James 1:2 – 3 “Consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials of many kinds. Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance”
2020 has been a ‘mixed’ year for me. The outbreak of COVID-19 brought about such a mental drain. I lost one of my closest friends to a horrific drowning. In my previous post, I had talked about the sudden passing of my mum and the aftermath of it. Honestly, I do not want to receive any bad more news. There has been so much loss and bad vibes globally. The world has had enough, I have had enough.
I don’t know about people’s different experiences with death/near death. For me, losing the one person who had always, quite literally told me what to do since birth brought about so much confusion, loneliness and an anxiety that I had never before experienced. All mums are just superhumans, let’s begin there. For me, my mum was a combination of a lot of things in addition to the wonder-woman that she was: a role model, a close friend, a prayer partner, someone that I could vent to, a teacher on literally anything and everything, an encourager…the list is endless. We were not always close, I wasn’t the easiest teenager to deal with. Still, she always made me feel her love and friendship. Looking back, I don’t know how I turned out to be the woman that I am today. Literally, I am a result of her prayers for me. Truthfully, I am terrified of facing huge life milestones without her such as motherhood (no, I am not expecting).
When my mum passed away, my first instinct (after a heart piercing pain) was curiosity. Was she okay wherever she was? I am a Christian, yes. My mum was one of the most faithful believers that I had ever met. I believe in God and I try to work on my relationship with God as often and as qualitative as I can. I am still brushing up on my bible knowledge to date, but I did not know for sure wherever my mum was, if she was okay. I am well aware of the concepts of heaven and hell, angels and demons etc. I also know that for every single person that dies, the immediate response is ‘He or she is in a much better place’. When people would tell me that, I would nod in silence. But who knows a lot about this ‘better place’?
It was not until my uncle introduced me to this book that my curiosity was at least able to get some answers; Voices from The Edge of Eternity One word for it? Wow. The author was able to compile a number of stories…well testimonials of people in their moments of death, believers and non-believers. There are amazing testimonials of (believers) of family members and/or friends who would see their loved ones on their deathbeds. Physically, they would look sick and sometimes completely defeated but their speech was always full of hope and excitement on ‘Going Home‘! There are also bone-chilling testimonies of non-believers on their deathbeds and…I think it’s best if you read the book to find out more. I am not going to get into the specifics of it, to be honest, I wish I could instead talk about how life-changing this book has been for me and the few people that I have recommended to. It was and continues to be a huge part in my mourning process.
Now, I don’t know how to articulate a sermon like a pastor haha. But I can tell you this; Reading this book would give me chills. God is real. And He is good, merciful, faithful, forgiving but HE IS VERY REAL. It’s interesting that some of the stories highlighted that we have to put in the work wherever we are in our lives right now. That, for the mere fact that you are alive right now means that you still have time to get your affairs right with God. I’m telling you, the more I read this book, the more I thought of my mum and every single person I personally knew who had also passed away. And I now understood why people would say ‘So and so went to be with the Lord‘.
I began this post by quoting the book of James. Don’t get me wrong, I still miss my mum a lot. When I think of her, it’s a mixture of pain for me but also hope that she is not in the excruciating pain anymore. I still mourn for her. Some days, I still refuse to believe that I will not get to see her again in this lifetime. But, I can tell you for sure that I feel a change in character compared to the girl that I was…say last year. (Is it arrogant to say that? Hopefully not!).
I pray that for whatever struggle you may be going through currently, that God meets you in your time of need and directs your steps.