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.