We took fall flowers out to my Mom’s grave yesterday and saw a hummingbird hovering by her stone as we walked up. My Mom loved hummingbirds. It made me think about her and ‘things.’ It made me take stock again of my life and how much I’ve grown since 1985 when she died from breast cancer.
Mom didn’t talk about religion, ever. We didn’t go to church growing up, didn’t read the Bible, didn’t talk about God, but we celebrated Christmas and Easter and Thanksgiving, and on those
holy holidays my Dad would “make us” pray before the celebratory meal, and every Christmas my Mom would pull out the Christmas decorations. They always included a nativity set, although I had no concept of who Jesus was, or Christmas for that matter, beyond what presents I would get.
I remember one of the last times I visited my Mom in the hospital before she died. She was very weak, and she couldn’t talk and she had tubes everywhere, but she rallied her strength when she saw me, and although she couldn’t talk she conveyed to me that she knew she was going to die.
Oh, how I wish I had known Jesus then!
Well, time goes on, and as it did I soon realized the emptiness of life, the emptiness of this world. When you lose someone who means everything to you, who you think is your life, it tends to make you ponder certain things a lot, like the meaning of life and the purpose of existence. I started to search for answers and 14 years after her death I found it. Or rather, He found me.
The word of the LORD came to me:Ezekiel 14:12
After being drawn out of darkness, I started to question Jesus. God, was my Mom a believer? Did she die knowing Jesus? What if she is in hell? How can I take it if she’s not in Heaven when I get there? It became a soul cry to know. One day I cried out to Jesus and pleaded with Him, “Please let me know if my Mom is in Heaven!”
In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3
Less than two weeks later, I ran into my Aunt while out shopping. I NEVER run into my Aunt anywhere. She said, “Amy, I want you to come over to my house sometime soon, because I have something I want to share with you.” My curiosity was piqued, and as soon as I could, I visited her.
During our visit she told me that she had recently had surgery and the thing she felt compelled to share with me was that while she was on the operating table she had an out of body experience. She was floating above the table and she was in a vision of a very lush green valley surrounded by mountains and sunlight. She told me that in this vision she saw Mom running freely through the grass with her arms out open wide, happy and carefree.
My jaw dropped and my heart soared! Remembering my prayer just a short time before, I couldn’t help but think that this was too much of a coincidence. I had just experienced the first of many what I call God-instances. I think those who have walked with Jesus any amount of time have experienced them. I wonder how many of these “coincidences” I missed while living in unbelief?
I came to find out many years after my Aunt told me about her vision that a Pastor had regularly been visiting my Mom while she lay dieing in the hospital. God is a God of immense grace!
A friend of mine on facebook yesterday mentioned that seeing that hummingbird (and another one the day before) was my Mom “letting you know she’s thinking of you!” When I read my friend’s comment I had not even given that a thought. It was comforting to think about that – it even brought a tear to my eye – but for some reason it was more comforting thinking that Jesus Himself had sent me that hummingbird to remind me not only of my Mom, but that everything was okay because He is in control and watching over every area of my life. I am surprised even now to realize that even though when I was a child I thought my Mom was my life , how much Jesus has taken that position now that I’ve grown. My Mom didn’t die for me, but Jesus did. And then He arose again.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:4
Jesus, When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a woman, I put childish ways behind me. 1 Cor 13:11. Thank you, that through the power of your Holy Spirit at work in my heart, you are growing and maturing me through baptism, communion, and your Gospel. You are dear to my heart. I can’t wait to get to Heaven to see my Mom, but even more, to see you with my very own eyes! You are my life, Lord. In your name I pray, Amen.