I Thank My God For You

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Phillipians 1:3

Today marks one year since my mama stepped into Eternity. Time is a funny thing. It’s a constraint inside this world, but outside of these boundaries, it’s nothing really. Though mama has been absent from our lives physically, her memory is so alive with us – so present! – that she is a part of our every day. Still. And I am thankful!

Leading up to today, I’ve been trying to feel all the things that this world tells us we should feel when we lose someone so dear to us. I’ve considered sadness, a suppressed joy, even…I’ve considered what might be outwardly perceived as a respectful, mournful state…and I’ve even considered that silence might be an appropriate display for this time.  But what the world tells me I should feel today, and what I should have been feeling all year, does not match up with the promises of My Savior – and oh, how I can’t deny that its by nothing less than God’s grace and mercy – His complete and faithful promises – that I am not feeling exactly the way the world teaches us to feel. Instead, leading up to today, the Lord has showered me with some amazing memories that are like a cool-whipped topping on the peace He has graciously given me. Memories of YOU!

You have gifted me, kind strangers, my friends and my family, with a love brought to flesh directly from The One who set this world in motion. I DO thank my God for every time I remember you!

YOU, short red-haired lady who always greeted my mama with that beautiful smile, as you escorted her behind the scene at Dr. Pavy’s office. YOU, soft-spoken manager at the hotel where mama and I stayed in Charleston, waiting to see the doctors at MUSC. YOU, young working mother at the bank who took time to hold onto my mama’s hand in the parking lot, where you so graciously handled her business while she stayed in the comfort of our car. YOU, four gentlemen, who gave my mama the ride of her life in the heart-reach ambulance (she really did love your humor, that wasn’t just the pain medication talking!). YOU, all of you, with McLeod Hospice, treating my mama with such dignity and calm – and loving on our whole family. So many, many kind strangers that Jesus shined through. I remember you, and I am thankful.

And my friends. You know who you are. You brought my mama an ever-flowing supply of donuts from Krispy Kreme. You went with mama for her first pedicure. You saved my mama from a spider, and she really did believe you were a superhero for that! You tracked me down at MUSC to share a Starbucks and tears. You showered my mama with the most beautiful flowers. You sent mama the sweetest letter, telling her of the goodness of life through trials and the abundant love of Jesus (she kept that letter inside her pillowcase, did you know that?) You baked us a yummy chocolate chip cake…fed our souls with so much delicious foods and company.  You stayed by mama’s bedside with me, through her very last breath. You called. You emailed. You sent cards. You prayed. You came and sang hymns to her. You held mama’s right hand, while I held her left, and encouraged her to go into the arms of Jesus. You, ALL OF YOU,  loved with the hands and feet AND heart of Jesus.  I remember you, and I am thankful.

And to my family. I love you. My mama loved you – every single one of you – ferociously. From shelling butterbeans with her just a couple of weeks before she left this earth…to the fingernail polishes you delivered bedside…The flounder you special delivered to our house so mama could enjoy her favorite…the calls, the visits…the hugs and squeezes…the tears and the laughter…The Lord gifted my mama’s life – my life – when He made us family.  I remember you, and I am thankful.

And to my husband and sons – words cannot describe what we have journeyed through together.  Nana  loved her boys, ALL OF YOU, so much.  What a blessing to have her in our lives as we did.  As we do.  I draw on so much strength from who you are in Him.  I remember you, and I am thankful.

Today my mama’s been celebrating in heaven for a year our time – but for an eternity in eternity!  That brings me endless joy – almost giddy, even – to know where my mama is and in Whose presence she walks, literally, always.  I’m not sad, world, and I’m not depressed or off-centered today, as you would want me to be.  My mama lives today!  More so than any of us here on earth.  She lives, and I WILL see her again.  All because I know that Jesus’s promises are true, today I’m celebrating what is to come.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

-Lamentations 3:22-23

 

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Shirleen Spencer on July 23, 2016 at 8:58 am

    When I think of your Mom I remember the times our paths crossed for Grandma Lanier’s birthday/ family reunions at Uncle Amos and Aunt Hattie’s. Your Mom had such beautiful red hair and the greatest smile. I think she was Grandma’s favorite!

    Thanks for sharing your memories of your journey through Barbara Ann’s sickness and healing with her home going.

    May His Peace be with you, Shirleen

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Reply

  2. Posted by Beverly Shearon on July 23, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Beautifully said! Thank you for reminding me of the Hope we have in Jesus.

    Reply

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