Thursday, February 11, 2016

the woman who gave me life

There are so many things to say and yet I'm almost at a loss for words. But I also don't want to forget the goodness in which Christ lavished on us so here goes...

Thursday, January 28th in the wee hours of the morning, my loving mother and Brady's Mimi peacefully in her sleep went home to be with Jesus. Tomorrow will be two weeks, a whole two weeks. In ways it feels like she's been gone for so long, yet feels like it was yesterday.

My sister woke me at 5am and said through tears, "Nancy, she's gone." I'll never forget that moment. Hours before we had been in my mom's office area, laughing between our tears as we scanned photos of my mom, listening to sad depressing songs mixed in with funny upbeat songs.

Thursday morning as a new day broke through...darkness to light, we sat with my mom. Tears filled our eyes as we missed her instantly. Yet, we knew that mom was in in the presence of our heavenly Father and what glory, oh sweet glory she was experiencing.

Nothing can compare to the glory that will be revealed. {Romans 8:18}

My mom loved the Lord with all her heart, mind, and soul. Her most favorite thing to do was worship. She listened to her worship music everyday as she got ready. You could hear it streaming from her bathroom every single time she got ready. There would be times in the hospital where the room would be filled with talking and then all of a sudden you'd see mom with her phone and music streaming out of it...her eyes closed, singing.

We played worship music non-stop by our bedside during those 3 weeks she was home on hospice. It was a comfort for her, but also for us. Now my dad keeps the worship going in the bathroom as my he gets ready each day. And for me at home, worship music is never too far from where I am.

I find it so strange that whenever you experience such a devastating loss, that while your world stops, the world around you just keeps going, keeps spinning. In one way, it's good because it forces you to put one foot in front of the other but in another way you're trying to comprehend how does your world go on?

I remember telling Allen before my mom even passed..."how do you go on without your mom? There hasn't been a day in my life that I haven't had my mom."

But you do.

It's what my mom would want - she even told me "you will go on and yes, it will be hard but you'll do it and your faith will be stronger because of it. And you'll be better because of it."

I told her, "that's easy for you to say!" 

But just like always...momma knows best and all. She knew me better than I knew myself. She was my biggest cheerleader. She believed in me and always pushed me to go after my dreams. She saw things in me that I never saw in myself. I remember her telling me from a very young age, that God would use me to do great things for the Kingdom. I really had no idea what that even meant, until now. She was my counselor and best friend.

Thursday as the sun came up, I crawled in bed with her and had coffee with her one last time. We always loved our coffee time together. Due to the disease, my mom had stopped drinking coffee months ago, but she always asked me if I wanted to stop at Starbucks whenever we were out.  

It was a very cold morning in Houston. Frost even on the ground. But the skies were so clear and blue and the sun warm. And STILL, not a breeze to be felt.

My beautiful mom looked as peaceful as she did the night before when I kissed her goodnight...just a few short hours prior.

As I look back on the days before her passing, I realize just how much God loves us. How He doesn't miss a single detail. How even though our prayers were answered differently than we had hoped, He is STILL good. Even that morning as I sat with her, the peace He gave us was almost tangible.

Of course, we were devastated by the fact that our mom physically would not be here, but at the same time we all felt relieved that she was free. That our prayers had been answered. His perfect will done.

Who are we to say we that we need more time with her? Or why didn't you heal her here?

I'll be honest and say I did question through this and I did wonder, ask, and why?

Because I am STILL of the flesh, but the flesh is not where I fight my battles. Thankfully, I don't fight any of my battles...that's why He has given me His spirit. For me to be STILL so He can fight for me.

And that's where we win. When we realize death doesn't mean defeat. For my mom as a believer of Christ, she won the ultimate victory. To be reunited with Jesus.

Praise be to God.

One of the very first things my mom told us after she said she'll fight this but either way...if she's healed here or healed in Heaven - she wins! Sucks for us here if she goes but she wins! I think we even told her, geez thanks mom!

But she's right. And while it does suck here for us, we have to know that she won and there is no greater place to be than in the presence our of Father.

I mean I can't even imagine what it must be like to worship Him in heavenly places. I know how great it is here on earth, but that is nothing compared to what my mom is currently experiencing. I'm almost jealous and it only makes me more excited to be reunited with her one day.

I've thought a lot about death lately. And one thing that really gets me is why we view it as such a sad thing. I realize we're human and selfish and we want our family members here with us, but at the same time His word tells us, we shouldn't love this life even unto death. And death is simply a fact of life. It's unavoidable. 

We should want to be with Him, more than anything in this world.

When I think about my mom, I don't think about her dead- but alive! More alive than ever! Just the other day when I was crying, Brady (who just turned 4) said "mom, it's okay because now Mimi can walk without help and play, and she's all better."

