Joy and Sorrow

We saw him when we first walk in and as he hugged us he couldn’t help but let the deep sob he had been holding in escape.

sor·row [ sórrō ]
grief: a feeling of deep sadness caused by a loss or misfortune
saddening burden: an unfortunate event, experience, or other cause of sorrow
grieve: to feel or express deep sadness over something
Synonyms: grief, mourning, sadness, distress, sorrowfulness, unhappiness, regret, trouble

I held her hand as tears filled her eyes and sorrow made its way out. I watched the family and saw the young grandchildren drenched in lose and sadness. The little one looked so brave but she missed her Nama, she was very possibly experiencing sorrow for the first time. As I held my mom’s hand I was overcome with the blessing that she sat beside me. Then as my eyes were drawn back to him, sorrow began to creep in to my very soul. The only woman he had ever known as his love, his best friend, the mother of his children, his rock, his North Star…she had gone before him to the place we all long to be…at rest in the presence of the Almighty, where the Glory of God is the only light and where no pain is allowed, no sorrow dwells there, only Joy.

The thing about death is that we are human, stuck here on this sin filled earth and although death is the ultimate win for the person who is called HOME, death is the sting that the enemy uses to accomplish his work of killing, stealing and destroying. But have heart, the enemy does not win. The enemy has been defeated. The Lord comforts those who are in sorrow.

I learned two things yesterday at the Celebration of the life of Anita Fewkes(my mom’s dear cousin).

1. I want to be like my cousin Anita. I pray that when you all remember me you will sing of my faith in Jesus and speak of my smile that always adorns my face. I pray that The Lord will fill my generations with young people who are kind and loving and faithful and strong. I pray that when you look for someone to follow too Jesus, I might be one of those who adorn your hall of faith, one who is directs you to the savior.

2. Although the death of a loved one is full of sorrow, the celebration of life brings family together. It balances the fun of family reunions and creates intimate, loving moments where hugs run deep and love seeps out of the eyes of those you greet. God himself uses death to bring family together, to remind us how short life is, to cradle our loved ones more closely and to remind us that where there is sorrow, joy follows and peace reigns.

joy [joi] noun
:the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation:

Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

As a child of God we know no more solid joy then the joy of our salvation. Joy in God, the savior, and the hope of eternal life. This is joy. Its in the great delight that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us an when one of us leaves it is because they have something exceptionally good and satisfying awaiting them. Eternal life!

To God be the Glory! Be at peace Nita, we love you and we will follow to Jesus. Give Grandpa a hug for me and enjoy the eternal dance floor of heaven.

Joy comes in the morning

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10

We had an unexpected death in the family. My mothers dear cousin was snatched up into the heavens. John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. He had prepared a place for her, she had been asking for The Lord to do that very thing or take away the pain that held her captive for years. He called her home. Glorious!

By the sound in their voice you know the state of their heart, moms was broken, sad…she called to tell me the news and my first reaction was one of sadness for my mom. I have a cousin like my moms, the thought of her body ceasing to exist and function in this world breaks my heart. I like her, I lover her, I enjoy being with her. To loose that loved one, even unto the glory of the Lords presence is heartbreaking. But mom knows the end of the story. She knows the Glory of where death leads. She also knows the sting for those of us left behind.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted Matthew 5:4

Comfort is present for those that mourn.

It is interesting because with each chronic diagnosis I hear about, with each death that has called a loved one home, I become more and more sensitive to the passing of time and the precious commodity that it is. “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings”Acts 17:26 We are each given a time and yet we live like each tomorrow will come, just like it always has. Someday your tomorrow won’t come, will you be content with what you did with your today?

Death and imminent death make me think about the passing of time and what I do with it but it also reminds me that there is a life, there is THE LIFE, that is to come. This life seems like the end all of real life but I tell you this is not the end. The beginning is yet to come. The beginning came for my dear mothers cousin and the beginning is coming for you.

2 Peter 3:11-13 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

It is through Christ righteousness that you can have right standing before God and are welcomed into His kingdom. Don’t fret so much about living this life ‘right’, focus on living this life for and with God. Do God’s things, look through God’s eyes, let Jesus be The Lord of your life and your glorious day will come.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelations 2:14

When my body stops working on this earth and I “Die” be assured that I am truly, finally living. I just said this the other day to my husband and co-worker. Death is my celebration. I know my ‘person’ will be missed and my hugs will not be present anymore and my smile will only be found in pictures here on this earth but do not mourn my passing, celebrate what you can of my life but mostly celebrate the reality of where I stand now. In the presence of the almighty. Singing:

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY
IS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY
WHO WAS, AND IS, AND IS TO COME!

To all those who have gone before me, grandpa and grandma(both of them), dear friends, dear family…I rejoice with you, Jesus conquered death so that we shall be together again. I celebrate your win into eternal life and although I miss you, my weeping may last through the night but JOY comes in the morning.

A tired missionary

tired
This is me today at work. It’s a short week for me at my desk because I have to run to the coast tomorrow for the Oregon Medical Group Management Association fall conference. We’ll set up a vendor booth for my little families business and I’ll do my best to charm the attendees and get them to see the value of my business, maybe offer them a piece of chocolate and at minimum send them away with a smile. I’ll share a secret with you…I pray for each one I come in contact with.

I know it’s just a regular business not associated with any religious group but I have to make it my ministry because I’ve been called to manage this darn thing and if I am called, God is doing more than just using me to keep things going. I can only assume it is God’s will to come in contact with these people or at minimum God will work this conference together for His good in my life and in the lives of those who I come in contact with. I am a missionary.

I think I’ve written about this before but you have to do God’s work where you are planted. I do it in my family, in my work place, in the grocery store. Where do you do it? Where should you be a missionary?

Back to being tired….I’m exhausted and I’m only on here writing because I have a 15 minute window to breath before I have to start my chauffeur job…its an extension of my parenting duties. Which made me think of my job as a missionary to my very own children and to the people I’m going to meet tomorrow but then I got distracted by being so tired and wondered what Jesus would do when he was tired, so I went to the word of God and found some fresh air.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. Isaiah 44:3

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. Psalm 23:2

Waking up…