Every once in a while, God places someone in your life that profoundly changes it. Sort of acting as the rudder of your life’s ship, this person is given the divine authority to alter the course that you were previously on. It seems that every encounter with this person is in fact a divine appointment in which you become enlightened, blessed, enriched and undoubtedly changed as a direct result of. It’s so easy to begin to treat this person as your savior. The one who is going to transform and guide you always. Then God reminds you that He alone is God.
For me, this person was Dave.
As I laid broken and defeated by the scars of life on my closet floor, all I could think was “Jenny, you NEED INTENSIVE counseling.” Then I had a vague recollection of my good friend, Hope, telling me (5 years earlier) that I needed to go see Dave. “Dave is amazing! There is no one like him!” She had said.
Obviously, I made the mental note that Hope must indeed be crazier than I and that I would pull myself up and be just fine. Ha! But I kept that mental card. Tucking it away in my back pocket for a potential rainy day.
Well, here I was on my closet floor in a monsoon, plummeting at a rapid pace to the bottom of the ocean floor.
So, I googled him.
And when I found his website, I knew that God was answering my desperate pleas for help. His “about” page read “INTENSIVE counseling”.
I waisted no time sending that email. I’m not a good swimmer 🙂
This was 2 years ago. He warned me in our first intensive weekend that it was going to be tough. He compared the healing process to running a marathon or going through a major surgery. He made me commit to the process. He made me promise I wouldn’t get off the operating table until the surgery was complete.
To be honest with you, over the course of the last two years, I have squirmed and fought like hell to get off that stupid operating table! But Dave would NOT give up on me. He never went easy on me or allowed me to quite, but he did supply the pain relief as much as he could by not only counseling and speaking truth into my life, but also by truly loving me.
In December I went to visit Dave for another intensive weekend. He let me know he had stage 3 cancer and when I asked how his family was doing, his reaction told me all I needed to know.
He told me the next few months were literally going to be a fight for his life. Laced with radiation and chemo, he intended to fight this battle with all he had. And THEN, after his body had a time of recovery from that beating, the doctors would go in to remove the mass from his body.
I just KNEW he would pull through. We would all rejoice over the miracle that he was cancer free!
And we did!
While in recovery, and beginning to experience complications due to the surgery, his doctors gave the awesome news to his family that he WAS cancer free!
But it was as if God said, “I’ll answer that prayer, but I want him to come home now.”
Many times in our sessions, Dave talked about the story of the prodigal son…
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
One of Dave’s best friends referred to this passage when he spoke at Dave’s funeral. I can completely visualize this encounter when Dave finally reached the arms of Christ a little more than a week ago.
Dave spent his life loving on and helping so many people on this earth and while I know his sons and his precious wife loved on him, and thousands of people such as myself tried to, I also know Dave deserves the rest he’s finally getting in Jesus’s loving arms.
I love him so so much and am forever going to sing his praises for being the rudder that steered my life toward healing and wholeness.
This week, in an attempt to find peace from this loss, I began going back to the beginning of my time with Dave. Back to the first journal of our time together. In doing so, I realized how profoundly different I am as a result of his guidance.
His oldest son also spoke at the funeral, He talked about the amazing set of tools that his dad left for him and his brothers in their “life’s toolbox” and in my process of reading through my journals, I can see very distinct and tangible tools he left with me.
As a tribute to him, I want to share them with you over the next few weeks. Honestly and selfishly I’m hoping and praying this will also be cathartic to my broken heart.
Today I’ll just leave you with this profound “Dave-ism”
Hurt People, Hurt People. Healed People, Heal People
Shower the people you love with love.
Show them the way that you feel.
Things are gonna be much better if you only will.
I love you Dave! I cannot wait to see you again! But first I need to finish my surgery…