Wow, sometimes life can really throw a sucker punch that catches you of guard and leaves you reeling. When life is hard, that is when we need to press into Christ even more. He will sustain us through those tough times.
My mom (or my mum as we Irish say) died on March 4, 2015. She was 85. Just a few weeks before she had been fine, no signs of any health problems but things went downhill very quickly. It is still hard for my to believe she is gone. I spoke with my mum everyday of my life. The loss has been difficult on me. My dad died just a little over a year ago. Now I am left an orphan like so many of the children we care for in our homes in Nepal, Myanmar and Sierra Leone.
I am so glad that the story does not end here. Even though my heart aches at the loss, I can rejoice that both my mum and dad are now resting in the arms of Jesus. I was blessed growing up in the fact that my parents taught me about Jesus from a young age. I accepted Christ as my Savior in elementary school in Windsor, Ontario, Canada because of the wonderful Christian example my parents showed me. My parent’s teachings have always stayed with me.
As I planned out the details of my mum’s funeral, I found her favorite verses underlined in her bible. John 14:1-4
1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in Goda ; believe also in me. 2My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going.”
I found so much comfort in these words for myself. They jumped off the pages of her bible. The very verses that my mum clung to after my dad passed away, now were providing me with the same comfort. My mum and dad taught me the way to Jesus as mentioned in verse 4 so I know we will be united again one day. My dad’s favorite verse also helps sustain me during this tough times. Isaiah 40:31
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
My dad’s favorite verse reassures me that even though I am in a time of extreme sadness, the Lord will renew me and I will be able to continue on the path God has put me on. I am eternally grateful for my parents and for the legacy they left me with as I continue on without them here on earth.
My dad’s favorite hymn was “The Old Rugged Cross” by George Bennard. It is such a beautiful old hymn and I can still hear my dad sing it in his thick Irish accent. As I reflect on my parent’s lives, I realized that my parents have finally completed their journey and exchanged the “old rugged cross” for their crown of glory as mentioned in the refrain of the hymn,
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.
I look forward to that day when we will all be reunited in heaven but until that time, my journey continues, my mission continues, and God’s calling on my life continues. I continue to push on for the prize as shown in Philippians 3:14
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
I pray that even in the struggles of your life, you will remember Christ is with you always. He will comfort you and sustain you always.