………… It is well with my soul.
Words cannot begin to describe the depth of my pain. Grief is something else. We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives but the only true and faithful foundation and anchor to get through it is Jesus Christ.
You can say what you believe all day long but living it is a test of your faith.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV
My day came when my dear mother left this earth to go home to be with the Lord May 3, 2018. While it was no surprise to God it took my family and I for an unexpected ride. Life came and went by so quickly in the couple weeks that I went home to see about her. Little did I know that I was going home for reasons far bigger than I could ever imagine.
“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
II Corinthians 5:1-8 NKJV
He was preparing me for everything that I imagined and told myself that I didn’t ever want to do.
•watch my Mother take her last breath
•do all the necessary things like paperwork to get her ready for burial
•view her body up close in preparation for her Homegoing service
•bury her beneath the Earth’s soil in the very place I dislike going to. The cemetery.
But what I fail to concentrate on (getting better at doing it) is that “for a time such as this” He had me ministering to her while she was still alive. I practically lived at the hospital for 2wks. I made it my business to pray with her and over her, read the Bible to her and to play/sing praise and worship music. I did this every day. I didn’t know she was going to die. I just knew that she needed the Word instilled in her. It’s all I know to do when facing the unexpected. God is my hope and my strength day to day. Through the good and and the not so good days.
Every time she was being taken away for a procedure she would not let anyone wheel her away until I prayed. Her hope and her faith to get through it all was in God. I take comfort in knowing that I played a part in it because of my obedience to Him. It helped my mother during the roughest experience of her life. She could have easily told me to not pray anymore, to not speak of the God who was allowing her to go through such a painful time. But I can only imagine that she understood in that time that God sat and watched his one and only Son be tortured and crucified for all of the world’s sins. There was a purpose in the temporary pain. Jesus died so that we could live. He bore our sins and our afflictions on the Cross so that we could be set free.
I went back home to my own family just to turn back around 3 days later because things turned for the worse. While I can do away with technology some days I am so happy for it’s good use. On my way to the airport my niece FaceTime me because my mother was asking for me. She ended up in ICU. It was the last time I got to see her awake. It was the last time that I knew of that she could hear me tell her that I loved her and I prayed with her. By the time I made it home and up to the hospital she wasn’t responding to my voice or squeezing my hand anymore and yet I continue to pray, read and play worship music.
I was still believing God for the unexpected and yet I was okay if He decided to take her home. While it still hurts, while the tears still fall down my face, while I grieve with such an agonizing pain in my heart it is well with my soul.
So no more pain, no more suffering, no more condemnation in those who belong to Him. Though our earthly bodies will suffer it’s temporary. We all will leave this life in some way but in Him we take confidence that all will be made new in heaven. This is my confidence. This I hold to be true because God my Father who holds the world in his hands holds me and he holds you too. He will see us through.
This trying time could have made me turn my back on God but it didn’t. It helped me get through the darkest day of my life that I’ve experienced so far. For all that I’ve learned and read and lived on this Christian journey it has become even more real when facing such a hardship. Losing a parent is a hard pill to swallow. They played a part into you coming into this world.
I can only tell you my friend what got me through and is still getting me over the waves of grief that consume me at times. Faith, hope, and prayer. Jesus was right there crying with me and my family. He was right there as my mother went through so much pain until she made her transition from this life to her eternal home. He knows our pain and he knows our struggles personally. He lived it and because He trusted his Father we can do the same thing. It’s a choice.
It is well with my soul because I know that God is faithful and true. He is the God who cannot lie and keeps His promises. This is my story… this is my experience of going through the valley. The key word is through. A friend shared that with me. It’s not a permanent destination. We are passing by and through with expectancy to come out.
I can only hope and pray that my words no matter how the flow of sharing differs from my other posts touches your heart and brings some sense of peace and encouragement if you’ve lost a loved one or come at a time when you will experience it. It’s taken me while to write. I’ve started and stopped. Deleted and tried to ignore and avoid. Grief goes deep but if sharing helps someone else I want to fight through it, wipe my tears away and type. This is where I am and this is my truth.
Be blessed, be encouraged and keep hope even when it seems like it’s fading. God can do all things but fail.
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.””
Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV
* the song Even If by MercyMe connected to my heart before I knew what was about to take place. I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe that God orchestrated it. All of it. How can I not thank Him for it. Even through pain and loss He has a plan.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV