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My dad and I were very close. As a single parent, he raised me from the ages of 12 to 19, the age at which I left home. That year, I moved from Denver to Los Angeles to explore what the world had to offer me. Dad remarried, and we
remained close. Over the years, I’d look forward to his visits to Los Angeles to celebrate his birthday with me each March. We would catch up and talk about a wide range of subjects during these visits. Since Dad was a church pastor, among other things he used our special time together to share the Word of God with me.
As long as I live, I’ll never forget one of his birthday visits. I decided to take Dad to Redondo Beach on a Wednesday afternoon. Hardly any people were around, and the day was beautiful. The ocean was misty, and the moon had risen and was hanging above us in the sky. Dad and I walked along the beach for a while until we found a comfortable spot to sit in the sand. Then, as we sat gazing at the water and listening to the calls of the seagulls and pelicans that were gracefully flying by us, he began to talk to me about God’s love for humanity.
Pointing to one pelican slowly soaring high in the sky silhouetted against the moon, Dad said, “Carolyn, do you see that pelican? Imagine if that beautiful bird had only one responsibility in life. What if it had to fly to the moon and drop off a single grain of sand that it was carrying in its pouch, and then it had to repeat this task until all of the sand was removed from the face of the Earth?” Looking directly at me, he asked, “How long do you think it would take?”
“It would take forever,” I answered.
“The love of God and my love for you are eternal,” he said, “Even after I’ve gone to Glory, for as long as it would take a pelican to remove the sand from the Earth a grain at a time, that’s how long my love will be with you.”
That was the first time I can recall Dad speaking with me about the prospect of his death. Of course, I didn’t really want to discuss it and, in fact, I think I changed the subject. Being in my 20s, death seemed far off. On some level, I felt Dad would live forever and nothing bad could ever happen to him. But I also made a vow to God on that day that I’d always be there to take care of Dad if he needed me. He was my best friend, my hero, and my adviser, and I hoped and prayed he’d be with me forever. Later on, I did my best to honor this promise.
The good times I had with my dad continued for the next 33 years, and there were many opportunities for us to discuss
his end-of-life wishes. We did the best we could to prepare. But when I became his caregiver, I discovered that knowing someone’s wishes is not enough. Even doing paperwork is not always enough to protect an elderly parent and a family caregiver, particularly if other family members disagree with arrangements that have been made. Even if you try to do the right things and do your best to prepare for every possible scenario that might arise, the chronic illness of a parent and the costs associated with it are challenging to manage.
Pastor William L. Brent, ThD, Senior
Pastor of the New Life Christian Center, Lamar, Colorado, lived a life of love for humanity as he ministered the Word of God to people of all ages and backgrounds worldwide. He declared, “God
is The God of A Second Chance.” Moreover, we ought to “Love thy neighbor as thy self.” —Leviticus 19:18
His ministry teaches, “God has created us in his own image”
(Genesis 1:27), and he understands everything about us.
God knows what is in our hearts, minds, and what is deeply
rooted in our souls. He knows our needs, fears, insecurities, worries, and vulnerabilities. Likewise, God knows the desires of our hearts.
In this book, Amazing Grace, Pastor Brent explains how God ministers to us through his unchanging Word, and how to apply the Word of God daily in every area of life, with the complete understanding that God gave us His Word not only to reveal Himself to us, but also to care for us.
Pastor Brent had a special anointing with the spiritual gift of “healing” by the “laying on of hands” (Acts 8:14–19) to the sick, elderly, and disabled. His ministry continues to be the voice to the voiceless and comfort to all that knew him.
Today, his vision and teachings continue, as he passed on the gauntlet to his daughter Carolyn. He is the inspiration behind the vision, mission, and purpose of the creation of Caregivers Story, Inc. and
He earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Langston University in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and trained in divinity from Victory Bible College in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He also earned a master’s and a doctorate in theology from the International Seminary in Plymouth, Florida.
Father & Daughter Team
Dr. Brent passed on the gauntlet to his daughter Carolyn
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