It was an hour before my flight was to take off for Phoenix, my sister-in-Christ and I were praying before she saw me off through the security checkpoint at the airport. I hadn’t slept in over 24 hours and neither had my phone as texts and phone calls flooded my time for two days straight. My mind was on autopilot as I replied to others wanting to know what was going on, telling them only what had been relayed to me through my grandparents, but holding back what the Lord had laid on my heart. I knew that my life wouldn’t be the same when I returned home, but I refused to accept anything less than a glorious unfolding.
My mom didn’t know the Lord, and that very fact had me believing for a miracle when I was summoned to Arizona as my mom lay sedated in a hospital bed.
Two flights, one layover, and zero strength to do anything but take the Lord at His word that His promises are “Yes” and “Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31 (NKJV)
“And your household”, that is where my focus was. I had been praying for my mom’s salvation for years, more intentionally in the months leading to that moment. I had planted seeds throughout the years when the Lord asked me to, but I always felt like they fell on rocky soil and were unable to take root. It’s not that I doubted the Lord’s unwavering and gracious pursuit of those He calls or His ability to reach those who are blinded by darkness, it was the evidence of how wounded and stubborn my mom was that had hardened her heart towards anything contrary to what she felt was true.
I was upfront with the Lord during that 2 hour and 45 minute flight, maybe a tad confrontational. I reminded Him of what His word stated about my household being saved (as if He needed to be reminded, haha!) and I was firm in my belief that my mom would not leave this life unless she was joining the Lord in eternity. I asked the Lord for an opportunity to pray with my mom alone, it was within the hour of my arrival that He blessed me with that moment. It’s been said that a person’s hearing is the last to go, and I walked in faith on that. I spoke with my mom that afternoon about the gospel and, for the first time, I believed that the seed of hope was planted deep in fertile soil. We prayed together for her to accept Jesus into her heart; I cried and I asked the Lord for a confirmation of her salvation, selfishly for my own peace of mind.
My family and I made the choice to take my mom off of the ventilator the following evening. We gathered around her bed and I began to pray, not only for a peaceful passing but with full assurance that she was entering into eternity.
My mom passed away as I concluded with “Amen” and the peace of our Abba Father fell on me like a wave crashing onto the seashore, and that is all the confirmation that I needed to rest assured that she was with our Lord and Savior.
The Lord told me two days beforehand that He would make beauty from the pile of ash that I was standing in, and I didn’t know exactly what He meant at the time, but I believed Him. Today, one year after my mom left this life, I don’t have to question her whereabouts or be burdened with the thought of never reuniting with her. Although my heart may be heavy with loss at times, my spirit is overjoyed with the truth that the loss of my mom is only temporary, as is everything in this life.
I have many loved ones who do not know the Lord yet and sometimes I find myself in a whirlwind of panic and frustration as I see the time becoming less, continuously interceding on their behalf for them to know their need for a savior, Jesus Christ. In those moments of unrest, the Lord graciously and faithfully draws me back to His word, “and your household.” Everyone must work out their own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12), and although the Lord may use me, I have to remind myself that my efforts do not bring my loved ones to repentance, the Lord does. Contrary to what I see in the moment, and until the trumpet sounds, I will stand on what I believe to be true, that my household and me will be saved.