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5.02.2010

Upside Down

That's one way to describe our lives for the past 3 weeks.  Completely upside down.  We have had a non-stop schedule that is showing no signs of letting up.  Sometimes life is just like that.  Our life anyway.  It seems we have seasons that are just really intense and right now, we're in the middle of one.  Thus, my very random blogging!  My family has needed my undivided attention lately, and of course they come first, but I thought I'd take a minute to fill you in.

We got a call on Saturday morning that Trav's Mee Maw had gone to be with Jesus in the night.  Although we are very sad to say good-bye to her now, we are confident that she is in Heaven today, out of pain and enjoying the place her Savior prepared for her.  She was only diagnosed with cancer 3 or 4 weeks ago (I can't remember now) but she took a turn for the worse last weekend.  We knew this was coming, but nothing ever makes you totally ready to let someone go.  This past week was full of pain for her, so it is a blessing that she has now received a full healing!  Bonnie was a dear woman in our family.  Very energetic and full of life...She faithfully stood by and cared for her sweet husband for many years, all the while loving her kids and her grandkids well.  I am quite certain she was greeted by the Lord on Saturday with the promised words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."  She lived well and loved well.  There is no greater gift she could have given her family than for us to know of her love for her Savior and to rest in the confidence that she is with Him today and we will see her again one day!  There is great hope in her death and we are choosing to put our trust and hope in the one who is faithful to do what He promises.

In light of the tragic death we walked through 2 weeks ago, with the Mom of our sweet junior high student, we have had the reality of eternity ever before us.  2 funerals in 2 weeks just does that to you.  In that situation, we did not have the certainty or the hope we have this time.  As a Mom, nothing was impressed on me more during that funeral, than for my husband, my kids, my family and my friends to be certain of my relationship with the Lord.  When it's my time to leave this earth and be with Him, I want them to be able to rejoice with me and rest in the knowledge that I put my trust in Christ as my Savior and I am exactly where the Bible says I am...with Him!  I don't want them to have to worry about my eternity in the midst of their pain.  It doesn't mean there is no grief in death, grief is a good and natural process of healing and it's very necessary.  But it does mean that we grieve with HOPE!  Unlike any other religion on earth, Christ is the only one who guarantees a future with Him.  We don't have to worry if we're good enough; we're not.  We don't have to hope we did enough; we can't.  And we don't have to imagine a "reward"; it's called Heaven.  Jesus is the reason we can stand before God, pardoned from the judgement our sin deserves.  His death is the perfect substitute for our sin.  And His word spells out the inheritance He has for us that will never rot, fade or be taken away.  When we put our faith in Him, as the one and only God, who died to take our sins away and reconcile us with him, we recognize that His resurrection conquered sin and death forever.  It fulfilled the prophecies long foretold and gave us the HOPE of eternal life with Him!

Helping Trav prep for yet another funeral, has re-awakened my gratitude and my hope in the salvation Christ offered me.  I believe Him and have put my faith in Him, therefore I am secure in Him.  To have hope in death is truly a miracle and a gift.  If you have put your trust in Christ, make sure you let the people around you know!  We do not know what the future holds and none of us are promised tomorrow.  It is heart wrenching and devastating to wonder if someone you loved is with Jesus or not.  The Bible is very clear about where those who believe go when they die..."To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."  It's also very clear about where those who reject Him go.  Don't make your loved ones wonder about that in their grief.  I know this is kind of a depressing post, but death has a way of revealing the brevity of life and the reality of eternity.  We are in a season of walking through 2 different kinds of death and it's heavy on my heart.  You just never know what tomorrow holds...

Yesterday we spent most of the day making arrangements and preparing for an unexpected trip.  This week we will go to Texas to celebrate the life of a sweet wife/mother/grandmother who loved the Lord.  Trav will be performing the service, which is always a bittersweet thing.  He lived next door to Mee Maw and Paw Paw for many years and has wonderful memories from their investment in his life.  It's a privilege for Him to do her funeral.  We're grateful we'll be able to see lots of family and to be able to spend some time with them.  Ava will love being able to play with so many of her cousins I'm sure!

We will miss Mee Maw dearly, but we are rejoicing with her promotion to Heaven and celebrating the life she lived on earth.  Kiss your husband and your kids tonight, and assure them of your relationship with the Lord and the truth of His word.  He is faithful and we can believe Him.  Even when life seems upside down, He is always in control.  Thank you Jesus!

3 comments:

petrii said...

Stephanie,
What a beautiful post and what a beautiful gift for us to give our loved ones. For them to know that we are in Christ and when we die we will go to him. I can think of know greater assurance to give our families than that.

Love you friend,
Dawn

Rebecca Jo said...

Oh... funerals... what a part of life that we dont enjoy...

It has to be a blessing to know Mee Maw didnt have to suffer long with cancer... but now she's WHOLE with Jesus...

still always hard, isnt it...

Hugs to you & Travis

Peggy & Ron said...

Just today getting around to catching up with the blogs. Thank you so much for the love and support you give Travis, he found gold when he found you. We were touched by his thoughtful service for Mee Maw. Loved the line "she talked fast, walked fast and sometimes drove fast"! I can hear her laughing at that.