And, she saw this verse come up on biblegateway.com (great site, by the way!!) “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”. Galatians 6:2 (NKJV) This is what she did for me- bore my burden on a day I needed help bearing it.
These Scriptures also came to her attention:
Matthew 19:23-30 “With God All Things Are Possible 23) Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24) And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25) When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26) But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27) Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” 28) So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29) And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[a] or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. 30) But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (NKJV)
My friend also said my father didn’t want to die, especially without seeing me. He thought he was dying too soon & didn’t realize his eternity was depending on his choice at that time. Thankfully, he did realize the truth though!
She also researched the symbolism of monarch butterflies. Monarchs are royalty – that is why God sent me the monarch butterfly as my sign, to say that my father is now a member of God’s royal family!
Tuesday, the following day, my husband took off work. We went out & when we were coming out of one building, I saw another monarch butterfly! What makes that especially interesting is that earlier in the morning, thinking about everything, I asked God if it was real & if so, give me a sign. Honestly, it was hard to believe & quite overwhelming. So God sent me another monarch! Then at a traffic light, I saw a little yellow butterfly & heard my Granddad’s voice say “Good job, Kid!” I immediately knew what he meant- good job keeping up the prayers in spite of everything. Hearing his voice again wasn’t something that I ever expected to happen until I got to Heaven with him.. it was a beautiful gift.
Wednesday, after quite a bit of prayer, I wanted to visit the cemetery where my father was to be buried. I had my father’s Bible for many years, because he’d asked me to put it in the casket with him when he died. I opened the Bible & found many cards, paperwork, etc. I cleaned out the things that didn’t look sentimental & found a sheet of notes my father wrote documenting some of the abusive things my mother had done to me. I put it aside because I knew I couldn’t cope with it at that time. Then, my husband & I went to the cemetery. The cemetery staff kindly directed me to the proper funeral home that would take care of that, & a very lovely lady helped me make this possible. She even stated that it would be placed in the coffin where it couldn’t be seen, & no one would know it was there. And, she gave me some memory cards. I learned that my mother & worst of the flying monkeys were due to visit the cemetery that day but God spared me from running into her!
Then on Friday, the day my father was buried, I looked out the kitchen window & saw yet another monarch on the marigolds in my back yard. I grabbed the camera & couldn’t see him when I got back to the window. I saw some movement in the flowers so I went outside with the camera. Finally as I got close, the butterfly flew out of the middle of the flowers directly towards me, then off over the house.
An interesting fact- monarch butterflies aren’t overly common in my area, let alone in October. They migrate south from September-November, but here, usually by October, I don’t see any.
Anyway, when I came back into my house after seeing that monarch, I asked my Amazon Echo Dot to play music by Wham! I thought some fun ’80’s music might be good for me. Instead, it played Waylon Jennings’ song, “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line.” I don’t know this song, which is truly strange since my father loves Waylon Jennings & I thought I’d heard every one of his songs. This song is about a guy with a vicious, hateful wife & he stays with her in spite of it all. I remembered my father saying once my mother told him if he left her, he’d never see me again. I knew God & my father wanted me to know that he felt trapped & unable to protect me from my mother.
Later that afternoon I decided to get out the papers I’d found in my father’s Bible. I only found one page of notes my father kept about conversations with my mother, even though it looks like there were others (there was a part of a sentence at the top of the page). Reading his words hurt a lot, but I think I see more about why my father didn’t protect me or even really himself from my mother. In fact, as I was writing this post & considering those notes, God spoke to my heart & said, “Your father didn’t have your inner strength.”
All of these bizarre occurrences have been extremely helpful. It’s such a relief knowing my father is in Heaven. I really didn’t think he’d make it. It also showed me how kind & merciful God is. I’d been praying for my father for quite some time. I’d prayed for his salvation, I also asked God to take him before the Alzheimer’s got too bad, not to let him suffer when his time did come yet not to take him before getting saved. Those prayers were all answered. Every single one of them!! God even gave me signs that they were answered- my intuition, the monarch butterflies & mostly the word from God to my friend. And, although it was very hard for me to stay away from my father when he was dying, I know it was for an important purpose! I’m sure many people won’t believe that since they thought I should obey them & go to him no matter what. I know the truth though, & that is God wanted me to stay away as a way to reach my father! God is truly amazing!