It has been a while since I have taken the time to sit and collect my thoughts into print to share. So much has happened, and it’s been a season like no other in my life. Like many in the world today, there are multiple crises happening all at one time, and it can be overwhelming, literally taking your breath away. What do we do in these times where even breathing feels hard to do?
My beautiful momma stepped out of this world on June 12 this summer, after a very long battle to recover from neglect in a healthcare setting that resulted in emergency surgery. She endured 7 surgeries over a 3-week period and was just too tired to turn the corner. I was able to be with her every day for 6 weeks, and pray with her, read her the Bible, especially the Psalms (her favorite) and be present to advocate for her needs. It was sacred and sweet, yet traumatic all at the same time. And I wouldn’t exchange that time for anything.
As she had declined, we demanded she be airlifted from a smalltown facility to a major medical center. We nearly lost her in flight, but she was stabilized and was able to regain some consciousness for a couple of weeks. She had just been moved from Medical ICU to Surgical ICU, when my brother called me asking if I was in her room. “Yes”. He said, “I need you to step out of her room”. My every nerve that was already frayed, rattled, weary came to attention and bolts of panic shot through me. I must have made some sort of audible sound, that made my brother state “no one has died” …. I stepped out of the room into the hallway by the nurse’s station, “Okay, I am out of her room, WHAT is going on?!?!”. “Mom’s house burned to the ground this morning” …..My knees buckled and air was sucked out of my lungs. I can still feel that trauma hit to my chest of “WHAT? On top of all she’s been through?! How can this be?!?”
This was so much to bear, and I didn’t want to let mom know, as she was struggling to live. This blow would be too hard on her. We told her team, so they could understand the additional trauma our family was experiencing and mark it in the chart to NOT say anything in her room.
Eleven days later, on my way down to see her in the morning, I had my special needs sister with me. She was excited to finally get to see mom – her caregiver her entire life of 54 years. We had to pull MANY strings to get her in to see her, as COVID policies were so very strict. She was being so brave with the loss of all of her possessions, and the displacement she was going through after the fire and mom’s medical state. I got a call from the attending physician that she hoped I was on my way, as mom was not doing well, and she was concerned. My heart dropped; tears welled up…we were only 15 minutes away. I let my sister know that mom was struggling, and we didn’t know what to expect.
Later that day, at 3 pm, mom left her tired body and stepped into heaven. This is where I can tell you that LOVE NEVER DIES. The sweetness of her presence, the love she carried in her from God Himself to so many, has never diminished, never left any of us, and will never leave. In fact, it has the opportunity to spread and grow….if we choose to let it.
Love is eternal, because God is eternal, and God is love. The purest form of true love is God Himself. 1 John 4:8, 16. Love doesn’t end, it never fails or dies (1 Cor 13:8).
I was blessed to be able to speak at her Celebration of Life and shared about the love she possessed, the love she shared whenever she encountered another person, animal, and God Himself. She would marvel at the beauty of Creation and speak out loud, “Thank You, God!” as in conversation with Him. She loved well. I learned much from her about love and life. I wanted more of that! However, I know she is no longer suffering and is free to be her purest form together with the Lord. It is a beautiful image to try to imagine that! She was an artist and I often wonder as I stop and take in a beautiful sunset if she is getting to help with creating this one or that one. That I can truly imagine…her standing beside God and selecting colors together and brush strokes and giggling with Him at the majesty created.
Love sustains us. I believe that because love is God and God is love. Think on that for a moment. When you feel loved, as we can experience love here as humans, what comes to mind? How do you feel? What is your mood? How do you view the world around you when you KNOW you are loved? Things are better, as if there is a coating of all things good on every single thing. Every relationship, every circumstance, even every challenge. As I ponder that, I am aware of the power of love. This brings to mind the verses that “love covers a multitude of sins” and we are to be known by our love as Believers. What if love is just that…the most powerful thing to be used in all circumstances as an offensive and defensive “weapon” to overcome all evil, all hard things? The practical application of these verses seems hard, seems nearly impossible when you look at the state of our world these days…but what if we allow the Lord to transform our minds a bit right now…how can we carry the love that has been deposited in us, this never ending supply of it, that continues to pour into us from the Father Himself…what if we chose to just let it flow from us as we navigate through our moments? Perhaps deposit is to finite of a word to use to describe the pouring of this love into us. Romans 5:5 states “God’s love has been poured out into us through the Holy Spirit…” I envision a pouring out and into me that is an everlasting love, this eternal wellspring of love that cannot run out. Why am I so stingy with this love I have been so freely given??!?! Public confession right here and now! This love has been poured into me in many, many ways, included through my amazingly beautiful mom.
Love never dies. Only the vessels we have for a short time wither away and die. Our souls, spirits, minds, will and emotions all live on eternally in this love. Take comfort in that truth. I know I am.