I’m sitting down today with a cup of coffee in my hand, my bible on my lap, and music playing softly in the background. It’s one of those moments that is a bit surreal. It’s how I envision my grandma sitting so many times when I walked into her room. As I begin to reflect and look for just the right verses to share at her funeral, I can’t help but smile that the posture that I’m unintentionally taking has her written all over it.
My sweet 91 year old Grandma Minten passed from her Earthly body into her eternal home last night at 10:40. A sweet nurse had come in and was rubbing her shoulder and asked if she needed anything. She smiled and said – no, I’m going to be with Jesus. Shortly after, that is exactly what she did. The family had left for the night thinking she was doing better, but she was just waiting…. waiting for her time alone so she could go be with her Jesus.
The night before I was able to take Tom and the kids along to visit. Each with a hug and a good bye and an I love you. And then I was able to pray over her. A sweet – be patient in waiting on the Lord prayer. As I was getting ready to leave, we had a great conversation about what he was waiting for. I told her if he came overnight that she needed to give him a kiss on the cheek for me, because he loves me and would like that. She gave me sweet grandma grin and told me that if she went overnight that she wanted me to know how very much she loved me. (Of course, I already knew that!)
As I walked into her room shortly after her passing, I could feel the presence of angels still hovering. I was able to hold her hand and reach up and gently shut her earthly eyes for the last time. And as I did, I reminded her… kiss Jesus on the cheek for me. I pretty sure that didn’t happen right away, because she was bowing at his feet in worship, but I’m also sure that she will give him that kiss.
I had a special bond with grandma for many reasons, but the memories I will cherish most will be the times when we would talk about the Lord and god’s word. My grandpa passed 11 years ago, and was the.love.of.her.life. All she could talk about was going to be with Bob. They had the type of marriage that instills in you as a little girl what you want yours to look like. Up until he passed, he still looked at her with “that look” and was affectionate in ways usually found in newlyweds. (Don’t get me wrong, they were normal and had issues too, but love conquered all!)
Here’s the thing. It wasn’t until grandpa passed that I saw grandma come into fullness with her love for the Lord and for God’s word. She got involved in a great bible study, and his word took on new meaning. It was a delight to watch and be a part of.
Whew – sorry, getting a bit long winded… Back to the point of this post:-)
Last night was an awakening for me in ways I hadn’t expected. You see, as I drove to the hospital, 10 miles away, I found myself smiling and singing and praising Jesus. I was belting out Amazing Grace and some other sweet hymns I knew grandma would love. (I was in the car alone, whew!) Driving 80 because I wanted to be there when the angels took her to Jesus, I couldn’t help but rejoice and praise. When I walked in and realized she had already gone, it struck me. I was able to serenade her on her way to heaven. My joy and my songs were perfect in Gods timing. He’s kind of sweet like that…
After what seemed like a very long time in the midnight hospital hallway, I drove my mom home (who still can’t drive and lives 10 miles the other direction:-) When I left her farm, I simply began praying. Lord, I’d love to imagine what Grandma is doing right now. She so wanted to be with grandpa, and yet I can’t imagine that she has moved her gaze from you. Thank you for how you love her… I imagine her with new legs and her youthful body, etc.
And out of no where, burst this song from my heart… we will dance on the streets that are golden, the glorious bride and the great son of man. And every tribe and tongue and nation will sing…. In his own way, God whispered – she’s dancing now. On the golden streets. With her bridegroom Jesus.
I came home with such joy in my heart. Unspeakable joy.
This morning we had a “family meeting” in my bed and I told my kids about grandma. Kids are so awesome. They each smiled. They each rejoiced that Grandma got to be with Jesus. Each of them will process differently over the next couple of days, but…. WHY DON’T WE PROCESS LIKE THE KIDS DO MORE OFTEN???? I’ll admit, in this case I was rejoicing, but in so many others my heart has felt heavy.
WHY, in our Earthly flesh do we get stuck on this side of eternity. I’m reminded that our life is but a vapor, and that our eternity is exactly that – eternity. As we celebrate Grandma’s life, I will be looking forward with my earthly view of eternity and rejoicing that I know that she went to be with Jesus, and that someday I too will dance on golden streets with him. He’s moved in my heart in real tangible ways about the gift of death, the joy of death, the peace in death when we know Jesus. I’m so thankful. If you don’t know Jesus or have that peace, I’d love to share more with you!