Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Life Ever After

Sunday I had to dig through some stuff and find a death certificate for my mom.  When I pulled it out of the envelope and saw that it was one of two left, I had this weird feeling of not wanting to let it go.  I read it over a few times and found myself saying "Three years, already?" On May 5th, my mom will have been gone from this earth for 3 years.  Sometimes it seems like a lot longer but usually it just feels like a few days ago.  I still have such vivid memories of her last few months alive.  It's such an odd feeling not having my parents here with me.  Although I'm surrounded by people who love me, I oftentimes find myself feeling very alone.  God always reassures me, but I guess it's that empty place in my heart that leaves me feeling that way.  Things come along, like Mother's Day or Father's Day or Grandparents' Day; and life is bittersweet.  My children don't have any of their grandparents living, and that breaks my heart every time I think about it.  My grandparents were such instrumental and encouraging people in my life, and so were my children's; but they aren't here.  I believe that they are watching and are present in spirit, and that is what brings me comfort.  Sometimes I have to talk to myself and remind myself how wonderful it is that they are in heaven.  I don't doubt for one second that it is wonderful and that is where the peace comes from.  The grief and pain are always there....always....but they are more manageable when I am reminded of this life after earth, this life ever after, this life with Jesus!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Behold how He loved him!

Today Elliot read me the story of Lazarus in the book of John.  I've heard this story many many times before.  I've studied Mary and Martha.  I've even studied the book of John several times as it is one of my favorites.  But today as she read, I took notice of some words that I don't remember before..."Behold how He loved him!"  Jesus wept, not because of Lazarus's death; because He knew He was going to raise Lazarus back to the living.  He wept, because of the mourning and heartbreak of those who loved Lazarus....particularly his sisters, Mary and Martha.  I have thought about those two words, "Jesus wept", often as I've contemplated Jesus feeling sadness for us which I believe He does.  But I've never paid close attention to the words that followed, "Behold how He loved him!"  The Jews believed that Jesus was weeping, because Lazarus was dead which as I mentioned above was not the case.  They believed his weeping was a sign of his love for Lazarus, and yes Jesus did love Lazarus; but he also knew Lazarus would be raised.  As I read those words, I was reminded how death whether it be actual physical or by broken relationship or illness or any other way; and the grief we feel as a result is also a result of the love we shared.  "Behold how He loved him!"  Words like these have been in my heart several times as I've lost people I love so very much, yet I am just now noticing them for the first time in The Bible.  I've been thinking about and missing my parents so much, and isn't it awesome how God orchestrated this time on this day for me to take notice of these words?  These words that are a peaceful reminder of love.