Thursday, February 27, 2014

February Love Letters- Love Will Bring Us Comfort by Marla McDonald

My mother told me she was diagnosed with leukemia right after my second daughter was born.  She told me while sitting around the kitchen table. 

I can’t imagine how hard that was for her.  Here she was, celebrating a joyous occasion, yet she had to break the terrible news. 

But she was a believer in God Almighty.  From the beginning she told me, “I will be okay”. She constantly told me how she knew the Lord was using this for his glory and she had just decided to surrender to that.  She had many ups and downs.  She would think she was cured, then a few months would go by and her blood work would say otherwise. 

About 4 years later, she called me one day, crying and said she was tired of fighting and she wanted a quality of life over quantity.  That was extremely difficult to deal with…..your mother, who you think will just be around forever, is telling you her time is nearing.  After two more years of very hard battles, we gathered together as a family in my mother’s hospital room.   It was time to say good-bye.

I’m going to back track now to two nights before we let Mother go be with the Lord.  Mother was pretty much out of it in the hospital….hooked up to tubes, being supported totally by medicine and a breathing machine.  We knew what we had to do, but oh was I dreading that drive down to North Carolina.  I really did not want to go, but I knew of course I had to. 

I was very afraid.  

The night before I left, I got up to go to the bathroom.  I looked into the mirror and stood there amazed at how I looked.  I looked really tired, awful, thin and just stared at myself for a minute.  I couldn’t believe how much I looked like my mom.  It’s hard to explain, but I just saw myself in a different light.  It made me think, if I’m this tired, then imagine how tired of fighting mother must feel.  I went back to bed. 

Fast forward to the long drive down to NC.  I got to the hotel where my sister and I were staying and we sat down to talk that night.  She told me she had a weird story to tell me.  She told me that she had looked in the mirror last night and her eyes looked just like mother’s eyes.  It was amazing and that she just kind of looked at herself taking it all in.  I broke down crying and she thought I was crazy; then I told her about MY story of seeing “mother in my face”.  We both could not get over how we had the same strange experience on the same night. (although it didn’t surprise us THAT much because MANY things had been happening, and continued to happen after she passed). 

 I tell you this story is because God gives us comfort, signs, people, songs etc. at the exactly the RIGHT time, when we need them.  We feel this was God’s way of saying mother will continue to live on through us, she will always be with us, and she will be okay.

 We spoke to mom a lot in the hospital.  We have no idea if she heard us, but a tear did roll down her cheek.  After she died, my sister and I left and immediately went shopping to find her something to wear for the funeral.  As soon as we walked in Dress Barn, “In the Arms of the Angels” started playing on the store sound system.  Again….we feel that was a sign from God letting us know everything was okay. 

We saw many things like this when mother was sick.  My sister witnessed my mom, who was still out from anesthesia, speak in tongues while she prayed over her.  This was something none of us had ever been exposed to in our lives, but it happened right before our eyes!  

A few weeks after my mom died, I was crying pretty bad in the shower one day; just depressed from everything.  I remember telling God I felt like I was in darkness and asked “where is the light Lord”? There has to be a light at the end of the tunnel.  That night while we were all sleeping, I was awakened by my husband.  He poked me and sort of scolded me for not turning the lamp off (the one next to my bed).  I told him I never even turned it on and I always turn the lights out before bed.   I had no idea how this lamp got turned on in the middle of the night; but I knew what it meant.  I feel that light coming on in darkness, was again, God’s way of saying, Yes!  There is light and it will all be okay.  My husband had a hard time believing my story but I think in the end he got it. 

I know these may seem farfetched to some, but it is real and this isn’t even everything that has happened.  But I wanted to tell a few stories to illustrate that God will let Himself be seen if we are open to it.  

My sister was so moved by these events that she got up at the funeral and basically preached salvation to a packed sanctuary; something she would have NEVER done before.  She said the Holy Spirit just moved her to do it. 

How do we feel the comfort?  We have to be quiet, humble and just have an open heart.  And of course we can ask God for it, because he tells us he will give us the desires of our heart.  God can comfort us after loss.  We have to ask him to change our perspective and let us see what he sees.  He sees eternally and we can’t really see past the next 20 years or so.  

Our definition of time is not His.  

Our definition of healing is not his. 

I feel God prefers internal, spiritual healing over physical, because our bodies are not with us forever.  Our souls are what live on in Heaven, but we cannot get there unless we commit to Him and his son Jesus Christ.

God did heal my mother…..just not on this Earth.  

Although I miss her so bad, she was really sick.  I wouldn’t have her back if it meant she had to live with that awful cancer.  I know she is TRULY LIVING right now.  I hope if you have experienced a loss, you will find comfort in these words.  God knows our pain; he gave us our emotions and is the ultimate comforter.  I will leave you with one of my mom’s favorite verses.  It is very simple but says a lot: “Be still and know that I am God.”

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