There are some things you just can’t know until you experience them. You think you know, but really you do not. Ultimately, you have to go through the journey yourself to truly understand.
Losing my mother has been this way for me.
I have walked alongside many friends who have lost their mothers. I thought I knew what it might feel like but, until my mom died suddenly only three weeks ago, I had no idea.
I wish I could describe my feelings to you — but, to be honest, I’m not there yet. I still cannot, for the life of me, believe she is gone. I mean, how do you wrap your head around the fact that your mother, the one who carried you and loved you before you were even born, is gone?
Our good God, in His extreme grace, allows us the time to let it all sink in. I am so grateful for His mercy and love. As the only daughter, I have had to immediately step into my mother’s shoes and take care of a great many things — most of all my sweet, brokenhearted dad.
As my eyes open every morning, I ask myself if I am dreaming. Has this really happened? Is she really gone?
My heart sinks when I realize that yes, it is really true.
But then, before my feet even hit the ground, something happens! Almost immediately, my mind is full of the promises from His Word. I am reminded of the fact that He is sovereign and that nothing is a surprise to Him. I recall His faithfulness not only in my own life, but my in mother’s life too.
So, the emotion that drives me is not sadness or even grief, although I am experiencing them both.
The emotion that is overriding all others is JOY.
My life changed in an instant. I have had the rug pulled out from under me. But yet, in spite of the bottom falling out of my life as I’ve known it, I find myself standing on the solid rock of my Savior. I can actually feel His firm ground beneath my feet.
It is hard to describe, but it is there.
My ‘trust muscle’, which I have exercised for a long time, is keeping me upright. The Scriptures I memorized long ago instantly come to my mind when I am fearful or overwhelmed. Paul explains this to us in Romans 15:
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures …we might have hope.”
This truth has been ingrained in me since I was a young woman. Thank you, God!
Please understand this — we can’t conjure up knowledge of God and His Word in the moment — we must know it and believe it ahead of time. I am so thankful He has prepared me “…for such a time as this…”
Sadness and joy can coexist, but joy will always win if we stay close to the joy-giver.
I have been given eyes to see God working throughout this entire ordeal. I praise Him for this perspective.
Even in the middle of the shock and disbelief of what was happening, I saw Him. He was there.
And not only was He there — He had been there.
He has met and continues to meet me at every moment. He has gone before me to prepare the way — and I am able to rest in His care.
Sisters, there is nothing that compares with discovering that your faith, though tested and refined by fire, is REAL.
That is where the joy comes from!
It comes when you fear you are falling and suddenly you feel that solid rock beneath your feet. It comes when you are afraid of your ‘new normal’, and He rescues you with the promises from His Word.
While I am not surprised, I am so grateful to understand, in a much deeper way, that all that I have learned and taught over the years is true!
How can I not be joyful? How can I not have peace?
Our God is real. He can be trusted. He is not someone we make up in order to cope!
Heaven is not just a nice thing to believe, but, in fact, a real place where my mother lives today.
Jesus really did die and then rise in order to save us.
It is true.
Losing my mom is a temporary separation. Although my heart is broken and I cannot imagine my life without her, I have confidence that God’s promises for her have come to full fruition.
She has begun her real life in her real home. I will see her again — and that, my sisters, gives me true joy!
“I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world, you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” John 16:33 (MSG)