Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. — Philippians 4:8
My mom’s death caught me off guard. Not her actual passing. I knew little earthly time remained when I called and my sister held the phone to Mom’s ear. I sang to her about heaven as I listened to her slow, rattling breath. I told her I love her and it was okay to leave this world. I reminded her we would one day be together again and, until that wonderful day, I would be okay.
When I hung up the phone, I knew it would be my last communication with her.
It’s the days, weeks, and months that have followed her death that have caught me off guard. The deep longing to hear her voice … the empty space in my life since she left … the feeling that everything is different … these are the things I didn’t expect.
Even now, almost a year since she left this world and stepped into heaven, my tears surprise me.
I am learning. I am learning to lean in and trust God to bring a soothing presence when sorrow threatens to choke me.
I am learning to think on whatsoever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy. Just as the Holy Spirit promised through Paul in Philippians 4:8, when I focus on these things, God’s peace is with me.
I am learning it’s okay to grieve, even a year later. God has given me wonderful friends who miss their moms—decades, years, and weeks. They tell me the longing never goes away but I will learn to exist with it as life continues. I may grieve the rest of my life, but I do not grieve without hope. I will hear her voice again someday.
What a good and mighty God we serve! He hasn’t left us to fend for ourselves. He has provided everything we need to live, grow, serve, grieve, laugh, love, and glorify Him as we go!
Until the day He calls me home, I will think on all my mother taught me through her words and actions. I will purpose in my heart to grow closer to Jesus. I will look for what is true, right, and noble in life.
Until that day, I will praise Him!
Whatever your loss or grief, whatever cross you bear – I pray you, too, will purpose to praise Him and grow closer to Jesus because of and through it.
You can read more from Shelley on her blog: https://pierceshelley9.wixsite.com/mysite/blog.
Our resolve must be different. My prayer is that we have finally reached a tipping point. My hope is that when the protests fade and the marches slow that our will as a church to truly eradicate the scourge of racism won’t dissipate but grows even stronger.”
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