A few weeks ago I wrote to you about mothers day. I shared a little bit of my story and how I lost my own Mother at a young age. I also gave you a little assignment to help you dig deeper. That post was difficult for me to write, and when I wrote that, I had no idea that I’d be writing what I’m about to share with you today. I had no idea that I’d be eating my own words and following my own advice when I was suddenly faced with two sudden and heartbreaking deaths in the same weekend.
Last Friday my husband got a call that he knew was coming, but still shook us. His good friend from high school has been fighting MS for more than a decade and was nearing the end of his fight. He was a prisoner in his own body, unable to communicate or move, even though his mind was still “him”. To see his family go through this broke my heart into a million pieces. My husband has been going to sit with his friend every week for the last 5 years, even though the conversations were one sided. He wanted Eric to know that he still mattered, and that he still had a friend. Ryan went and saw him on Saturday, and we got the call Sunday morning that Eric had passed. And while we rejoice that he is in heaven, free from the body that held him captive, dancing for joy in the arms of his Savior, we still mourn the loss of a young man who we wish could have been healthy and had much life ahead of him.
A few days later, I was stunned with the news that a dear friend, mentor and Mother figure in my life passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Jan was a lovely spitfire of a woman who God placed in my life at a time where we needed each other in a way we couldn’t understand. I met Jan just a few years after I lost my Mom, and just a few months after she lost her daughter. Our mutual friend Lois decided to start a bible study at my house. Lois invited Jan because I was trying to start this bible study, but Lois was the only one who came. It was totally a pity invite 😉
Lois, Jan and I were the only three for the first few weeks. And that was ok! It grew and evolved over the years, people came and went, but Jan, Lois and I were in that study together every week for 10 years. These women have been my mentors and surrogate Moms, in the years where I needed one so badly. Jan loved my girls as if they were her own grand babies, and was my biggest cheerleader! While we haven’t seen each other in a few months, I always knew that I’d hear from her. She was always ready to reach out with prayer requests and to tell me how proud of me she was. Her own faith has helped form mine as she has taught me what it is to be a woman who loves Jesus and trusts God with all of her heart. She lived a life loving others, making us laugh and always encouraging. When she said she’d pray for me, I KNEW she was praying. Jan and the other ladies in our little bible study group kept me rooted and grounded in the Word, week after week, without fail for more than 10 years straight. What a gift!
When circumstances in her own life brought her down, it never let Jan stop being a light to others. While it breaks my heart that I won’t see her again here on earth, I rejoice with her as she lives in glory, reunited with her daughter Denise and her faith is made complete.
And how do I know this? How do I know, without a doubt that I’ll see Jan again? And that Ryan will get to hang out and talk to Eric again?
Jesus said: I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25)
I want to take a minute to explain this because if anything good can come from the deaths of these two beautiful souls, I pray that their story will bring redemption to even just one person who reads and understands these words.
Jesus died on the cross. His death paid the penalties for any and everything we could ever possibly do, have ever done or will do wrong. When He died, He willingly took the punishment that you and I and everyone else who has ever walked this earth deserves.
Think about that.
If you believe this, that Jesus punishment is enough, that nothing you can do or say will ever help bring you more redemption, but believe that Jesus Christ did that for YOU. Not because He had to, but because He wanted to. That guilt that you feel when you know you’ve done or thought something you shouldn’t…He did it for that.
Think about that.
Now, if you truly believe this, I want you to say a prayer and tell God that you accept His gift and what He did for you. If you don’t know how to pray, or can’t form the words, I found this prayer which I think says it all:
Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Friend, this is big stuff. This is important. All of the events in our lives lead up to that one moment where we meet Jesus face to face. Jan and Eric got to experience this last weekend, and I can only imagine how wonderful that must have been for them. I look forward to the day where I get to run into the arms of Jesus, chased by my Mom and Jan. Seeing Eric run on healthy legs towards me, singing with the voice that was stolen from him in this life. Hugging my Grandpa and Grandma again. I get choked up when I see this play out in my head.
And all it takes is Jesus.
If you prayed this prayer for the first time today, or were touched in any way by this post, I’d love to hear from you!
Please reach out and let me know so we can celebrate together
To dig a little deeper this week, I want to share with you some of my friend Jan’s favorite verses. These are verses that she lived by, and I hope you can,too!
Take one scripture per day for one week. Read it, then write about it in your journal Don’t know where to start? Here is what I do:
- Look up the verse and read it
- Write the verse in your journal
- Journal what you think this verse is saying.
- Pray about what you just read
- Write in your journal a few ways that you can use what you learned in your time in the Word today and apply them practically in your life
This process can take as little as 5-10 minutes, but I find once you start, it can be hard to stop! Enjoy your time in the Word, and don’t worry about it. All God wants is you, He doesn’t expect your writing and praying to be eloquent
1 Week in the Word from Jan:
PS: The beautiful scripture art I used today were made by my good friend Emily of Blue Chair Blessing. If you love them as much as I do, you’ll want to hop onto her site and drool over all of her stuff! This girl has amazing talent and has a huge library of art to remind you of God’s promises. Enjoy!