I thought he is only 4 and gets it and he's so right. My mom isn't sick anymore. She hated being sick and not being able to do like she did before. My mom was always doing, cleaning, cooking, going, and doing some more. She made me look lazy most days, ha!

"Your glory God is what our hearts long be overcome by Your presence, Lord." 

Thursday, January 28th will forever be etched in my mind, but not because of death. Yes, it's when my mom left her earthly home but when I focus on things that are eternal- it was my mom's home going. Back to where she belongs.

He loves my mom more than any of us here on earth did and I have to know that His love is enough. He loves me just the same and because of that love, we have the promise of heaven.

January 6th, when they told us we would go home on hospice my mom told us, "don't question what kind of love that is, if He chooses to take me home. Because that's the ultimate love..."

So that Thursday morning as we grieved for my mom, we also rejoiced for the great love He has lavished upon on us through this journey and continues to to this very moment.

He has been SO good to us through it all. Even the hard places. Even on that Thursday morning when our world stopped.

We miss her terribly, but we know our troubles here are momentary. We know because of His great love we will get to see her again and oh what a glorious day that will be.

My mom would never want us to remember her because of her death, but rather because of the beautiful soul and life she had here on earth. The life that God granted her in the first place. She was our mother, friend, and Mimi but she was His. Daughter of the one true King.

He just graciously entrusted her to be my mother here. And for that I can't help but lift my hands in praise & thanksgiving for such a precious gift. Out of all the girls in the world, He picked Rhonda Lee Meador to be my mom. And what an amazing mom she was.

I treasure those final 3 weeks at home with her. The talk she gave me about how to go on, just like her to still be guiding us as she is dying. Always thinking about us, rather than herself. Always offering loving advice, even things we'd rather not hear but she knew we needed to hear them.

So much of who I am is because of her and her faithfulness to Christ. Years ago, I gave her a wall hanging that says, "Everything I am or will be, I owe to my mother." She has it displayed on her dresser. I had no idea how much truth was in that sign until now.

It was evident last Saturday at my mom's celebration service how loved she was. My mom didn't have many requests for her service, actually she didn't have one thing planned (other than she wanted to be cremated and no flowery, sad funeral speeches, ha!). Death never scared my mom and she wanted us to focus on life- the life she lived so well & the fact that she would never really die thanks to the Cross.

We had an out of box celebration service for my mom and while she wasn't physically there, she was very much there. Her spirit will never leave us. I can still hear that familiar voice guiding me and letting me know, "it will be hard, but you'll get through it."

Oh how we miss her! How I miss sitting next to her bed reading scripture to her, praying over her, kissing her, smelling her hair, looking at her sweet & soft hands, and telling her, "mom, we'll be okay!" The truth is we are alright and we will be alright. I know she would be so proud of my dad, oh my dad- he has held so steadfast to his faith, never wavering. She would be so proud of my brothers and my sister, how we've come together for each other.  The hugs a little longer & tighter, phone calls more frequent - just like she's always wanted. 

I hope I never forget the day she went home and how God truly held us in the palm of His hand. It was beautiful and peaceful. Yes, it was hard but even in the hard He is STILL good. Before they took my mom, my dad asked if we could have a few last minutes alone with her. Just him and his kids...I hadn't finished reading Mark out loud with mom so I asked if I could finish reading the last 2 chapters. Afterwards, I prayed one last time over my mom and for us. It was quiet and about mid-way through the prayer I began to hear song birds outside the window. Loud and clear. So much I got choked up and stopped praying, thinking of how He even takes care of the birds and how when we're STILL we notice Him and all His glory.

And if you know my mom she absolutely LOVED birds! Her office is decorated with birds & one of her guest rooms also we call the "bird room."

Mom, I know you're flying high...FREE as a bird. Soaring on wings of eagles. We miss you more than words can even express but so thankful you taught us to say, "whatever my is well, well with my soul!" 

To the woman who gave me life, I owe all that I am to you. You taught me how to courageous, how to be brave, how to see the good in life, and how to love. How to take care of my family by cooking, cleaning, and taking pride in my home. That this life isn't about things but about the ones we've been entrusted too. How to be a wife and mother. How to live with no regrets. How to write. You taught me how to stand on my own two feet, which I thought I'd never be able to do. You taught us kids the importance of marriage. You lived your faith out as an example for us and you poured your life into us. You taught me that no matter what- you never take your eyes off Jesus. He is where our help comes from and for that I am able to stand today...2 weeks after you've gone home.

I can't imagine the celebration you are having in the presence of our King! What wonder of love...

Memorial video played during my mom's service. The Love Story was written by my mom on her and my dad's 25th wedding anniversary and read by me and my sister. The end portion where my mom is talking is audio I recorded shortly after we were told we were to go home on hospice. It truly displays the very heart of my mom. So blessed to call her my mom.

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