explain how i’m wrong

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this might be the longest post i’ve ever written, but it is probably also the most heart-felt one i’ve ever written either.  do me a favor and don’t skip it or skim it just because it’s long.

about 2 weeks ago i got a call, forget if it was from mom, dad, or someone else – grandpa (dad’s dad) had had another stroke.

he’s been in hospice for 10 months at this point.  we’ve been “at the end” several times in the past couple of years.  each time he’d come through.  although i was hearing things this time that told me it was really the end, i had a hard time believing he wouldn’t turn the corner again and head for better.

he turned for better – just not the direction my selfish love would want him to turn.  i wanted earthly better – he got heavenly better.  i’m okay with that.

2.14.09 9:58pm i left the following comment on my aunt’s facebook status:  the emotions are building . . . this is so much harder than when grandma passed away so suddenly and unexpectedly . . .

moments after typing this i prayed something along the lines of this:  lord, please let my dad see grandpa before he goes and let grandpa know he’s there.  then lord, please take him home.  amen

at 10:20ish i got a call from my dad letting me know that at about 11:00pm eastern time (10:00 my time) grandpa had opened his eyes, seemingly looked at my dad, breathed a few labored breaths and was gone.

{god moment #1}

2.15.09  the next morning brad asked how i was doing.  i look into the eyes of my loving and concerned husband who had just sat and held me as i cried the night before and told him that my heart physically ached with sadness.  he did everything he could to let me know how much he loved.  unfortunately had to head off to work though because it was sunday morning.  (kinda important for the pastor to be there on a sunday.)

the kids and i headed out the door to go to worship – the first time in 3 weeks thanks to sickly kids.

as we sang our worship songs my heart was still so heavy with hurt. 

we began to sing the leeland song  beautiful lord:

When the storm is raging all around me
You are the peace that calms
My troubled sea
And the cares of this world
Darken my day
You are the light that shines
And shows me the way

Oh, the beauty of Your majesty
On the cross You showed Your love for me!

Beautiful Lord
Awesome and mighty
I’m captured by this love I see
Beautiful Lord
Tender and holy
Your mercy brings me to my knees
It’s Your mercy that has made me free
Beautiful Lord

When my sin is all that I can see
Your grace remains the shelter that I seek
And when my weakness is all I can give
Your gentle Spirit gives me strength again
And oh, the beauty of Your majesty
On the cross You showed Your love for me

And I am lifted by Your love to sing!
It’s Your mercy that has made me free!

You’re beautiful, my Lord
You’re beautiful, my Lord

as we sang the refrain “you’re beautiful, my lord;  you’re beautiful, my lord”, i had a vision of my grandpa being awe-struck by the beauty of his lord, my lord, and saying those exact words over and over to him.  it brought me to tears.  the best kind of tears.  the knowledge of my grandfather’s faith and the knowledge that i share that same belief in christ as my savior and god, my heavenly father that will one day lead me to be reunited with him in heaven was better than any other form of comfort.

{god moment #2}

2.17.09 as we turned onto 5 mile road and came within blocks of the funeral home, brad looked over at me at a stop light and asked, “are you ready for this?”  i began to tear up and told him about the tightening feeling in my chest that was getting stronger as we got closer.  “i don’t know,”  was my reply.  suddenly the words on the radio (words i’ve probably sung in worship a hundred times) caught my attention:

Take these hands
And lift them up
For I have not the strength to praise You near enough
See, I have nothing
I have nothing without You

And take my voice and pour it out
Let it sing the songs of mercy I have found
For I have nothing
I have nothing without You

And all my soul needs is all Your love
To cover me, so all the world will see
That I have nothing without You

Take my body and build it up
May it be broken as an offering of love
For I have nothing
I have nothing without You

And all my soul needs is all Your love
To cover me so all the world will see
That I have nothing
That I love You, yeah
With all my heart
With all my soul
With all my mind
And all the strength I can find

Take my time here on this earth
And let it glorify all that You are worth
For I am nothing
I am nothing without You

i looked at brad, and immediately through tears said, “i’m going to be okay.  i can do this.” 

(i was, and i did.)

{god moment #3}

2.18.09 funeral day.

once again, god put the right song on the radio just as we were pulling into st. val’s.  i don’t know the song this time, but it had to do with the fact that there will be a day when we will have no more sadness and tear. 

{god moment #4}

i had introduced jilly to her great grandfather the previous evening once everyone other than close family had left the funeral home.  it was perfect.  she looked at him and smiled the biggest smile and began to “talk” to him.  i wanted nate to also see him since the only other time they’d met was when nate was 2 1/2 months.  as we stood beside my grandpa, i looked at nate and told him that great-grandpa was with jesus.  although nate at not quite 3 years old might not understand the concept of death and heaven, he knows the name of jesus and that brings me so much joy and comfort.

as brad and i were driving in the funeral procession to the cemetary, i was struck by the strongest feeling of hope and peace.  it had been with me all along, but i was able to fully realize it at this time.  i was able to face each step along the way through last week with the hope and peace that knowing my savior brings.  my heart hurts for my loss of my grandfather, but it hurts more for those who face death without faith. 

2.24.09 i was able this morning to attend tuesday morning bible study for the first time since late january.  we went to 1 peter to look at a verse in relationship to our study of exodus.  i was drawn to read a patch of verses i had previously underlined years earlier (i haven’t had the orange pen since at last college) and loved that it spoke of faith and hope:

praise be to the god and father of our lord jesus chirst!  in his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of jesus christ from the dead,

and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you,

who through faith are shielded by god’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

1peter 1:3-5

i love the picture of being shielded through faith by god’s power.  wow!!  i’ve been shielded!!!

{god moment #5}

hey grandpa – i’ll make sure i teach my kids how to get a fig newton out of the cookie jar without grandma knowing!!!  🙂

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3 responses »

  1. Way to make your mom’s mascara run! I very thankful for the wonderful man my father-in-law was and I’m glad that he got to see his grandchildren become the people they are. He was very proud of each of you.

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