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Mom's testimony (part 4)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by

believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

My precious Momma trusted and believed in Jesus. She took her last breath late Saturday, March 4, having uttered only three sweet words earlier that day, “I love you.”

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1)
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ... God is patient, God is kind ... God is love!

As I look back, I see God’s provision and goodness that allowed me to love and care for Mom as I grew in my relationship and my knowledge of Him. This is Mom’s testimony, but, it is mine as well …

To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. (Proverbs 16:1-3)

Three years ago I witnessed Curt enter his eternal home with The Lord after caring for him throughout his two year bout of cancer. Our gracious Father provided the way for me to love him and share the gospel with him (see Curt’s Testimony). The Sunday after Curt’s passing, the pastor at the church I attended near Curt’s home announced that registration for the next semester of their three year Bible study had begun. This announcement coincided with an invitation to live in Curt’s home. And so, I registered and began the intense and amazing journey into God’s Holy Word.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Not two weeks into my bible study and a week after moving in to the house, I was given notice that the invitation was no longer valid, that Curt’s home would be placed on the market. So, I had to pack and move, again. This time, to an unknown and unplanned destination (see My Testimony part 5).

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith. produces perseverance … Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:2-3, 12)

Shortly after I began the arduous task of re-packaging my belongings, Covid restricted people from gathering together. The Bible Institute instituted zoom classes. Soon after, I purchased a new home 60 miles away from class and that much closer to my Mom. This move and the new class format enabled me continue my studies and to visit Mom every week.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
  • “God will meet all your needs.” It is my testimony that God always provides … for Himself. I trust Him. Certainly not because I think I am good – I trust Him because He is good. I fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. Jesus was willing to heal those who trusted Him (Matthew 9:22; Mark 10:52; Luke 5:12-13; Matthew 8:5-13). He healed my ignorance when he revealed the truth to me (Ephesians 2:1-12). And, because I know Him, I trust Him and I must share these things that you may have the same Hope in Him (Matthew 16:13-20; Luke 8:16). The same Hope that Mom had in Him.

    • He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time (2 Timothy 1:9)

A little over a year after I moved, Mom fell. She was rushed to the hospital with a broken hip and arm. The hospital allowed me to stay overnight by her side, for those three weeks. I continued my vigil for two more weeks next to her hospital bed at home. I treasure the love and prayers we shared during those long hours.

Psalm 34:18
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

If you think the gift is having someone else take on the ‘burden’ of caring for a loved one so your life is not disrupted, you are mistaken - moreover, you are missing out. It is not ‘having to,’ but ‘getting to' ... Mom always said, “The greatest gift you can give is the gift of yourself.”

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
(Jesus said) My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:12)
(Jesus said) “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (John 15:9-11)
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Luke 6:36

Now that Mom is with Jesus, my heart is full. The Peace of the Lord comforts me even as I write this.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

My Father’s timing once again proved perfect as I completed my three year Bible study course in January. Since Mom’s fall, I was able to bath her most every week until her husband drove her to Florida before Christmas 2022. After my last class, I packed and, together with my little dog, I drove to their vacation home. I bathed Mom, and after spending time with them, I visited a friend and then my sister before driving back across the state, to their temporary residence. I got Mom back in the shower and spent precious time with her before the long drive home.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

Just days after I arrived home, Mom was rushed to the hospital. By all reports, her vital organs appeared to be shutting down. I prayed that she would not experience pain and that God’s will be done even as I made arrangements for my flight from Virginia. I was hoping, of course, that she would still be alive when my sister and I arrived. I asked my faithful friends to pray with me for a joyful visit (see Mom’s Testimony part 3). God answered this prayer, and then some! What a compassionate God we serve!

The 1st photo is Mom upon my arrival at the hospital in Florida. The 2nd is after prayer, I love you's & freshening up. The following day she was released & stayed up late, engaging with family. The 3rd photo was taken early the next morning, &. the final photo is later that day, ready to go out to dinner. 💝

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

My Stepfather told us that while waiting for the ambulance, my Mom had the sweetest smile on her face. When Bain asked why she was smiling, she said that she had been talking to Bobby, and he told her that he was going to see her soon. Her brother, Bobby, has been with the Lord for five years.

(Jesus said) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:3)

My daughter never remembers dreams unless they come in the form of a warning. Today, she shared her dream from the previous night as though it was an event that had taken place in her waking hours … In her dream, she and Mom were having lunch, and April said, “Mommom had her memory, and we were talking and laughing about things that happened when we all lived together on Harwood Place” many years ago. Upon leaving the restaurant, and right before April awoke, Mom said to her, “I’m sorry I couldn’t wait. I had to go.”

Less than an hour before Mom breathed her last, I was snuggled beside her with my arm across her. I was praying scripture and assuring her of how much she was loved. My sister had arrived from Florida an hour before. So, I said, “Momma, you waited for Theresa. Can you wait for April? She’ll be here first thing in the morning.”

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die … (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)

Mom suffered from dementia for nearly a decade. Even though her dementia was very advanced, her love for the Lord, and her memory of Him never failed. She had forgotten she was married to her husband of 38 years, but not one prayer had slipped her mind. She couldn’t follow a movie, show or conversation, but she still could follow the mass with all of its rites and prayers, without any assistance or direction.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
Matthew 5:16

Mom loved and trusted Jesus all the days of her life. She gave Him thanks in good circumstances and looked to Him in troubled ones. She would say, “without God, what do you have?” or “there is no vacation from God.” She loved her family and friends and was devoted in prayer for their salvation. We prayed together daily for loved ones. She always ended, with "Amen ... Beautiful!" Over the last few months of her life, she often sat with her eyes closed, moving her lips and hands. When asked, she would say she was praying, or talking to God or Jesus.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. (2 Peter 1:2-7)
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. (Psalm 28:7)

Choose life …

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14)

The ultimate gift Christ has for all who believe in Him is Eternal Life. No one can save you from certain death, except Him. Seek Him, because if you seek Him, you will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13) And, when the Holy Spirit reveals the truth to you, you will want nothing more than to seek Him into eternity.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
Matthew 7:13

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. (John 3:16)
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:8-9)

What do you need to repent of? The sin of unbelief …

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves His child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:1-5)

Mom overcame the world, never blaming God for her affliction, but in every way and every day, she put her trust in Jesus. She was the Virtuous woman who Fears the Lord, Proverbs 31:10-31. Momma, who couldn’t figure out the ‘why’s, who’s or how’s’ in her day to day life, no longer suffers as a prisoner of her limited body and mind. She now basks in the limitless, eternal glory of our loving, Father, God. How do I know this? It is the ultimate promise to the believer ... Do you believe this?

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. (1 Corinthians 15:43)
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:10-14)
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8)

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