After battling stage four breast cancer for a year, my 80 year old mother passed away.
I know death is a part of life but it still feels a little surreal. For as long as I can remember, she would send an email and it would be waiting in my inbox every morning. I would always respond briefly and then go about my work day.
When we found out about a year ago that she was terminally ill, I decided to add a quick snippet of a scripture about God’s healing promises with every reply. During this time, we watched her go through Chemo, lose her hair and get weak. She always believed she’d get better and we believed with her.
About a month and a half before she passed, I began reading Isaiah 49. I would take it a verse at a time and allow God to speak to me and then pass a small nugget to my mother. Then about 10 days before she passed I came upon the scripture that says:
I have written you on the palm of my hands.
The Living Bible translation says,
I have tattooed you on the Palm of my hands.
Having a few tattoos myself, I thought, WOW! That’s really cool. I didn’t realize it until she was gone that I was passing onto her scriptures that gave her hope and security about who God is and what she means to him. She was an amazing mother, but she struggled all her life with fear and insecurity. Fear and Insecurity are like weeds in a garden. If they are not destroyed properly they will choke out and kill everything around them.
I did indeed see her grow in Christ all of my life, but I also saw her struggle with and lose relationships because of her fear. I wish I could say that before she died she was fearless and made every soured relationship right. And that, instead of a fearful and tormented life, she lived a life where she was able to receive love from those around her. Sadly that was not the case.
I believe she knew God loved her, but I know she didn’t experience all of the love that God gives through others that He puts in our lives. I find that tragic and all too common. Common because I see it in my life and in the lives of many others around me. I find it tragic because Jesus died for her-so that she would life more abundantly. The nucleus of that life is love.
I wish we could go back in time in a Delorian and fix everything that went wrong in her life, but we all know that’s an impossibility.
So what can I take away from all this?
I hope to take away that today is the day to submit to God’s word, which will allow healing and perfect love to flow in and through my life. Not to hold grudges! Jesus will walk through walls but he will not tear them down for us. That is up to each of us. I must forgive, and YES, forget any offense that will cause the sin of separation and division to affect my family, my church and me personally.
How do we do all this? We do it together and one brick at a time.
James 5:16 says,
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.