Monday, August 31, 2009

The Hope of Suffering

If you have been reading my blog as of late, then you know my grandmother just passed away on August 20th, 2009, of terminal lung cancer. As hard as it was to watch her die, it was also very peaceful, as I saw God's hand upon her and the rest of us.

During her last day here on earth, I recall sitting there, watching her breath, wondering with each one, if this would be the last. My heart began to ache and tears welled up in my eyes as I whispered in my heart "Jesus, help us, I am not sure how much more of this we can take."

Later on this same day, my mom and I, along with my sisters, gathered around grandmas bedside and prayed. We prayed for God's mercy and His wonderful grace to flood my family. We prayed that grandmas suffering would end soon, and that she would be wrapped in the arms of Jesus.

As we were praying something I had just read came to my heart and I felt lead to read it out loud to grandma. This is what it was...

"My beloved speaks and says to me, rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

For, behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing [of the birds] has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

The fig tree puts forth and ripens her green figs, and the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away." Song of Songs 2:10-13

I cried as I read it because I knew that Father was calling her home. I cried because I knew I would miss her. I cried because I knew that when I thought of her not being here for me, it would make me sad for what I would miss.

I smiled when I thought of her with Jesus. I smiled when I thought of her holding her precious daughter who had passed away at 7 months old, more than 50 years ago. I smiled when I thought of her with no more tears, no more pain. I smiled when I thought of her being in a place so wonderful that it is actually outside of time, and I knew for her it would only be a moment until she saw me again.

As weird as this may sound, as odd as it feels to say it, this was actually a good experience. Don't get me wrong it was hard. There are moments when it still is. Like when I put on grandmas flannel that I took from her closet and I smelled her scent as it flowed from the shirt into my nostrils. When I think about Christmas and her not being here. When I look at her photo, or even when someone says a word that reminds me of her.

Grandma is everywhere.

Yet, so is God's peace and that is why this has been good. Precious, wonderful, Jesus, has been there for us, and He still is.

Everyone suffers at some point in their life. Everyone goes through the rough and tough days when it feels like it would be easier to just quit.

Everyone does.

It's not a matter of will I ever suffer, but, where is my hope when I do.

My hope is in Jesus, the Lover of my soul. He will be with us through the good and the bad. With Him, even the the things that are meant to ruin and crush us will be used for good.

12 comments:

RCUBEs said...

I am reliving that moment when my brothers and I surrounded our dying father, too as I was reading your post. We had great laughter shared, as the neighbors wondered why at the face of death, we were celebrating. My father told them, "my death would not bring "tears of sadness". It would be "tears of joy" because I'm going to be with the Lord."

Amidst that trial, God made His presence known in our hearts. The suffering we had to endure and my father, turned out to be a powerful testimony. And He was the One Who comforted us, day after day.

I am grateful that we have that hope He promised to those who will believe in Him. And I choose to remain trusting and believing in Jesus. Blessings.

Tara said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss but am so thankful that she is with the Lord now and you have peace because you know him.

HappyascanB said...

What a bitter sweet time you've just been through. You write about it so beautifully. I praise God that you and your entire family know the Father and know His peace. Praying for you, sweet one. I just posted about an incredible song Mendisa sang this past weekend at a conference I attended. Check it out if you'd like; just beautiful! God bless you!

Mari said...

Hi Daveda,
I last read the post where you talked about your grandma's health failing. We've now been on vacation so I hadn't heard of her passing. I loved what you read to her and think that is a great promise!
I'm sorry for your loss, but so thankful for the promise of eternal life!

Rhonda said...

What a moving post and a special tribute to your grandmother. I am so sorry for your loss and I know that though it is tough to watch our loved ones leave us (my mother and my step-dad), they are forever around us in every thing we do and say. Blessings my friend.

Andrea said...

I was with my best friend in 2001 when she drew her last breath from terminal lung cancer. GOD's presence was with us through each moment and has been since.

Thank you for sharing your heart. GOD will continue to use you to help others who are hurting.
Blessings and prayers, andrea

Warren Baldwin said...

I don't think this experience sounds strange. Where else would God be but right there? When my mother was dying from a stroke, and no one could communicate with her, my dad and the doctor were discussing if they should hook mom up to the machines. She spoke for the only time when she said emphatically, "No!" She and dad had discussed it before - no more machines (she'd had them before). Her only other response was to open her eyes and kiss dad. Then she died. We think she knew what was coming, was ready for it, and didn't want any interference with her flight home!

Heart2Heart said...

Daveda,

It's not a matter of will I ever suffer, but, where is my hope when I do. I love this line that you wrote. How true it is in everything that we go through in life. God is always waiting, always watching and nothing passes through His hand that He is not aware of.

Thank you so much for sharing your personal last moments with your grandmother and letting us be a part of her homecoming with Jesus.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Shanda said...

My tears are flowing with you as I read this. I already knew of your Grandmother's passing; but it is very tender to read about your last moments with her.

As with many, it reminded me of my own times of loss with both of my parents. I remember vividly my mother's last breath. It was more of a sigh; a sigh of relief and peace. Like the struggle was over and she was gazing at the face of her Savior. Those moments are beautifully complicated emotionally speaking; but with the Hope that we know, there is such a peace.

I have always loved that Scripture. God has just recently spoken it over my heart anew.

Much love friend-

Denise said...

I am so very, very sorry.

chili pepper said...

Daveda,

You could never know how this post touched my heart. In my home growing up surrounded by hatred, alcoholism and violence, my dear grandmother became my cornerstone. I loved her so dearly and to lose her was one of the greatest losses I have ever known. Topped only by the fact that I came to know Jesus too late. We lost her to Alzheimer's many years, almost 13, before her body had the sense to give up and I had to sit and watch her go bit by bit over many years wanting so desperately to tell her of what I learned and she unable to understand. The pain greater to even losing her was not knowing if she will be in eternity with me or if she is in the eternal suffering of hell. We buried her 5, almost 6 years ago, and every mention of her name brings this pain back to me.

While I thank God for the blessing my dear Gram was to me I praise Him yet more for your peace in the salvation of your dear grandmother. Thank you for sharing with us.

christy rose said...

Daveda, I am so sorry that I have not been over to visit with you much in the last week. This post is so sweet. I loved the whole thing. It made me remember my feelings toward my grandparents when they were alive and then passed away as well. God is so good to help get us through those times.

I have not been able to be on the computer as much this week. First, our internet was down, then the computer itself, then my laptop was our only computer that was planted stationary uptairs and it was too hard to be on it very much each day. So, I have not had any opportunity to write at all and any amount of time I did get to be on it, I started just popping by on some of the blogs I read that i had not gotten to visit the longest time away. Anyway, laptop up and running again and I am baaaaackkkk! haha

But it is so late that I am so tired and ready for bed. So, I will come back and visit some more tomorrow! :)
Thanks for missing me,
Christy