Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tribute to my Mom

"But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we’ll all be changed. In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable, this mortal replaced by the immortal. Then the saying will come true:

Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
Who got the last word, oh, Death?
Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?
                                                                                                                                It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God! ~1Corinthians 15:51-57 The Message

I had the most wonderful, generous, adventurous, courageous, amazingly strong, fun and loving mom…but if she were sitting here among us still…I'm pretty sure she would say that I'm "just being nice" and want to remind me of all the times she failed at being any of these things. 

Yes…sometimes my mom was frustrated, tired, fearful, weak, no fun, and had "lost that loving feeling"…but than who here hasn't? The conflicting mixture of emotions and attributes that weave through my mom's 85 years on this earth only cause me to love and admire her more…not less. After all…as her youngest child of 3, I recall being at the root of many of her frustrations more often than I care to count. Thankfully, I feel confident that her love for me overshadowed all those times and perhaps I even became a root of her joy, her comfort and a source of her loving care.  

I loved my mom and I thank God that He gave her to me.

I must admit when my mom came to live with me full time a couple of years after my husband died I wasn't prepared for the changes dementia had caused in my Mom's ability to reason or understand the things that seemed basic or simple to me. My mom's physical care also had increased since the last time she lives with Brad & I, so it was quite overwhelming at times for both of us as we learned to adjust to each other's ability to cope with the changes in both of our lives. 

I was use to a clear thinking and more mobile mom.  My mom no doubted missed Brad's ability to diffuse the tension between the two of us stubborn women who were use to "their way" of doing things. 

It took God's love and wisdom, His strength and grace to help me adjust to caring for my mom…and His mercy and grace for my mom to accept not only my help, but to forgive my many failures in patience & tenderness and to accept my willingness to sacrifice for her good and not feel resentful that she needed my help. 

The adjustments were quite a process and was actually ones that never stopped being a process since my mom's health was in constant change. We had many "rough patches and I had many nights I cried out to God that this was all too impossible for me to handle. This was too much pain and suffering for my mom to have to bear and that she deserved a better caregiver that what I could offer. 

Yet, I can't count the times my mom expressed to me her love and I express my love for her. What joy we shared together in all those moments...all of these are precious keepsakes in my heart. The other stuff...has already begun to quickly fade into the background to be forgotten. 

On July 5th, 2013 my mom breathed out her last breath of this life and breathed in her first breath of Heaven. I rejoiced for her and God covered me with His peace and assured me that He was pleased that I had fulfilled my vow to love and care for my mom because I trusted Him over my doubts and had not given up. 

May I encourage you with these thoughts. 

You may find yourself in undesirable circumstances, but as Romans 8:28 tells us, God can take these bad things and work them together for your good and his glory if you are his child.

Our all-knowing God knows what is best for us and can direct us clearly by our circumstances. 

This is what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says:

I am Yahweh your God,
who teaches you for your benefit,
who leads you in the way you should go. ~ Isaiah 48:17(HCSB)

Too often we give up instead of waiting for the Lord's perfect timing to grant our hearts desire.When we don't see our prayers being answered...we answer our request our way instead of God's...& this contradicts God's will. 

I used to plead for God to~ "Rescue me from this!" Only to realize that He has rescued me "in it." Recently while feeling at my weakest, I cried out to God that it felt like I wasn't getting stronger in this trial but only weaker. His answer to my heart was, "I am not trying to make you stronger...My strength is revealed perfectly in your weakness." I felt suddenly relieved from the pressure I had been under...I know how to be weak! And His strength was suddenly uncovered. Glory! 

The morning after my mom died, I woke up feeling "adrift" in a sea of aloneness. With both parents gone, my identity had once again changed and I don't much care for losing my beloved titles in this life of "wife" and now "daughter".

I could chose to just sit in this pool of self-pity but if you know me well...I'm not much for getting into the water and than drowning in that mess. No...I'd rather prefer a big comfy floating devise that allows me to rise above the waves and enjoy life's journeys. 

I have found such a vessel in Christ! God in His faithfulness that morning quickly reminded me that I am the bride of Christ...and I am the daughter of the One true King. Death can not steal these eternal identities from me...nor my Christian brother & sister can he steal them from you. 

 “Death, where is your victory?
Death, where is your pain?” 1 Corthinians 15:55 NCV

My mom is in Heaven today and she is more alive and more vibrant than when in her youth she walked this earth. She is surrounded by loved ones who had been waiting to see her again...but none anticipated her arrival more than Jesus! Oh what a joyful moment that must be...when our faith become our sight and we see Jesus face to face. 

To God be the Glory...what great things He has done!