For those who don't know, sadly 15 days ago, on the 13th of August my Mum passed away. She has been a great inspiration to my sisters and myself as she graciously went through the stages of MJD. This is what my sisters and I shared at her funeral.
Here are some things you may not know about our Mum.
She was really good at brushing her teeth. She has never been to the dentist, still had healthy teeth and never complained of a toothache. She made the best chocolate cake. Mum had a giving heart and would bake bread for other people. She was often the first to put her hand up to help someone, and always had us three girls following in tow. She enjoyed spending time outside, whether sitting in the yard, swimming at the pool or going for a walk. After being in the sun Mum would have a nice brown tan. – Us three girls must have got our skin tone from Dad! She enjoyed watching cartoons with us, her favourites were Arthur, Madeline and Little Bear. When we were younger Mum volunteered a lot in the community.
One of our favourite memories was helping her when she was on op shop duty and playing hide and seek amongst the clothes. Another one would be her sharing the froth off her cappuccino’s with us, and we all know how much Mum loved her cappuccino’s. She had a hatred for cockroaches and spiders, which often left Bec in charge of disposing of whichever creepy crawly had entered Mum’s sight when Dad was not home.
I remember waking up and often finding Mum at the kitchen table reading her bible and she would regularly have worship music playing in the house. Our mum set a good example of what a relationship with God looks like. She taught us you don’t get into heaven by religion and doing good deeds but by the love that God showed when Jesus died for our sins, and choosing to seek and follow his word daily.
In the bible it says “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, move from here to there, and it will move. Nothing is impossible for you”.
Mum had great faith she hated being in that wheelchair and believed in God’s healing. She was determined, I remember about 6 weeks ago looking over and seeing dad helping mum stand during worship at church.
Our Dad faithfully cared for Mum for the past 11 years. We know there was good and hard times throughout the years, but the love and care our parents showed each other, we are truly grateful for. We are forever thankful for the example you Dad, and Mum set.
“The lessons a child can learn from a mother with disabilities are profound. They are better people because of what they will watch their Mother suffer through. She will instil in them the depth, the character, the ability to persevere. These are not things words can communicate.”
If there is one thing we’ve learnt about life so far, it would be that this life is about suffering. Whether it be sickness, financial, relationship, career or the lose of a loved one; we will all face trails and suffering in this life. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience. We can ask ourselves, why do bad things happen to good people? But when you live a life of faith, there are going to be questions that have no answer, because for there to be faith, there has to be a mystery.
During my recent bible studies, I have been learning about the ways God works to deliver us, to save us from our trials and suffering. And a few months ago I was able to share this with Mum and encourage her.
God can deliver us from a trial, which may look like medical test result coming back negative or like you’re about to face a difficult situation, but miraculously something happens and everything is all good again. By being delivered from a trial, our faith is built.
God can deliver us through a trail. An example of this could be a financial situation or a health battle, maybe a battle with anxiety. Were you have to ride the emotional rollercoaster, learn how to trust God more and become a stronger person. But you come out the other side. By being delivered through a trial, our faith is refined.
God can also delivered us by a trial. This means that you die from the trial, the sickness or whatever the suffering was; but you are delivered into God’s loving arms in heaven. By being delivered by a trail, our faith is perfected.
God works in all three of these ways. Just because someone has not been healed, does not mean that they have sin they need to deal with, or they don’t have enough faith or whatever.
It takes greater faith to stand firm in the midst of a trial, then it does when life is ‘working out’. Smooth seas never made a skilled sailor.
Over the past few months I watched my Mum’s quality of life deteriorate, and there were many times I did not understand why it had to be that way. I was reminded that we live in a broken world, this is not how God wanted life to be; and Mums suffering was just a little blip in time for her. For all eternity my Mum is running free, singing praises, face to face with the Lord; no more tears, no more breaking down body, no more fear, no more darkness. Although it came sooner then we thought, God has redeemed all that she had lost, just as He promised. She still won the battle, Mum is in heaven fully healed and restored.
While this part of life is painful for us, we will remember that this is just a blip compared to the eternity we’ll spend together with our wonderful Saviour.
One breathe away! That’s how far away from eternity we are. The decisions we make now effect us forever. Life is short – eternity is forever.
I want to live like Mum, that no matter what life throws at me, I’ll lived with my eyes fixed on eternity.