I knew this journey would be difficult, but I couldn’t imagine what trials would be faced.
I knew that goodbye would come at some point, but I didn’t expect to have to say goodbye so soon.
I knew that healing would come one way or another, but I expected it to look much different than it does.
If healing had looked the way I had expected it, I would not be the person that I am or that I am becoming, but I am also convinced that there would still be some form of loss and some form of gain.
Expectation fuels hope with vision for the possibilities the future can hold. Expectations filled my heart the past months as I waited, and hoped, for my mom to be healed, made whole, made new. I waited with expectation for cancer to no longer be a reality, for sickness to no longer invade, for suffering to depart from our doorstep.
At long last, the wait is over.
And, after the waiting, there is both a loss and a gain.
In some ways, I am gravely disappointed. My expectations were met in a way that I dreaded, with the loss of my mom from earth. It is the loss encompassed in crumbled hopes held in empty hands, joyful memories now seen through vision blurred with tears accompanied by a painful ache that seems to have settled itself deep inside my heart. It is the loss of an entire future filled with dreams of having my mother’s arms to hold me, her voice of wisdom to speak into my life and quiet but bold faith that point me back to Jesus, her gentle spirit and joyful laughter and eyes filled with unconditional love. It is the loss of dreams of having my mother and father both walk me down the aisle at my wedding, a grandmother with a tender heart to love and hold my children–her grandchildren, and a best friend called Mother who can never be replaced.
It is this painful loss that I hold out in trembling hands to Saviour and Redeemer as I crumble before His feet.
And as He wraps me up in His love, in the ruins of what is lost, I discover the glorious gain.
“Then the trumpets sounded, and the most beautiful music she had ever heard started to play. The singing was glorious. Singing praise to Jesus. Then in the middle of everything were two thrones, and the lady bowed very low. I am home, I am home, I am home, with joy in her heart. Thank you, God, I am home.”
I found a notebook with my mom’s reflections as she went to the USA to care for her terminally ill mother five years ago. In the notebook, I found this treasure of a beautiful story my mom wrote about her own mother’s passing into the presence of the Lord.
Her faith-filled words depict so well this glorious gain, the culmination of all that she has ever hoped or lived for.
My mama is home.
And regardless of my own expectations, my mom is healed, made whole, made new in the presence of Jesus, no trace of cancer or hint of sickness in her renewed and resurrected heavenly body.
And oh, to be home at long last in the arms of her first love, Comforter, Saviour, Father.
Oh, what a glorious gain!
And while suffering’s shadow may linger on our doorstep as we grieve our loss, the God of all compassion, filled with love, holds us oh so very close to His heart. He is with us in the suffering and even now continues to whisper hope into our hearts.
There is hope that He will once again usher in joy with the dawn of the morning light.
And as my mama said so wisely, “Only God can give us the peace that passes all understanding. Glory to His Name.”