June 9th will always stand out as the day my life changed. Three years ago on this very day, the person with the most influence, my best friend, advocate and prayer covering, my Mom...went home to be with her Savior.
She was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, which eventually went into bone cancer. She walked through this trial from beginning to end (a little over 10 yrs.) with great dignity, strength, and godliness. She was an awesome witness to many in her family, church, and the medical facilities where she was treated.
This is a summary of my journey (so far) since my Mom went to Heaven:
The first year I was obviously still mourning, because it was all so new. Even though I understood she was suffering and tried to accept that her time was close, you can never truly prepare for how you'll feel when they're gone. I would still have moments when I'd want to pick up the phone and tell her something funny the boys did or what happened during the day. We kept her room exactly the same, her clothes still in the closet, with the smell of her perfume lingering in the air. Little by little, we went through her things. She didn't have many valuables, no expensive jewelry or clothes. The most precious possession to me was her Bibles. She had many of them, all written & marked in with her notes. She had Bible studies & lessons from her teaching at her church over the years. I treasured these the most, because it's what she valued above everything else - along with her love for the Lord.
Even though I was mourning my loss, at the same time, I believed that a "mantel" had passed down to me that had been on my Mom. A few days after her funeral a trusted friend of mine confirmed this by saying the same thing without my having told her what I was feeling. From that time on, I felt a new strength in my walk with God.
The second year, I was hurting a little more because I was really missing her. It had sunk in that she was no longer an active part of our life. I was facing great trials in other areas and longed to have her prayers and advice. At the same time, the boldness & strength that I talked about was still at work. My Mom's passing left us with my Dad, my brother, my husband, my two boys, and myself. Being the only woman, I guess I stepped into the motherly role, and in a way, I guess I had to grow up a little more.
Now, this, the third year...started out with me feeling a little sad & heavy. In some ways it's hard to believe it's been 3 years. On the other hand, so much has happened since she's been gone, it feels like ages ago. I wanted to write this blog as a tribute to my Mom, but I felt like I needed to pray first. So I spent some time praying and confessing to the Lord how much I missed her. I can't explain exactly what happened, but I can tell you that I felt such a peace and joy come over me. I began to feel God's pleasure with having my Mom with Him, and a real sense of her joy in being there too. I know we said "she's in a better place" over & over again when she first passed. While I believed it theologically, and it did help ease the pain of her passing, I actually felt it this morning! I began to cry & laugh at the same time, and I prayed:
"Lord, I could never blame You for wanting her there with You! It's what she's always wanted, what she lived for, to be with You. It was the most important thing to her, just as she taught us to believe it was the only thing in life that mattered. I am so grateful that she's happy and that you're blessed by her being there as well. How can I be sad? I KNOW that I will see her again, there with You for all eternity." Thank You for salvation! Thank You for Heaven! Thank You for all Your promises!
So, that's how I feel today, on this third year of my Mom's homecoming. Thanks for allowing me to write down and share my thoughts & emotions. I pray that whatever you're going through in your own life, that God will give you "revelation knowledge" that will fill you with strength, peace & joy, just like He gave me this morning.
There is nothing like the wisdom & voice of God that can change your heart in an instant!