Anger, despair, and deep pain once overtook the eighteenth year of my life. I would love to tell you that those feelings were only directed at myself, but they weren’t. Those arrows of deep affliction were pointed at my mom because I was scared and helpless to “save” her from the cancer overtaking her body and to the God I loved for not healing her. Three months after my mother was diagnosed with cancer she died, at the young age of thirty-nine years old.
Her death was so hard for me and it hurt very badly. I carried those feelings around with me for awhile, along with a lukewarm relationship with God–going back and forth in prayer and sin. I was a mess and I knew I desperately needed God. I remember speaking out loud to God one day, “Why didn’t you heal her?” In a soft whisper to my heart God spoke to me, “I did. She’s here with me.” The soft spoken words of my Savior that day started my path to healing.
All that time I had prayed for God to heal her and He did, just not in the manner I had hoped. That life changing moment with God opened my eyes and heart to a faith in Him that continues to grow. What I realized that day is, as hard as it was, that was God’s will for my mother’s life. God could have kept her on earth and healed her body, but it was her time to go Home. On November 7, 1990, she met Jesus face to face. The picture I imagine of my mom’s homecoming to Jesus is reminiscent of a picture I have in my house. Jesus’ arms securely and tightly wrapped around my mom in an embrace unlike any that she had ever had. Pure love and light.
Psalm 139:16 has encouraged me the most in regard to losing loved ones. “… your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (NIV). God does heal, miracles do happen, but what God taught through this hardship is that He is always with me through all the hurt, pain, and brokenness I experience in this sinful world. He can teach us through the eyes of faith.
What we see as hardships, God sees as opportunities to heal, redeem, restore, and grow through His grace, in His time. I encourage you, when you are in the deepest pain or despair, reach out to Jesus. Talk to Him, He longs to hear your voice and all you have in your heart. Rest in Him. Pray for God’s power and provision to be released into your life through the Holy Spirit.
“Do not let any set circumstances intimidate you. The more challenging your day, the more of My power I place at your disposal. I know what each of your days will contain, and I empower you accordingly. Look to me for all that you need, and watch to see what I will do. As your day, so shall your strength be” (Young, 330, emphasis mine).
What are you waiting for?! Pray. Seek God. Look through the eyes of faith and see what He will do!! I took that prayer to heart and rested in the power of God. He answered in a mighty way! Next Friday, I share how God gave me a birthday card, from my mom, for my 32nd birthday. Stay tuned!!
Fire Bible: Global Study Edition. New International Version, Life publishers International, 2009.
Young, Sarah. “Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence.” Thomas Nelson publishing. 2004.