Last week was kind of hectic. I had an unexpected death in my chosen family – the mother of one of my oldest friends passed away. We have known and loved her for the 30+ years we have been friends. She welcomed the five of us into her home on countless occasions for get-togethers, sleepovers, & meals. She and her own mother, who lived with them, were treasures. She was our mother, and her mother was our grandmother too.
When we lost her this week, it was a shock. Obviously, there was sadness for the loss and for our friend, but there was also joy. Joy is kind of a weird thing to say you have upon someone’s passing, and in truth, I did not have it until the night of her memorial/celebration of life service. I didn’t know the state of her soul and so I wasn’t sure.
At the memorial service, her brother stood up to say a few words. Instead, he melted the hearts of everyone in the room. He spoke about his love for her, and how she had always looked out for him. He spoke about her journey and he ended with a story of a phone call he had had with her not long before. Choking back tears, he told us how he had spoken with her about Jesus and told us of her acceptance of Christ as her savior. Tears welled up in his eyes as he spoke about how she would now be with his mother and father in heaven and how he would see her again.
Tears filled some eyes and streamed down the faces of so many of us in that room. But, while I cried, the relief I felt overwhelmed me. I imagined her in heaven with my own mother and couldn’t help but smile.
I must confess, I have never been to a funeral service where I felt such relief at knowing that someone was saved. The promise of life filled me with hope, with joy, and with comfort.
John 3:16 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Ephesians 2:8-10 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
1 John 5: 13-14 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.