Six months ago today I stood in a hospital room in Georgetown, Texas with my dad and my brothers as my mom kicked open the doors of eternity and entered into the joy of her Master. Yes, you read that correctly – “kicked open the door”. If you knew my mom, then you know that she didn’t do anything without flare.
My best assumption is that she two-stepped up the streets of gold, but then broke down crying into the arms of her Savior when he spoke the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” She always was a big softy, even though I spent much of my childhood terrified of making her mad! People, don’t let her later life fool you…she was not a woman to be trifled with…it was like poking the hulk if you got her angry! Ha! Yet, it was one of the things I loved about my mom. She lived life fiercely and passionately.
In hindsight, the title of this post, My Mom Has Been Dead for 6 Months is slightly misleading. Yes, she left earth six months ago, but she has never been more alive than she is now in the presence of her Creator. Though she is fully alive, I’m still grappling with how to deal with the remnants of her memory on this side of eternity.
I’ve struggled to discover the words to describe the loss of my mom, but I’ve realized that no words accurately describe the death of a loved one. They simply guide you into the vicinity of where your emotions dwell. However, like any good Southern Baptist preacher I’ve got three things I’ve been processing through.
1. I Miss Her
I miss her daily phone call, laugh, sarcastic jokes, hugs, passion, support, and love. I could write a endless list of things that I miss, but you get the gist. Life continues forward, as it always does, but it has continued forward with a limp and a dull heartache.
2. I’m Still Sad
At this point, I’m not sure the temporal sadness will ever go away, but I’m sure that it will continue to look different with each passing day. I will never not be sad that I don’t have my mom, but the sadness will occupy a distant place in my heart until God removes it completely on the day I see him and my mom again.
3. I Have Regrets
I don’t write this to garner sympathy, but simply to be honest. I regret that I traveled too much near the end of her life. I regret that I didn’t take Davy to see her more. I regret that I didn’t get to take her to New York like I promised her I would. Those are just a few.
These regrets don’t haunt me because God is sovereign over all things, but I would be lying if I said they weren’t present. To regret is to be human. To trust God with our regrets is divine.
All of these – the longing, the sadness, the regrets would be unbearable if it weren’t for Jesus. Tim Keller writes, “Suffering is unbearable if you aren’t certain that God is for you and with you.” God is absolutely for those who are in Christ. He is weaving all things together for the good (Rom. 8:28), is always present (Isa. 41:10) and is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Cor. 4:17-18).
Not only that, but the beauty of the promise of our future resurrection is this: “But resurrection is not just consolation — it is restoration. We get it all back — the love, the loved ones, the goods, the beauties of this life — but in new, unimaginable degrees of glory and joy and strength.” (Keller).
One day we get it all back and then some. It may not be today, tomorrow or the next, but some day soon.
So keep your eyes on Jesus and your soul fixated on the beauty of the eternal promise.