“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2)
On July 2nd 2016 at 6:04 AM, My mom took her final breath. Her battle had been a tough one since she had come to live with my wife and I close to 4 years ago.
I never minded taking care of my mom, I looked forward to expressing my love and gratitude any way possible. We have wittnessed miracles in her recovery, there were times that were very difficult where I would go months on end with only a few hours of sleep each night… But the Lord always gave me the strength to get through it.
Mom was scheduled to be discharged from the rehab hospital on June 30th. She would be returning back home with us her family. On Wednesday June 22, in a 4 hour window from the time I went to see her before work and returning at lunch. I entered the room to find soft mats on the floor. I asked if she had fallen, I was told no. The truth is my sweet mom had fallen out of her hospital bed, hitting her head.
The 11 days prior to her death, were the most difficult and stressful times I can remember as a Christian. The injury to her head and face were intense. I had to get into muiltiple arguments with the facility she was at. The pressure had finally expelled her right eye. While at one of the hospitals, we lost close to three days of precious time because of the lack of urgency. In this process we had fired the doctor and requested a transfered to the University Hospital. As suspected, we were told my mom had a brain bleed as well. Three days before her death while at her side I wittnessed a massive 13 minute seizure and stroke. Her body tensed and kicking, face distorted I did all I knew to do.. Cry out to Jesus, it eventually stopped and my mom could no longer speak to me, eat or drink or move her eye.
In the 22 days before her death the tears ran down my cheeks in never-ending rivers. Congestion choked off my breathing and rage threatened to overwhelm me. I cried out to Jesus, “Why can’t I just be calm?”
I thought I had peace in my heart about my Mom’s impending death. She was sick, very sick, and I knew what was coming. But now that her death was a reality there seemed to be no end to the waves of anxiety, depression, rage, despair, agitation, frustration, and every other emotion but peace rushing at me. I had so much faith in God and I had not wanted my beloved mother to suffer or die in such pain. I could not understand why I was so angry.
As I did many times I stayed by her side, my son and I were able to hold her hand and pray her to Heaven. We watched God take her last breath back.
My friend called to ask me how I was doing, and I honestly shared the truth with him. He prayed that I would allow the Holy Spirit to comfort me in my grieving, and that I would find the acceptance of the truth that my mother was now experiencing the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
That is when it hit me, I was angry at God because while I wanted Mom to stop suffering, I had wanted her to stop suffering, I was angry at the rehab, the previous doctor that said she was fine.. it was just a bump and the disrespect and care that elders receive because they are old
The Lord had not done things my way, and so I did not accept her death. I was in denial, and the rage I was experiencing prevented me from entering into the loving arms of my Savior. I needed to surrender my emotions to Him. Without that surrender, I could not find peace.
This morning when I close my eyes and see the beautiful brown eyes of my precious mother and one of my best friends, I let the tears flow. I have allowed them to become the river of tears that I am passing through with Jerusalem, as I thank Him that my Mom is dancing in His loving arms. She loved to dance. When I picture my Mom’s gentle face, I do not try to block the view even though it’s painful to know I can no longer go and see her. Instead, I give thanks and praise to God that we will embrace again when we He calls me Home to be with Him.
When I am reminded of the softness of her skin, instead of wanting to run and hide, I am grateful for God’s faithfulness in granting my prayer to be with my mother in her dying moment. I thank Him for letting me hold her hand and walk her home where her Abba, Father now strokes her hand and holds her in His everlasting embrace of love forever.
I know I am not finished grieving the loss of my mother’s physical presence. It has only been a few day since she left her earthly home to be with her Savior. But I know that as long as I keep bringing my hurts, my joys, my memories, my pain, my trials, my highs, and my lows to my Shepherd, I will not want for anything. He is truly faithful.
Though I may feel overwhelmed, always He is right here to scoop me out of the waters if my face threatens to go beneath the surface. When I feel I am aflame in the rage of an emotional storm He is right here with me to wash me with the waters of His soothing baptism of mercy and compassion.
He is right here to reassure me that I am unconditionally loved and accepted. I am walking in His grace and I do not have to be perfect. I am allowed to feel my way through the anguish of this valley of physical death, even while I celebrate the joy of my Mom’s eternal life. Praise be to God, He promises me, “[I]shall feed [My] flock like a shepherd: [I] shall gather the lambs with [My] arm, and carry them in [My] bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:11)
I know that my mother is now in His arms, held tenderly against Jesus’ bosom. He is feeding me on His Word, nourishing and nurturing me through this torrent of emotions.
He assures me every day, whispering in my ears, “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed.”(Isaiah 54:10)
Heavenly Father, I thank you and praise you for my mother, I thank you for the ability to care for her and the opportunity to show her who You are through me. I praise You for using me to lead her to You Lord. I praise you for the assurance that I will see her again in Heaven. I love you Lord. Thank You for my earthly Mother and her love for me… Thank you for my family, wife and children and I ask that you comfort each of us with love and peace as we process her passing. In Jesus’ precious and Holy name, Amen.
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Scriptural Seeds Ministries
P.O. Box 57284 Tucson, Arizona 85732