In 2006, I became a mom. This tiny baby girl was placed in my shaky arms and all of a sudden, this crazy, wild love immediately whelped up from inside of me. A kind of love only a mother can understand. The kind of love I could hear as my own mom unleashed her screaming excitement that could be heard all across the entire birthing floor of the hospital. I still chuckle to myself when I recall that memory.
Let me start by saying that I was blessed with the most incredible mother. Really. Many aren’t able to say that, but my heart is truly thankful for the mom God allowed to raise me. Her heart was big, and her love was fierce.
“A Virtuous woman who could find. For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband trusts her, and she works diligently to provide for her family. She has an inner strength and stays humble. She serves others and is faithful to the Lord”.
This was my mother. The Proverbs 31 woman. She lived this out beautifully, and those that knew her were truly blessed.
Yet, we are often reminded on this journey of life that our days are numbered. (Job 14:5) This life is beautiful and full of many blessings for us to delight in. From the gift of sweet family and friends to the beauty found in pockets all over this wonderful world that God created.
But the brokenness that is also found in this place leaves us longing for more, deep down knowing we weren’t meant to fully exist here.
While my mom had a way of cherishing the moment and living this life to the fullest, under the surface we discovered she had been battling headaches that eventually led to bleeding on her brain. Over the years, those bleeds grew. By the way she lived with such grace and poise, you would have never known that though.
My sweet momma was recently called to her eternal home. Losing my mom has been the greatest challenge I have ever faced. I spoke with her nearly every day and saw her several times a week. She was there. Always there. Yet, the void I have felt by her absence has reminded me that our tomorrow is never guaranteed.
As I have reminisced and gone through pictures and shared stories with close friends about her incredible life, it’s offered healing and heartbreak. It’s felt like I’m in survival mode and then it’s been quite lonely. It’s triggered joy and pain. It’s been filled with hope and tinges of guilt.
But in the end, it’s left me to wonder how am I going to raise three daughters without my mom? Where do I go from here? Who do I seek for wisdom, mom-advice, support and that love she gave? That unconditional love. And what of my dear daughters? They have no grandmother. She is absent for them too. Their biggest cheerleader, that showed up for every softball game, birthday party, choir concert, or meaningful event with that radiant smile - is gone.
But just when my mind wants to venture down that ‘self-pity, I’m so alone road’, and can’t do this “mom-life” without my mom, Jesus comes to my aid. He has such a tender way of calling me – to Him.
The truth of the matter is, Jesus knows of great sorrow as He experienced and took on pain for me, for my sweet mom, and for you on that rugged cross. And, while we turn from Him and seek the ways of this world from time to time, He earnestly and desperately seeks our hearts. Our Savior invites us to cast our burdens, hurts and heavy heart on Him.
He assures us that He is walking beside us during times of deep hurt, loss and grief.(Matthew 11:28-29)
When my heart hurts because I miss her so deeply or feel sad because my girls won’t get to know their amazing grandmother (we called her Mimi), Jesus leans in a little closer.
When I forget the sound of her voice, or a memory fades out of view, Jesus brings little glimmers of hope found in simple gestures. The hug from a friend, a warm cup of coffee, or a sweet and unexpected smile from one of my daughters. There has been rays of sunshine and joy intertwined in the heartbreak and tears. I’ve learned that joy and pain can, and do co-exist, because Jesus meets us in our pain. He hears the aches of our hearts and offers us a sense of stability when the world around us seems to be spinning a little out of control.
Sweet sister, our time may not align with God’s. We may walk trails we are not prepared for. We may find ourselves lost, lonely, and crushed in spirit. Life has a way of taking our breath away in both beauty and tragedy but let me re-assure you that our God is still faithful, just and good.
If I could pass along a piece of my sweet momma’s legacy to you, it would be this - Live life with pure joy. Love others without reservations. Forgive easily. Find peace and rest in Him. Glorify God with your whole being, even when the days are hard. Trust Him and He will carry you!
“For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you”.
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