The LORD is near those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18
Almost two months ago, on November 7, 2016, my life and that of my family was forever changed. My grandmother, my second mom, my best friend, my prayer partner and sister in Christ went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
It began almost five month ago in August 2016, two days shy of my grandmother’s 82nd birthday and a week before she and my mom would fly out to Florida to stay with me for a month, we were faced with the greatest scare. My grandmother had a stroke which caused her to lose mobility on her entire right side. A day after she celebrated her 82nd birthday in the hospital, she had a severe seizure which left my family even more concerned; knowing that things had changed and my grandmother wasn’t going to be 100% the same.
When I received the call she had the seizure, I flew to New York right away. While I was in NY, we were able to spend much-needed quality time together during which she shared scriptures with me she had faithfully prayed over our family in obedience to the Lord’s leading, she shared some of her pain, she shared her fears but in all, she worshiped God even though she was walking through the fire. She taught me something I thought I had already known. She taught me to worship the Lord in the midst of a trial. See, being a woman who serves the Lord, I thought I was already doing that when I would walk through trials. That was until I saw my grandmother, in a hospital bed, with no mobility on her right side; raising up her weak left arm in worship as one of her favorite worship songs played softly in the background. My heart leaped because it was a beautiful moment in the midst of such pain. As she wept and held her hand high in the air with her eyes closed worshiping the Lord despite her current circumstance, the Lord whispered in my spirit “THIS is what worship looks like in the midst of trials”. It was a beautiful yet sad moment. My grandmother and prayer partner, was going through the greatest test of her life.
Days before I returned home, she began making strides toward recovery which we gave all the glory to God. We celebrated each step and each victory. She was taking steps with the assistance of a walker and a nursing attendant but nonetheless, she was determined to walk again. She was determined to come visit me in Florida as she originally planned after being hospitalized for almost an entire month. She was released from the hospital in September.
Weeks following her stroke, she was determined to get better one day and other days she battled discouragement. She was never alone; she was always around family yet she felt down. We prayed together on the phone, I spoke and declared life over her and believed that God would be glorified and He was. I just thought it would be by her being healed. In October she landed back in the hospital with pneumonia and then weeks after that, she had an emergency surgery for a hernia which ruptured her intestines that later led to her going with the Lord one week later. Yes, I’d have to say this is the greatest loss my family has ever experienced aside from two others we lost over 15 years ago.
What many don’t know is that over the summer when I was visiting; the Lord was already preparing her. I was there when the Lord spoke to her about the greatest trial she has ever faced coming her way, the day she was discharged from the hospital, she had a vision she shared with me which seemed very much like confirmation she was going to be called home. Weeks before she passed the Lord was already preparing me during my devotional time and a month prior to her passing, the Lord was preparing one of my cousin’s through her pastor’s sermon series on suffering. The Lord was preparing us.
No, my grandmother didn’t receive physical healing but God brought restoration to broken relationships through her sickness. He touched the hearts and lives of the nurses and doctors around her and she reminded them about the God she served and how only HE could have been helping her heal (she was making such great progress in the beginning). With every step, she would look at them and say “God is good.” “Jesus is Lord” “Jesus is God” “Jesus is my Healer”. God healed. He restored. He brought unity; all while still calling her home to forever rest with Him. I’m not upset with God; I thank Him because of His promise to allow her to rest with Him for all eternity.
I miss my grandmother every single day. Often I think to reach for the phone to call her because we spoke on the phone almost every day. Sometimes for hours at a time. Then there are times I cry because I miss her voice and her laugh. However; overall, I thank God that He has filled me with His peace. The peace which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) because I know she is in His loving presence. It helps that the Lord constantly reminds me that she is with Him and she is rejoicing in the presence of her Savior. She ran the race of faith with endurance looking unto Jesus and now with Him in eternity. What a beautiful reality! Now, I rest in the blessed assurance that one day; when the Lord comes back or should He tarry and call me home, I will see her again! THAT fills me with such joy!
So if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, know that it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel pain. It’s okay to think about them. It’s okay to miss them. That’s healthy. Healing takes time but healing will come if you allow yourself the time to heal. It’s different for everyone. I also believe we have to want to heal. We have to want to reach a point where though we miss them, we no longer feel sorrow (or despair for some) but almost immediately remember the great memories we have with them. The truth remains that though they’re gone; we have to move on because we have people in our lives that still need us to be healthy and whole.
Everyone grieves differently.
I find healing in the following ways:
- The Bible – Spending time in God’s Word daily and meditating on scripture throughout the day.
- Prayer – Talking to God about how I miss my grandmother; giving Him my pain in exchange for His peace. Every time I think of her and feel sad, I start talking to God and ask Him to help me get through the day and always ask Him to help me heal.
- Worship – Soaking myself in God’s presence through worship. It takes my mind off the sadness and places my mind on Him and His greatness.
- The promises in God’s Word – In thinking about the fact that I’ll see her again one day because I too am a child of God. It’s a promise to me that I will see her again.
- Keeping her memory alive – I think about the great times we had, the funny things we laughed at, the unforgettable conversations we had and especially the times we prayed together and edified one another with God’s truths from His Word.
- Give it to God – I give my pain every time to the Lord and He is faithful to give me peace and joy.
- Time – I’m aware that nothing happens over night so I’m allowing the Lord to heal me in His perfect time. I’m not focused on the process; not rushing and not delaying. I’ve allowed God to take control.
- Talk with someone you can trust (friend or family) – Talking about my grandmother and the great memories I have with her and of her; help a great deal. God has placed people in my life to do life together so have friends and family I talk with from time to time.
I pray one of these methods, if not all will encourage someone who needs it today to do the same. If you have lost someone you love and would like prayer, please message me and I’ll be glad to pray for you.
If you don’t know Jesus and aren’t sure where you will spend eternity when you take your last breath but would like to give your heart to Jesus today, message me below. I would love the opportunity to pray for you, celebrate with you and send you a Bible if you don’t own one.
I love you in the Lord,