It was late and a school night. Everyone was tired. As my grandma straightened the blankets one more time, I noticed her hands lingered a little longer. Everyone kissed grandpa and walked out of the room and down the cold, sterile hall toward the elevator. I watched them walk ahead of me but something made me stop, so I turned and walked back into his room. He was sleeping and I wasn’t even sure if he could hear me, but I took his hand and whispered~ ”I love you so much grandpa”~then leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. I don’t know what made me do it, but I’m so glad I did. The next morning I woke to the phone ringing and my grandma’s sobs. I was a sophomore in high school, but I pulled the covers over my head and I cried like a baby. Losing a loved one is so hard, it doesn’t matter how old you are. Everyone’s heart breaks. He was my grandpa, my mom’s dad, my grandma’s husband. So many emotions and memories wrapped up in each one of those titles. My personality is the type that makes me want to run away and hide from the world when faced with tremendous heartache. But that doesn’t make it go away, and heart ache returns~ again and again. Even my wedding album reminds me of how often heartache has come for a visit. In one particular picture, 8 out of 15 of our family members are no longer living. Death has taken them. It is no respector of persons or titles, days or hours. Can we ever avoid this pain that is almost unbearable? We honestly cannot. As a pastors wife, I hear this question again and again and yet, I have no answer. Inevitably, we will endure pain and heartache, but we don’t have to endure it without hope. That morning, that phone call caused the tears to flow and since that time, many others have as well. But they did not flow for my grandpa, our cousins, my sister in law, my mom, or all of our precious grandparents. They flowed from the emptiness my heart felt for their absence. They flowed for the sorrow my other loved ones were going through. They flowed for the dark and lonely days ahead that my loved ones would be facing, but not for those that had gone home to heaven. And so, my hope is on the Solid Rock. Because of the gift of God’s Son and His death on the cross, my hope is in my Savior. My hope lies in knowing that my loved ones are in heaven with Him right now, dancing to the angel’s music, laughing with loved ones, sitting at their Savior’s feet. No more suffering this world has to offer. Can you even imagine? They can run to Jesus and hug Him any time they want to. And that’s the hope that puts a smile on my face. That hope allows me to face tomorrow. I don’t have to run away. I don’t have to hide. That hope tells me, it will be okay. Do you have that hope? God forbid, if something happened to you, would your family find comfort in that hope? Let that hope be your hope today.
Titus 1:2, Titus 2:13, Titus 3:7, Colossians 1:5, Colossians 1:27, I Thessalonians 4:13, Romans 5:2, Romans 15:4, Psalm 42:11