I Will Always Be With You

Do you ever wonder what the statement means “I will always be with you?” When someone knows that soon they may be graduating to heaven and they look you in the eye and speak those words? I was hit full force tonight by those very words as I kissed my beloved Mom-in-love goodnight in the hospital.  She turned 90 yesterday, and we had planned a big celebration. Her heart and spirit wanted to cooperate but her body would not. Out of her control she had undergone a critical surgery a few days earlier and had to spend her 90th birthday in the hospital. We collected letters and pictures from family and friends and presented it to her in a scrapbook. We read aloud our tributes. We told her as she lay frail in that hospital bed what a difference her life has made. We shared memories, our love but most of all we honored the Jesus we have witnessed through her life.

You see she knows that this life is not all there is. She knows that this life is just a dress rehearsal for something greater, something grander, something beyond what we could even imagine. And so she waits. She is ready. But we are not. We don’t want to let her go because we love her, she has a place in our hearts that can’t be replaced. So we wait, we hope, we pray she gets better. Instead she whispers to each of us as we left this evening, “Remember, I will always be with you.”

Jesus said a similar statement in Matthew 28:20. Before he left this earth he commissioned his disciples and then told them he would be with them always. Words to empower and words of comfort. I am sure the disciples had mixed emotions as they watched Jesus leave them with those words ringing in their ears, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

I guess when I stop to reflect tonight, my sweet mom-in-love was doing just that. She was reminding us that we will be together for eternity with our Jesus. Her life and love we will carry in our hearts until we see each other once again in the presence of our God. We don’t know when her exact graduation date is, but she clearly wanted us to know that we need to be ready to let her go. As I left her room tonight a flood of tears overwhelmed me. “I will always be with you” echoed through my heart as I walked out the hospital doors. Thank you Jesus for a godly mother who is looking forward to heaven.

11:59 and thinking….

The last day. The last hour. The last minutes of 2010. The last few years I have been alone with my thoughts as the midnight hour approached turning over a new year. This year is no different. I love new beginnings. I love to start new creative projects, new books, new recipes, new organizing ventures; I just love a fresh start! It helps me to move forward when I feel discouraged or lack of motivation. As I sit in my kitchen typing moments before 2011 is ushered in, I am anticipating waking up tomorrow to something new, something hopeful in a new year.

As I reflect over 2010 the word that captures my thoughts is GRACE. GRACE that made my heart sing as I understood the deeper meaning of God’s character. GRACE that covered my days that were apathetic or unproductive. GRACE that sang over my mistakes and failures. GRACE that brought healing into important relationships. GRACE that allowed me to reconnect with life long friends. GRACE that helped me to remember that nothing that touches our lives is ever wasted. GRACE reminded me once again of just how much I am loved by my Jesus. Honestly, I am in awe of GRACE and how God revealed His GRACE to me this past year.

What will 2011 bring? I don’t know. I just know that there will be new adventures. There will be new highs and new lows. God will weave in my heart a new word at this same time next year. I am not sure what that will be, but I am willing to trust Him with this new year. I am willing to let go of what once was in 2010 and embrace what will be in 2011.

What word captures your heart as you leave behind 2010?

This promise in Isaiah that I have read countless times in 2010 causes my heart at this quiet moment to beat faster, to anticipate deeper what God has in store in 2011.

Isaiah 43:18-19

Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new, even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.

Minutes, seconds, it’s almost here. Can you see it?