Saturday, May 2, 2015

Glorious Unfolding: the gift of time

I rarely write in this little space anymore. It isn't because of lack of material, but rather, lack of time. One of the many things I truly realized and embraced after my mother died was just how fleeting our time is here. I'm convinced that even if we knew the number of our days from the very beginning, it still wouldn't feel like enough time. I rest in the peace that God knows the number of our days even before we were created, yet it still doesn't keep me from feeling like "it was just too soon, Lord."

I was reminded of time when I found myself in the mall a few days ago and was bombarded with "Mother's Days" advertisements everywhere. How has it already been almost a year? I can remember last Mother's Day like it was yesterday, yet it feels like a lifetime ago that I last saw my mother and felt her hugs.

I can remember feeling grumpy that I had to leave my own family to go see my mom on Mother's Day. I wanted to have a lazy day to myself (because I am selfish), but I decided I really needed to go see my mom. I can't explain it, but looking back I'm so glad I got over myself...as it would be my last Mother's Day and my last real conversation with my mom. I took her a dozen hot pink roses (her favorite) and a sub sandwich. My mom didn't even really like sub sandwiches now that I think about it.

I stayed for about 5 hours and left around dinner as she was not feeling well.  She would always walk me outside and wave as I pulled my car out of the driveway. But this time, my dad had put some water in the bathtub for her and I said my goodbyes then. Why didn't I stay and help her wash her hair? Why was I in such a rush that I couldn't wait a little longer and serve and help the person who brought me into this world?

The next weekend during Ella's ballet recital dress rehearsal was when I got the call. I still have her ticket in my wallet. It sits next to the EKG strip where she took her last breath. Maybe that is strange to some people, but grief is bizarre and makes you do seemingly strange things to outsiders. But that ticket and EKG strip are a reminder that you never know when your last breath is...and your only purpose is to serve the Lord while you are here. It's not about you.

I did get a chance to serve my mom her final few days here on Earth. I got to be with her as she left this world and entered Eternity. I had a chance to wash her feet and brush her hair. I am forever thankful that God gave me that second chance to serve my mother. 




This week, I watched my two girls practice their recital piece on stage.

It was brutal.

Just like the Mother's Day advertisements, it was a reminder that just when you think you are healing from this emotion of grief, you are still such a broken human being. God is so good in how He reveals himself when you are broken, but it doesn't change the fact that it is all so very painful. I've heard people say "grief is a journey, not a destination." It's so true. Time has made it easier to deal with the pain, but things like Mother's Day and ballet recitals will always be a reminder that my life was forever changed last May.

I stood behind the curtains and watched Ella dance to this song called "Glorious Unfolding". I had to hide my face behind the camera because the tears were getting too hard to hold back. The words to the song were just so applicable to where I am. Seeing those girls dance the emotions to the songs...it was just the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long time. I hate that my mom will never see them dance again on this side of eternity.


Lay your head down tonight

Take a rest from the fight

Don’t try to figure it out
Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart
‘Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfold



And this is going to be a glorious unfolding

Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding


Those words. 

They make me weep. They make me weep because though my heart aches for Heaven, I know God still has so much left for me here in this temporary home. He has given us all the gift of time to use  for His glory. It is such an honor and gift to be able to serve where God calls you. 




God’s plan from the start

For this world and your heart

Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing Love
And the story has only begun





We were made to run through fields of forever

Singing songs to our Savior and King

So let us remember this life we’re living
Is just the beginning of the beginning


So, while there are still days where grief sneaks in, I'm reminded of how much of my story He is still unfolding in front of my very eyes...even in that little girl in pink, who had low muscle tone and we thought may never walk...


One of God's many miracles! 




Not only does she walk, but she runs and dances and leaps and can stand on those little toes so perfectly. Speaking of miracles, I just spent two weeks with my dad and Europe and he climbed every step of the Arc de Triomphe where we watched the sunset over the entire city. While those on the ground could only see the beauty from their small view, I got to watch the sunset in all its beauty over Paris. I wonder if that is how Heaven will be? We see such tiny glimpses here to give us hope. How marvelous will it be when we see God in all His Glory! Moses wanted it...but God basically told him he couldn't handle it yet. 



Sometimes I feel beyond joyful when thinking of my mom seeing God in all His Glory. Her new body...I can't imagine her being more beautiful. She is friends with Moses, Noah, Mary, Esther...she's met them all by now. She sees the full story! 

I think if my mom was able to whisper in my ear, she would say "Sarah, if only you could see what I see. Just keep your eyes forward on The Lord. Keep loving people and serving the Lord. Keep showing the world the love of Jesus. This world you are in is over in the blink of an eye. Go and live and love the hurting and the lost."





We will watch and see and we will be amazed
If we just keep on believing the story is so far from over

And hold on to every promise God has made to us
We’ll see the glorious unfolding

Spending those two weeks with just my dad seeing the world...it was priceless. That gift of time with him is something I will hold onto for forever. 

Time is so fleeting. 
Love and serve those around you.
At the end of the day, this time here on Earth is just temporary. 

This Mother's Day, I will celebrate my mother. Death does not change that she was my mother. And I will still take her hot pink roses...but, they won't be placed in a vase on her dining room table. 

And I will weep as I watch my daughters dance on stage: partly because I hurt knowing they will not remember my mother and partly because I am so overwhelmed by the beauty of God's hope and promise that He instills in my heart when it aches with grief. 

And I will mourn all over again as I remember her on the 1st anniversary of her death on May 21st. But, I hold on to the promise that God has made for me (and you): that this time here on Earth is just the beginning of the beginning. 








1 comment:

Karla @ {The Classy Woman} said...

Such a beautiful post, Sarah! I have those selfish moments too of just wanting the relaxing day but your story will be a reminder to me that we never know what will happen next week or next month. We need to be present and enjoy people now. I'm sure no matter how much time we make for loved ones though, we'll always feel like we could/should have done more. I'm so glad you got to enjoy such a beautiful trip with your father in Europe. Lots of treasured memories there! :)