For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God -Romans 8:38-39
As you saw in my post yesterday, this past weekend we celebrated Christmas with the Burdas 😉 It was a great day and even more special because Joey’s dad was able to come home from the hospital. Yeah!! Last Wednesday, he went into the hospital because of a blood clot that they found in his lung. It is so amazing to see how God worked in this situation. He went in to see a dermatologist for a rash and ended up with a scan of his chest that showed he had a Pulmonary Embolism in his lung. As most of you know, Pulmonary Embolisms are very dangerous because they can pass through the heart or brain and cause immediate death without having any knowledge of ever even having one. They are literally described as silent killers because usually a person that has one feels fine and completely healthy…. which is why 100,000+ people die every year from the effects of a pulmonary embolism. Very scary! So, we are very thankful for God’s protection over his life.
It seems like every year God brings me back to reality…the reality that He is good, the reality that he is sovereign. Last year, I had these same “feelings” of thankfulness when I was in the hospital with an ectopic pregnancy and when Elizabeth gave birth to a very pre-mature Logan. Every year I am reminded of God’s love and provision for my family. I love that I am able to see God’s mighty hand at work around me in everyday life, but I am even more grateful that I am able to see Him work in the lives of those I love. Many times I get caught up in everyday life and miss out on seeing God’s goodness at work around me. It is very easy to miss…especially when I am so caught up in my life. The closer I am in my relationship with God, the more of HIM I see daily.
A girl in my Bible study asked us all the question, “how do you know there’s a God.” I am always baffled as to how one can ask such a question…especially with all of creation staring them in the face each and every day. It’s always hard for me to answer that question. I know there’s a God because He has shown himself to me through the experiences I’ve had in my life. However, if one does not have a relationship with Him then I doubt very much that they would be able to see the fingerprints of God in their life or in my life experiences, for that matter. God has never been a “religion” to me, but rather a relationship. It is because of this relationship that I am able to “see” Him work in my life and the life of those around me.
So many times we look at death as if it is something that happens to everyone else but us. I know for me, before my mom died, death never seemed a reality. Now that she is gone, I wake up to the reality of death every morning. Rarely do my feet hit the floor in the morning without the realization that this day could very well be my last day on earth.
This past fall semester I attended a Bible study by Beth Moore called, Breaking Free. I have done this study before, but she updated it this past year and it was just as amazing as it was 10 years ago. Never in my life have I learned so much about myself and my relationship with my Heavenly Father and others. In one of the lessons she asks the question, “when is God’s presence most present in your life”? I can honestly say that the time He is most present is usually during the most difficult times in my life. I can also say that God’s presence was felt most in my life the moments before my mom passed away and the days after. My mom went into a coma a few days after my dad’s birthday in early March of 1997. She didn’t pass away until a month later on April 7th. That month was probably the most excruciating time in my life…ever. I can remember literally begging God to take her home in peace. I remember begging Him to allow us one more coherent moment with her. Did he provide? Absolutley!!! 😉 Not only did He provide, he exceeded!
My mom was not able to communicate very well because of the location of the brain tumor. She knew who I was, but was unable to remember my name. I remember she used to point to me and say, “the middle one.” The last few days of my mom’s life I was able to see the presence of God surrounding her. It was truly a beautiful thing. She had difficulty speaking and difficulty getting out the words she wanted to say, but at no time did she ever have difficulty re-sighting a bible verse she memorized or a hymn that she knew by heart. There were two hymns that she sang in her last moments awake… Trust and Obey and My Jesus I Love Thee. In Presley’s room sits a memory board I created before she was born. On this board are several photos of my mom and a copy of the hymn, Trust and Obey. In my room, next to my bed, I have the words from the hymn, My Jesus I Love Thee. As powerful as the words are in these two hymns, nothing is more powerful than the fact that my mom was able to sing them with complete joy on her face and without faltering. The fact that she chose to sing verse 3 of the hymn, My Jesus I Love Thee is not “luck, fate, or a coincident.” It was not a coincident that she used her last coherent moments to give God the glory and it was not a coincident that I was able to sit before her on that very day and hear those words come from her mouth. They are the words I shared here on my blog just a few months ago…
“My Jesus I love thee…I’ll love thee in life, I will love thee in death, And praise thee as long as thou lendest me breath; And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow; If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.”
It is because of moments like these that I can say…… That is why I believe. That is why I know that there is a God, and that is why HE is more than just a “religion” to me. He is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit….there is no other true God,but Him. That is also why I give God the glory when He, and He alone, provides for my family and those I love.
I love on Sara’s blog that it says…
I do not have a religion made up of rules.
I have a lifestyle of faith, joy, hope, and belief.