My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean

So last week I apparently hit the “anger” stage of grief. I’ve grieved in the past, for my failed marriage, for lost pets, but never really like this for a person, especially family. Loss of a loved one is different. I’ve lost friends and been upset, but overall I didn’t really get it.

When I woke up each day on the wrong side of the bed, and my temper had a hair trigger, it was entirely new to me. A good friend of mine, a veteran, made it simple for me. “The initial shock of losing your dad has worn off, now you’re going to feel everything else.”

I wasn’t angry at anyone in particular, not God, certainly not my dad… but a few folks said the wrong thing at the wrong time and my mouth quickly outran my ability to brush it off. I genuinely dislike being angry, as unleashing it feels too good regardless of the outcome.

Things changed on Thursday though. I woke at my normal time to get ready for work, and this song I only vaguely recalled as a Beatles song was stuck in my head. “My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean.” I can’t tell you how much I dislike the Beatles, which didn’t really help my mood.

Off to YouTube, the saving grace of curing ear worms, I went. I looked up the song which as it turns out wasn’t just a Beatles song, but a very old Scottish Folk song. So I click the link (and despite the creepy animation) I sat back and listened…

As the song played, my anger quickly faded and I started to cry.

Then in my mind, I saw a woman in a yellow room holding a baby boy, singing the song to him. I immediately knew that what I saw was my grandmother holding my father. The song ended, my mind cleared, and I believed that God had shown me something beautiful.

Being a scripture-minded Christian – I had to take a step back. I understand the demonic influences of the world, how the enemy can twist truth and thoughts for his own gain to turn a believer away from God… but this experience made me lean in further TOWARD God.

In the book of 1 Samuel, chapter 28, the story is told of how King Saul sought out a medium to communicate with “a man who has died.” This practice was expressly forbidden by God (Leviticus 31). In this case, it wasn’t Samuel, it was either a demonic entity or an all out hoax.

Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19:31

So back to current events. I wasn’t consulting any medium here, no spiritualists, nor was I attempting to communicate with my Dad. In a moment of grieving, the Lord brought His Grace upon me and gave me a glimpse of something that brought me peace.

Much like the glimpse He gave me a few years back that led a stubborn me back to my parents front door to reconcile and bring us all peace, He did so again to bring about peace. I thanked Him, because all I felt after the experience was the peace beyond all understanding.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7

A couple days later, I’m visiting with my mom, helping her with some more paperwork and cleaning… So I ask her if she knew of the song… she stops what she’s doing and asks “why?” I proceed to share the entire tale, the ear worm, the song, the glimpse…

My mom reveals to me that many months ago, before my father’s health really began to deteriorate, he told her that when he was a child, his mother would hold him and sing “My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean” to him.

That settles it for me. My father went home. He’s at peace in the presence of the Lord, and he’s with his family that went before.

Praise Jesus.

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