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.
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.
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