Have you ever really thought about how your family is shrinking a little more each year? Since December I have lost an aunt (one of my mom’s sisters), another aunt (the wife of one of my mom’s brothers) and an uncle (one of my mom’s brothers) – IN THREE MONTHS!!! My mom is one of what was nine siblings. There are now three of them left.
I am an only child. So, I don’t exactly know the pain of losing a sibling. Both of my parents are still alive. So, I don’t know the pain of losing a parent. My husband is still hanging around. So I don’t know the pain of losing a spouse. I do, however, know the pain of losing a child through miscarriage. My other two children are still here – making my life full of joy every day (ok, MOST days). So, I don’t know the pain of losing a living child. I have lost all of my grandparents. I know that pain. I just can’t imagine the grief associated with the death of any of the people I just mentioned though.
Death is a natural part of life. There is a beginning and there is an earthly end. Those left behind carry the emotional break that comes with being left behind for the remainder of their time here whether that be one day or 80 years. While there is the pain of separation from the one we love for those of us who are Christians we have the promise and the hope of seeing our loved one again one day in Heaven. When I saw my uncle the last time Friday night I kissed him and told him to hug my baby Joshua who I did not get to meet.
Last week I watched a friend my age bury her perfectly healthy mountain bike riding 48 year old husband. He was one of the healthiest people I know. Yet Sunday night March 20th he had a massive heart attack and died. We are not promised tomorrow. We are not promised the next minute. We certainly have no idea when it will be our day to pass from this life to the next. What we are promised is that, if we are a Christian, when we breath our last breath of oxygen on this earth we will immediately see Jesus. II Corinthians 5:8 tells us that we can be confident that when we are absent from our body we will be present with the Lord.
One of my favorite verses of the Bible is found in I Corinthians 15. Verse 54 says that death is destroyed and victory over it is complete. I love verse 55 – “Oh death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” Death is a victory for us Christians. It’s painful for us left behind. But it is a time of victory for the Christian because they wake up in glorious Heaven with the Savior. God makes reference in Revelation 7:9 to a “great multitude” standing before the throne. They are the Christians who have died and gone on before us. I will see my loved ones and friends in that crowd. You know how it is when you get separated from your friend or family member in a big crowd of people. You look around anxiously to lay eyes on them and know that they were there but just out of your sight? I think that’s kind of how it is now for those of us who have lost loved ones to death. We are separated from them but we know where they are. They are out of our eye sight for now but one day we will see them again. They are standing, clothed in white, before the throne of God worshiping him. One day I will lay my eyes on them again and we will be reunited.
Death is only temporary. It merely ushers us into a different “life”. It becomes our eternal destination. That gives me great hope that one day I will see my loved one again in Heaven if they are a Christian. Not only will I see Jesus with my eyes but I will once again lay eyes on those who have gone before me. What an amazing hope and promise!
If you are following me on Twitter then you know that my cousin, Lesha, has been dealing with just a horrible situation with her father. Her dad had a brain aneurysm over the weekend. Lesha and her family traveled straight through from their home in south Florida to Ohio. Unfortunately things did not end well and she and her siblings had to make the decision to remove life support yesterday because there was no longer any brain activity. I want to thank all of you for your prayers for them. I also want to request that your prayers continue for them. Her mother died when Lesha was a teenager from breast cancer and now her father has died as well. She is carrying a heavy load. At the time of his death her father was not married so the medical decisions had to be made by Lesha and her siblings. I can’t imagine the emotional weight.
When I was growing up our two families were very close because her mom (my Aunt Carol) and my mom were close. They were the only two of the 9 siblings that lived in Dayton. So, we were all really close. Lesha, Jill and I were all fairly close in age. I wrote a post all about my Aunt back in October for Breast Cancer Awareness month. You can click the link in the previous sentence to see that entry. She was a fun loving person and a fab aunt.
At any rate, I just wanted to ask my readers to lift my cousin (who is more like a sister to me) up in prayer right now. I can’t imagine the grief associated with the death of a parent. I mentally prepared myself for it during the time my dad was so sick. But I just can’t imagine how heavy the burden would be to bear. Lesha is a Christian and has the Lord to give her comfort. However, I don’t know that any of her siblings are Christians. Pray that the Lord would use their father’s death to draw them to Himself. Here are a couple of pictures recently taken with Lesha and one with her sister Jill to help give you a face to the name in your prayers.
Reconnected thanks to FB
Love these two like the sisters I never had
Jill looks exactly like Aunt Carol. And Lesha looks exactly like her dad.
Thank you all for your prayer support.
Last night was the funeral of a very special man who was a mentor to many. Bert Tippett was a man of character, humility and Godliness. He worked for years at our denominatonal college, Free Will Baptist Bible College. He mentored thousands of students over is career at the college. When I was there he and his wife, Diane, traveled with the touring groups – choirs, ensembles and drama teams. They traveled as the tour “parents”. That’s when I really got to know them. I was on the college drama team. Each spring break for 4 years they traveled with us on a tour bus for over a week all over the country. He was a friend to each of us traveling as a ministry. His job was to close our services for us. But he and Diane would jump in and help us unload, set-up and load the bus. They would see that we were all distributed to the home we stayed in each night. One year he was in cahoots with Ron to give me a letter from him each day in some unique way. One day the letter was taped to the outside of the bus on the front windshield. Continue reading