By, Rebecca Greenlee
God took my sweet mom to Heaven on March 31, 2020.
The world was on the brink of a pandemic. And people were just beginning to talk of lockdowns, mask mandates, and social distancing.
It was a hard and (potentially) lonely time to lose a loved one. The funeral service for my mom was attended by a handful of close family members and friends. Most people showed love “from a distance,” and hugs were postponed to a later time.
As life slowed down, there was time for reflection about my mom and her cancer journey. The memories were both tender and painful…
Hearing “bad reports” from doctors.
Helping her choose a wig.
Praying desperate prayers.
Emptying her pillow case of her hair.
Singing and praying around her bedside.
Watching her take her final breath.
But there were other lessons that I didn’t want to ever forget. Things that my mom taught me through her life—and through her death. She taught me to…
WALK WITH GOD. Every morning, my mom spent time alone with the Lord. During her last few weeks, when the cancer was affecting her eyesight, she listened to Scripture on her phone. She also found encouragement by listening to sermons and music.
SERVE OTHERS. Even in the midst of her own pain, my mom was still concerned about the needs of others. She sent cards to shut-ins and continued praying for friends and family (as evidenced by her prayer list).
SHARE JESUS. Wherever she was, my mom shared the hope that she had in Jesus. She kept tracts in her purse to pass out during her radiation treatments.
TRUST GOD. Several times, I remember my mom reassuring me as her cancer was progressing. I cried as I held her hand, and she said, “Rebecca, it’s going to be okay.” And she was right. She was trusting the Lord to either heal her or take her to Heaven (the ultimate healing).
CHOOSE JOY. My mom did not allow herself to become bitter because of her cancer. She savored every moment with her family and lived her life fully for as long as she was able.
After my mom went to Heaven, I read this entry from her devotional journal: "'Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O GOD, forsake me not; until I have showed Thy strength unto this generation, and Thy power to every one that is to come (Psalm 71:18).' My prayer for this journey [speaking of her cancer]." She talked of this frequently to my siblings and me. Whatever happened, her desire was for God to be glorified.
What about you? Is there a family member or friend who has modeled Christ to you? Or maybe you are the one who is experiencing a trial right now. No matter the outcome, ask God to help you to show forth His strength and power.