On today, the day my Mama would have turned 60 years old, my sister Lizzy and I went to the lake and had a picnic for dinner. We spent some time just staring out at the lake and thinking back on God’s faithfulness, thanking Him for the blessing of calling her Mama, for the years we had with her, for His presence with us through the years, and His faithfulness to provide all we needed when we lost her and as we learn to do life without her here. As we prayed, we sang worship songs that came to mind, declaring that death is beaten, that Jesus is alive. And then, in the quiet, Lizzy started singing “Come Thou Font,” the hymn that we had played as we walked into the chapel following the casket for Mama’s funeral. It was our “final goodbye” to her earthly shell, and it was painful, heart-wrenching, and beautiful all at the same time. Through it all, these things have remained true: God is faithful. God is good. And His love sustains us. I posted some of my own words in the early morning hours of Mama’s birthday, but then I found these gems, her own words spoken as she reflected on life, love, and eternity. What better way to honor her than to share what she held so dear to her heart with others. So, here it is, in Mama’s words:
What time I have left on this earth I want to use to point others to Jesus!!
When I was 26 I had just came out of a crisis of the divorce of my parents. I was hurting and not knowing why this could be happening in my family. I had accepted Jesus into my life 7 years before but knew nothing of really following him. I fell apart and without saying it to anyone knew what I believed had been shaken.
In the year of sadness I wandered and looked for something else that was real for my life. It was impossible to find anything to fill the empty spot. God had abandon me? No I had abandoned God. I learned later that during this sadness that God kept calling me, telling me that I needed to look to him. That I needed to trust only him, please only him and see that even in the sadness his plans for me needed to be played out.
It was only when I finally was at my true surrender that God said it was time to mold me. It was only then when I could finally hear his voice. His words jumped out at me as I read the Bible and his words spoke to me from in the sadness. The outside forces that had put me into the sadness didn’t change and even at times got worse. But the living words of Jesus and God’s small voice awoke a new desire in my heart.
This passion hasn’t left me from that time until now.
To know Christ is better than anything that I could have on this earth. I love my husband, children, family and friends. But to know the love of God and feel his presence is better than life. To know that his forgiveness is complete to lead us to his salvation. God meant to save me. God meant to save everyone. Why would I not want everyone to know this truth. To hold it back only for me would be a sin.
True love is that which is given to bring others to God. Please God help me to keep this passion for your truth to be known to others alive. Give me Wisdom to know how to reach the un-reachable and strength to continue until my passing into your kingdom.
And the unknowing snippet of hope Mama left us when she spoke of eternity:
Comfort comes as I realize where we are going.
This last week, only 7 days ago on Sept 30th, my mother gave up her spirit to be in Jesus’ presence.
It was a difficult time seeing my mother take her last breaths as I told her to go to Jesus arms. To see her lifeless was unreal for several minutes. Then I said to myself she is already with Jesus and her now lifeless body is only a shell. God is Good all the time even in death. We are all going to die someday some sooner than others but that is the fact.
Love, forgiveness, truthfulness, honor are virtues that will last and many that knew my mother remember this way. I will be waiting to see her again in a more perfect body and in no pain or with tears. God is Great.