Even though I have been a Christian all my life, and in ministry for over 25 years, it wasn’t until this day in August, 2011, that I had a spiritual truth revealed to me: the physical events and human struggles God shares in Scripture are in fact to reveal individual spiritual growth principles for each one of us….
“and I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” Revelation 21:2. This was my scripture reading Friday morning, the 12th of August. The writer of the devotion that followed reflected on the moment in the wedding of your child, as the bride enters the church. She writes “I hadn’t anticipated how overcome I would feel. If any one of us feel that much emotion and excitement at a wedding ceremony here on earth, I can only imagine what it will all be like when Christ, the Bridegroom of all bridegrooms, comes to claim His church, the Bride of all brides.” Having had that experience with two daughters, I could certainly relate.
So, the events of that day followed… the teachers had been in meetings and trainings all week and were preparing their classrooms for Monday, Family Orientation Day and Classroom Visitation. Final Registration Day was complete. We in the school office were making database entries as needed. So, it was a good day to catch up. Never did I dream what a role that Scripture would play for me until about 7 pm that evening. That afternoon about 5 pm I yielded, finally, to the Holy Spirit who insisted that I go the Tomball Nursing Center to visit my mom there. Mom had been recently struggling with a contagious bacterial infection for the past 8 weeks and was in isolation. Beyond talking with her it was advised that I not visit do the number of people with whom I am in contact with on a daily basis. My dad visited her daily, sometimes twice a day, doing the scrubbing, mask, etc. each time. Finally, the results of the tests revealed she no longer had to be isolated. I had planned to go to see her the day before but things got in the way. Today my plans were to go to Costco after work and then head to the nursing home to see her. I didn’t have a cooler, though, in case I purchased things that had to be kept cool. So I decided I should go to see her first. But, the traffic was going to be worse if I went later to Costco, so I drove into Chick Fil A for a large iced tea, and then headed out to the far lane of traffic on 2920, to turn right onto the Tomball Parkway. Once in that lane, I changed my mind again and headed east through Tomball to Peach Street, toward the Nursing Home.
On the way, I was talking with my daughter via cell phone. When I arrived in the parking lot, an ambulance was pulling in, so I decided to wait for them to enter before I went in. Once inside, I noticed that the EMS were outside my mom’s room. When I asked the personnel about whether it was my mom to whom they were attending, they got this “I wish I could fly away” look, and affirmed it was in fact her. It seems she had been not feeling well again the day before and unresponsive most of that day. When her vitals headed south, they called the ems. Dad had already been called and was on the way to the hospital.
I followed the ambulance to the hospital. She was taken to bed 9 in emergency – that’s a very special number to my husband and me (both of our birthdays and also our anniversary day.) I was being held up by the Holy Spirit with nothing but confidence and confirmation that God was indeed in control. Dad and I had been praying that God would heal her if not on earth than in heaven – especially during the last few weeks in which she had become so very ill. The emergency staff began assessing the situation and very quickly determined mom to be failing fast. Dad got there and we talked to mom, even though she couldn’t indicate she heard us. We prayed and asked God’s will to be done. We prayed for mercy and grace.
Mom passed away at 7 PM in bed 9. Dad was leaning over her. He lifted his hands up and into the air and said “Heavenly Father, receive my bride.” My mom and dad would have been married 66 years on October 12. When I got home that evening, Dad had left a message on our recorder about 4:30 that he was headed to the hospital because the nursing home called and said mom wasn’t doing well and they were taking her by ambulance.
God, in his mercy, heard our prayer. She is now pain free! She is at peace! A memorial service was held for my mom at Salem. Her family and friends will be there with us to celebrate her life. I am blessed because I yielded to the Holy Spirit, who had me by the hand from that morning’s scripture message! I wake up every morning anticipating what God has in store for me.