Isn’t she so beautiful?
I remember when this picture was taken. We were at a cookout in May 2004. I remember smiling, cheek to cheek with her thinking, this could very well be one of the last pictures I ever take with her. And it was.
Less than a year later, my phone rings very early on a Saturday. It was my Grandmother. “Becky, you should come on over. It will be today.” And it was.
That morning, March the 12th 2005, my beautiful Mama went to be with Jesus. Pancreatic cancer. I hate the thing. It was the hardest year of my life.
It was the hardest year of my life, yes, but my closest year with her. And, to that date, it was my closest year with Jesus. After her diagnosis, each moment with her was rich and purposeful. We both operated out of a knowing. An unspoken knowing that her time was very limited. Tears fall now on the remembrance.
As with many mother-daughter relationships, we had our fair share of struggles. We were not “best friend” close. Until we knew. Then the Lord knit us together with divinely woven thread. A bond that, unfortunately, only cancer could bring us.
From a spiritual standpoint, cancer was the best thing that could have happened to her. And to me. We thirsted for the Lord. We sought after Him like we never had before. Scripture was life to her. It was the only thing that made sense. I can’t write that emphatically enough.
I had never walked so closely with death. Sickness allowed us to see life for all it really is. Limited. Cancer provided us an opportunity to view this life through our mortal eyes, and it all boils down to two things – God. And relationships. That is it. That’s all that ultimately matters.
The Lord gave me an opportunity to see that if we strip it all away – money, busyness, materialism, media, work, hobbies, recognition – we are all left with the same thing. Our soul. That is it. The rest goes. The soul we keep. It is the soul that yearns and needs deeply. We sure can keep busy gratifying ourselves with stuff. With filler. But it is the soul we are longing to satisfy.
This is what I learned the most from my mother throughout that final year…
I watched this woman, who had a great affection for pretty things, nice clothes, and a gorgeous home, throw off all that she once held dear and pursue the Lord with great passion. She knew, then, that He was it.
The morning of March 12th, 2005, I sat at her bedside. Just the two of us. All things bare. Just our two souls and my Bible. All we had left. All that mattered. I read. I sang. And I cried. The Lord brought me to a Psalm that I had never read throughout her illness. He reserved it for this moment.
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the riches of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you, because you are my help. I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:3-8
I couldn’t help but read it over and over and over.
Do you see? His love is better than life. He is our help. He upholds us. He is the stuff we are looking for. He is the filler…It is He who satisfies our soul.
He is it for us.
Her faith now sight. Her soul completely satisfied. Mine on its way.
I wouldn’t have chosen this for my mother. Or for myself. But I trust Him. So did she. Completely.
This morning, I am thankful for my beautiful mother who taught me to say, “Whatever my lot, Lord, it is well with my soul.”
For He satisfies.