Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell
We were so young. My sisters and I playing so freely in the park, while the brand new, large Minolta camcorder was in dad's hand, and mom by his side. This particular memory is so vivid as I so happily remember dad declaring, "Girls, you will look back at this 20 years from now and appreciate this." All the while, we were just having fun!
Another rich memory was coming home from church on Sundays in the old Volkswagen bug, being able to see the road below us as we traveled; parts of the floorboard of that old, yet faithful bug exposed. I even remember those moments while in that memorable old car of seeing dad's right hand holding onto mom's left hand; fingers intertwined with such love for one another. I reminisce of dad's cheerful, yet deep voice saying, "Ok girls, are you ready? Let's memorize..." This seemed to happen every Sunday as I so vividly remember dad saying on one particular Sunday, "Let's memorize Ezra 7:10. Are you ready?" In unison, the three of us girls would shout, "Yessssss!" As dad and mom would say a section of the scripture, we would repeat it. With joyful glee, we would say it over and over again. Dad would make it fun to memorize God's living Word.
As I got older, I remember so clearly 'til this day, it was very early in the morning, still dark outside. I was thirsty and coming down the hallway and noticed on my right in the other room, an image kneeling at the love seat. That image was my dad, talking to our Heavenly Father. About what? I have no idea, but I do know that this strong man I admired, became an icon in my eyes.
Being the oldest child, yet behaving as though I was the youngest; incredibly selfish, caught so many times in lies and repeatedly doing things that I knew were not only wrong, but knew it would disappoint my parents. This of course caused a regularly, seemingly scheduled talk with my dad. On many occasions, he would first pray with me and then speak firmly yet gently, "Teresa, in the real world there are lions, tigers and bears. This is why I want you to take heed to what I say and what God's Word says. Teresa, God has a great plan for your life."
As years flew right through us, realizing that everything dad had said for many years was beyond true, and in all the disappointments, my daddy CONTINUED to never give up.
He never quit trusting in God over my life.
I know there were many times he could have easily done so.
He could have disowned me, but he knew Who truly owned me and that is our Awesome God...and because of dad's training me up in God's love, I am now older and have not departed from God's Word (Proverbs 22:6).
I am walking in God's continual process...that glory to glory, life abundant walk with Jesus.
Do I still sin? O yes.
Do I still make mistakes? Yes. I thank God for His mercy...but I truly thank God for His abundant grace that has helped me to rise above those many weaknesses as His strength is made perfect making a way to escape temptation.
But you know...there's a scripture, that very scripture from Ezra 7:10. I still remember til this day that particular scripture dad and mom had us repeat, and I will share a portion of it as it declares, "For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord (LOVE), and to DO IT..."
Dad, you did and continue to do the same as Ezra. You prepared your heart and continue to do so, seeking that perfect law of the Lord, which is Who He is and that is LOVE. But you not only seek the law of the Lord, you have sought and continue to seek Him.
Dad, I have seen a man of integrity and character live out that which you have sought so fervently and that is our Awesome God. And for that Dad and for so many other reasons, Happy Father's Day as you allowed our Heavenly Father to love through you over each of us and so many others throughout your life. You are beyond a good man. You are great as you reveal a glimpse of our Awesome Abba Father and I know that my sisters and I are so grateful for this incredible example of what a man truly is.
Dad, you are strong in character, in might and more than anything you know from where your strength comes from!
I love you so much daddy...Twiggy