I don’t have any sisters.
On top of that, my mom and dad were only children — so I also do not have any aunts, uncles or first cousins.
My family was very small and the number of women was even smaller.
Throughout my growing up years, my mother, my two grandmothers and I were the only women in our immediate family – and now, with my mother’s passing, they are all gone.
Over the past few weeks, I have been surprised to find myself grieving for both of my grandmothers all over again. Not only do I miss my mother – I miss them too.
Oh, how I miss the women.
There have been only a few times in my life when I wished that I had a sister – at times of major milestones: my wedding, the birth of my children, and especially now at the loss of my mom.
But even so, God is so faithful.
I have no reason to have a pity party.
He has shifted my focus away from what I don’t have, and given me eyes to see what He has given.
Perspective is everything.
Although I have not been blessed with a sister of my own, I’ve been blessed in a different way—and in doing so, He has met and exceeded my every need.
The truth is, I should have started this post by stating “I do not have any biological sisters.”
This is much more accurate because our Lord, in His goodness, has sent many, precious women who are truly my ‘sisters’.
I honestly do not know how I would have survived this past month without them.
When my mom became ill, they never left me.
It began when we arrived at the emergency room. Upon hearing the news, my sisters dropped everything and came to the hospital waiting room to pray.
They stayed close by throughout the entire week, providing for all of us as we made the two hour round trip to the hospital each day.
And, when my mom died, they moved in even closer.
They showed up.
They cried with me, loved on me and even one month later, their care continues.
My sisters have staying power — this is so important. They understand how it goes with grief.
They came and helped me with the sacred work that women do after a family member dies.
One helped me go through my mother’s belongings. Another is helping me clean and organize her kitchen to make it easier for my dad.
The offers of help have been overwhelming and beautiful.
Do you know that when God meets our needs, He almost always does it through people?
When we focus only on what we do not have, we risk missing how perfectly He is meeting that very need!
On the night before my mother died, we left the hospital believing that she had improved enough to be discharged from the ICU in a day or so. My husband spent that night with my father and I went home with our youngest son.
Very early the next morning, we received an urgent call from the hospital that my mother’s condition had taken a serious turn, and she was not expected to live.
They told us to come quickly.
I was alone in my bedroom when the call came — and I became completely undone.
All I was able to do was drop to my knees and pray.
But I couldn’t pray.
There were no words – only panic.
I realized the phone was still in my hand, so I called my sister, Donna. When she answered, I blurted out what was going on.
Her immediate question was “Where are you?”
Through tears, I told her I was on my knees in my bedroom and that I needed prayer.
Without missing a beat, she responded, “Wait – let me get on my knees, too.”
And so, in our own bedrooms, and on our knees together, Donna and I went before the Lord asking for His will to be done over my mother and for the courage for us to accept His plan.
My sister prayed when I could not.
I will never forget that tender moment as long as I live.
I may not have any biological sisters, but He has given me the most amazing friends and family to journey through this life with. I am forever grateful.
We sang my mother’s favorite hymn at her funeral. The beautiful old English lyrics go like this:
The King of love my Shepherd is,
His goodness faileth never,
I nothing lack if I am His,
And He is mine forever.
I remember singing those words and thinking how true this has been for me.
His goodness never, ever fails and I lack nothing—absolutely nothing.