It has now been over a year since my mom passed away. I miss her terribly. We got together with my family two weekends ago and shared stories which was good, but would have been better if she had been with us. My dad talked about how much fun he has this past year with the new grandkids. We know how much my mom was looking forward to their arrival and that she would have had a blast with them.
Phillipians 1:21-26 says, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me."
I use to read this completely baffled. There was so much I wanted to do in life - for me and for the Lord. How could I think it would be better to die and be with Christ. I knew I would get there eventually, so why not hope to remain on earth as long as possible? I prayed many times that I would grow to understand those verses. The older I get, the more I truly relate to those passages. I know that life can be hard. I see a lot of fun and joy, but I also see the pain and troubles. Life with Jesus in heaven is going to be amazing and more and more I just can't wait to get there. Now that my mother has passed away the longing for me becomes even stronger. Yet I know that I am not done here. I have kids and a husband that need me here and the Lord has more for me to do. What a comfort though when I think about my mom. She would have been so happy spending time with family this past year, but instead she has been even happier in heaven with Jesus - "to die is gain."
I have been moving forward this year. I still daily miss her. I miss talking to her most of all about everything from kids to work to church to life. I still cry about it, but the tears are more of a weekly event not a daily event any more. A couple of months ago I was finally able to put up some pictures of her around the house. I love seeing her face, but I am reminded of the grief every time I see the pictures. She has left a hole in my life and that hole aches when I see her. But I'm also so glad I had her for as long as I did. As my sister said, I would never have wished for a different mother. She wasn't perfect but she was amazing.
Most of all when I think of her I long to be more like her. While I'm sure she lost her temper with us, I remember her being so calm and patient. I want to have that patience with my kids. She worked to support and lift up people all the time. And I remember her every morning with her Bible, praying for people in her life. I want to pray for people like she did. So family and friends who are reading this - I am praying for you all.
Let me end by showing you the picture I chose and framed to hang up in our living room. I love you mom.