22 hours ago an amazing woman took her last breath on Earth. An hour later, awoken from deep sleeps, my family was struck with sadness and breaking hearts. It is hard to imagine someone who has been there for you your whole life being gone. Of course you don’t full understand it until you go through it. I have no been through it twice. Losing someone you are close to is really hard. Up until about 3/4 years ago, I was really close to my grandma. When she got really bad and was further in the stages of dementia, I became detached from her because I could not stand to see her slowly and painfully dying. After I gave my life to Christ, things changed completely. I seen her disease as an even worse burden and I started begging God for her life. As the years continued to suffer and the pain kept growing more and more visible in her life, I pleaded and wept at the cross for Jesus to take her home where there is no pain, suffering, and everything is perfect!
Yesterday, I asked my church family to pray for her and my family and then I found out she had started to get worse and I broke down on my way to work. I pleaded for God to take her home and to give her rest! He answered my prayers. It took him a few years to answer the plead, but he finally did!
My first reaction was sadness, crying for hours, holding my mom, and thanking God for taking her home!
My second reaction is a little different. After hours of tears and holding my mom… I held my mom and told her to imagine a picture… “Imagine grandma standing at the gates of heaven, God looking down upon her in judgement, but then saying to her, ‘Well done my good and faithful servant!’ Then imagine as God opens the gates to heaven, she is welcomed in open arms by family members who have passed before her, and welcomed into the Kingdom of God where her place has been being prepared of over 80 years! Then imagine grandma singing and dancing as she once done in worship of her savior and maker! She is young, healthy, and free in a place where there are no tears, suffering, pain, or death! She has eternal life with Jesus Christ!”
My mom’s reaction to this was more tears. It was painful and heartbreaking. She lost her mom. I don’t know that feeling because I held my mom as she wept for the loss of her mother. My heart broke from the pain she was feeling.
My third reaction was where I currently am with reacting to the loss of my grandma. No more tears. I want to laugh, sing, and give praise, worship, and glory to God for taking her pain and suffering away and taking her home. The image I told my mom to imagine…I imagined and man was it a sight to see. I want to sing and dance! I want to scream at the top of my lungs…”Praise Jesus, He has risen the dead!” I don’t want to mourn the loss of my grandma when I know there is a celebration going on in heaven! I want to be in heaven dancing and singing along to the celebration and party that is happening as they welcomed a child of God home yesterday! I can’t be in heaven because I know that my work is not done here yet, but I can still sing and dance, laugh and cry, praise and worship, and give all the glory to God while I am on Earth. So the final part of this reaction is that I asked God to pour out his love, grace, mercy, joy, forgiveness, and hope unto my family and fill me with the strength, power, courage, energy, and the Holy Spirit to light up my family and for Jesus to shine brightly into this sad and dark time in my family. There is a window and I have asked Jesus to intercede for me to the Father to fill me up so that I am overflowing and I can pour it all out unto others and still be overflowing with His love and grace for myself and for all who need it. As I sat outside on my porch in prayer, my dog by my side giving me weird looks as I prayed these prayers… I couldn’t sit still, I had to move, and I felt the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit filling me up and overflowing me that I cannot contain it! (Matthew 11:28)
I am not and never will claim to be a savior! I have no power to save anyone! But I feel that Jesus has given me the power and strength to be exactly who each person in my family needs this week! All who are weak and weary… come to the cross because Jesus is waiting to intercede on your behalf to the God of the universe and all of creation so that you too may have eternal life and dwell in heaven with Jesus Christ.
My prayer now that I have reacted to what has happened over the past 22 hours is that God would use me to glorify himself and to amplify himself. He uses people in ways that are unexpected and radical. I have been praying for my family since I moved back home almost a year ago and though it is not always the circumstance we want to be going through, it is the circumstances that God places in our lives that draw us closer to him and open our eyes so that we can see him clearly. God is in the saving and healing business and I pray that this week, God would save and heal my family from the pain and misery that chasing this world brings!
There is so much to be thankful for and so much to praise God for, but I am beyond thankful and grateful that God saved me and is using me in ways that I could not have expected! I will be completely exhausted by the end of the week, but I know that God has called me to a great work and I will gladly accept and pour out his grace and love to all who need it and all who ask for it! I am a child of God and though I will struggle and though I will fail, He has called and I proudly answer!
One day, I too will stand at the gates of heaven, being judged in hope that God looks upon me and says, “Well done my good and faithful servant, it is well!” and he opens the gates to Heaven and a celebration with dancing, singing, and praises occur as God is preparing a place for his children in his kingdom! I can’t wait to stand before the Lord in awe of his wonder and beauty, but until that day…I will live each moment pointing the world back to Him and striving for His glory on Earth!
What will God say to you on judgement day? “Well done my good and faithful servant”? or will be pour out his wrath upon you as you tore his people down, took his name in vain, broke all his commandments (not just the 10, but all that he commands with the Bible), and worshiped people and things in the world above the God who created them?
I know where I stand and what I fight for each day… I strive for God’s glory and his kingdom. Where do you stand? What do you fight for?
If you find yourself reading this… and you have questions… just ask and if you are afraid to ask… then take it to the cross! Jesus is worth fighting for and his kingdom is worth every battle you face, lose and win!
until next time… keep my family in your prayers,