Luke 2:11-12 (NIV) 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
I sat at the foot of my mother’s recliner watching her die.
If my mother’s body had been a car she would have been able to trade it in for a new one. From emergency caesarian births, hernias, knee replacements, cysts, and the like my mother always seemed to have the need to be under a doctor’s care. This time was different. Mom had cancer.
The diagnose came in October. Four short months and more than 25 radiation treatments later her body was finally giving up its fight.
I sat at her feet clutching my bible so tightly to my chest my hands cramped. This may sound strange, but I wanted to eat it; to chew the pages of words I had been raised believing and make them a part of me.
Relax, I didn’t do it.
Questions rattled in my head. Were God’s promises true? Was heaven real? Would I truly be with my mom again? Was this the end of her life or the beginning of her new one?
My mom and dad had grown up in church and both loved to sing. They met in choir, renamed the Passion Pit, with altos marrying the basses, sopranos marrying the tenors. Church was important, a big part of our lives and this was passed on to me.
I grew up attending Sunday School, involved in junior and senior choir, attended youth group; all practices resulting in my continued church in my adult life. I read the Word, studied it, proclaimed it to be true. I spoke at women’s events, wrote retreats and led bible breakfasts encouraging others to believe in Jesus.
Here I sat with the rubber meeting the road, watching my mother die.
What if everything about Jesus wasn’t true?
That’s when I asked for a sign.
I’m not proud that I asked for proof, but I did. Fervently I prayed for a sign-anything that would prove my mom was passing onto eternal life and not disappearing forever. I wanted anything- a light, sound, an audible word from God to dispel my doubts and solidify my faith. Tears streaming down my face still clinging to the Word, I prayed for a sign.
Mom died along with a part of me.
Life felt weird, like I was wearing an itchy sweater. My questions remained unanswered and my heart felt empty.
I made a concerted effort to read and absorb the words in the Bible, nothing seemed to break through. Mechanically I chose to believe in Jesus and continued to live in the Word.
Honestly I still wanted a sign.
A few weeks after my mom’s funeral I had a dream.
I dreamed I was sitting at a table in a country kitchen with many family members sharing a meal. The door opened and my mother came in. Stunned I murmured, “Mom!” and began to rise up from the table. Mom headed straight for me. By the time she reached me I was crying with joy as we embraced.
The strange thing about this dream?
I FELT HER ARMS AROUND ME IN REAL LIFE!
You can chose to say that I made this whole thing up, but it was true. Almost ten years later I can still feel her arms around my shoulders comforting me in my grief. Our meeting was real and I know I will be reunited with her in heaven.
I still miss my mother-some days more than others. I am comforted with the firm knowledge that she is safe in the arms of Jesus. At the end of my life, I WILL be with her and we will be able to hug for eternity. My comfort comes in knowing, without a doubt, that I wasn’t just taught faith, it was given to me as a gift and His truth lives in my heart.
May you be blessed with the knowledge that you are deeply loved by our great God!
5 thoughts on “A Sign”
Oh Linda, this moved me to tears, I can so relate to the emotion expressed in this lovely piece. A part of me died when my mom died. Losing the someone who gave you life – unthinkable. So grateful for our loving Father who comforts us. Yes, I believe he allowed you to feel your mother’s embrace, one last time. Signs are all around, if we only pay attention.
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Thank you Nancy. If only our experiences would lead more people to believe. Your comments truly touch my heart! Be blessed!
I know that feeling! The one where you are so desperate for truth and faith that you want to consume it and make it part of you, like that will fix everything. It’s been 15 years since my mom passed. While time has eased the pain, there are still days when the grief blindsides me. Thanks so much for sharing. It’s nice to know we aren’t alone!
Just read your piece while sitting here at Nissan service with tears in my eyes. I remember that time. You expressed what you were going through so beautifully and I’m sure it has helped others who just recently lost their loved one or will soon. Thank you my friend.
You are one of those special people who sit with me sharing my tears, my laughter, and giving me an occasional smack down when needed. Thank you for being one of those special gifts God has given me.