My precious and most-cherished mama met our sweet Jesus early this morning. She had looked forward to the day she would see her Savior face-to-face, loved unconditionally, never to know earthly rejection again. She also spoke regularly of how she missed my sister Janey and how she longed to see her again.
Grieving deeply, yet comforted that my mom is now worshipping free of pain and heartache in the presence of Jesus…while reunited with Janey and her own mama whom she had led to Christ later in my grandma’s life.
Yesterday I knew my mama was dying. I was able (by God’s grace) to FaceTime with her on the nursing home’s iPad for two hours in the afternoon. She was unable to respond except twice…and I knew what she was trying to say both times. It was an emotional two hours as I prayed with her, sang hymns to her, reminded her of beautiful memories we had shared together and thanked her over and over for being such a wonderful mom who taught me how to be a woman of prayer.
I tenderly thanked her for leading me to Jesus because without Him I’m sure I wouldn’t even be here. I asked her to forgive me for the times I had hurt her. I told her for the billionth time how very much I loved her and how she was the best mom in the world. She had endured unconscionable heartache growing up and after she asked Jesus to be her Savior she spent her life loving and telling anyone she would meet of what Jesus had done for her.
Near the end of the two hours through wracking sobs I told her, “Mama I want you to come to Arizona to live. I want to pamper you and have you surrounded by the kids, see the palm trees swaying against the blue sky and watch the 10 little quail babies waddle around the yard. But Mom, I also know you have been longing for years to see Janey…it’s okay Mom, it’s okay. You can go see Janey now. You can. I will miss you ever moment of every day, but you can go be with her now.”
The Bible tells us, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” As she left this life, she was in Jesus’ presence instantly and I’m sure Janey was right there beside Him along with my grandma.
I had no idea how bad it would hurt to say see her leave this world. The sobs just won’t stop. My heart truly aches inside my chest. I’ve wanted to call her already a dozen times today to tell her this and that…
Oh friends, spend time with the ones you love, take the time to hear their stories, to celebrate the little things. Life is short. Always way too short. I long for just one more conversation.
And mama, you were a true overcomer, a real-life hero, a woman of prayer and a woman of faith – the most generous person I’ve ever met. You lived meagerly so that the orphans could have your “excess” … if only people knew what you endured in your lifetime and yet how you rose above it and loved us kids and your grandkids so well while telling the world what Jesus had set you free from. I will miss you with every breath and I long to see your face again.
And mom, the sweetest compliment anyone could ever give me would be to say that I remind them of you. I love you precious mama forever and ever.