Spiritual

Daughter Opens Dad’s Bible 10 Years After He Dies—What She Sees Written in the Margins Knocks Her Breathless

It is often in our moments of greatest weakness that God’s power manifests in us most magnificently. And there’s hardly a moment of greater weakness than when we are faced with our own mortality.

Of course, we all know that none of us get out of this thing alive, but the weight of that reality rarely hits us until we’re staring death in the face. It is in that place where we are stretched and broken, frail and helpless, that God gives us the courage to exercise our faith in full bloom.

Such was the case for Valli Vida Gideons‘ father. The day he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in his abdomen, Valli never saw the invincible man she knew as dad look so afraid.

But according to Valli, a wonderful transformation started to occur… “as his body began to fail, his faith grew.”

As his health faded and his body withered, she watched the eternal light of Christ shine in her father ever more powerfully.

“He never lived like he would lose the battle.”

…And though he died, in reality, he never did.

Over a decade after her Dad passed, Valli saw the most astonishing proof of that in a place she never expected — the margins of his Bible.

It was in those intentional scrawls throughout Romans, John, James, Jeremiah that she received the “highest gift.”

Read Valli’s Facebook post below, detailing a beautiful story of a father’s unfailing faith that translated into a daughter’s greatest treasure:

“I’ll never forget the look in my Dad’s eyes when the doctor told him the cancer was sprinkled throughout his abdomen like powdered sugar. At that moment I saw the man I considered fearless look afraid.

What started as an exploratory surgery ended in an unspeakable diagnosis. Mom and Dad asked us to leave the room; they needed to ask the doctor questions parents don’t want their children to hear.

The fight of my Dad’s life began behind those closed doors.

Through chemo treatments and all the hell inflicted by cancer, he never lived like he would lose the battle.

And I believed it.


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What’s more, as his body began to fail, his faith grew.

Years later, after his year-and-a-half fight ended, I was given the highest gift.

I still don’t know how and when I received his bible. But well over a decade after my dad died, I opened it.

His notes were everywhere. The most beautiful penmanship written with his favorite black pen. Along with dates. Highlights. Underlined phrases, words, passages.

A spiritual journey…Now, in my hands.

I held antique-like pages of the book he received on his wedding day -over 50 years ago. Inside it was a documented path.


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The contents within the margins of the pages explained so much:

Why everyone at his funeral said he was their good, if not best, friend.
Why grown men had tears in their eyes.
Why my grandma died suddenly, not long after his passing.
Why my mother never remarried.
Why our hearts were broken.

His life was filled with incredible depth. He loved selflessly. And unconditionally. My mother knew she was IT in his eyes; So did his children.

And now, as I flip through the roadmap he provided in Romans, John, James, Jeremiah… I know beyond a shadow of a doubt during the last months of his life, he was at peace. And he knew, unequivocally, where he was going.

Gifts like these continue to bless me. Some moments they are crystal clear; other times they wash over me like a gentle breeze. They are there; All I have to do is open them.

Thank you, Dad.”

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Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.

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