Monday, February 22, 2010

Sorrow to Joy

One of my favorite bloggy friends is Linny from A Place Called Simplicity . She does something called Memorial Box Monday. It's a weekly feature where she remembers a prayer answered or evidence of God's hand in her life. She puts an item in her Memorial Box that represents the story so that she and her family always have these reminders of God's faithfulness. (She explains it much better on her blog so be sure to click the bloggy button below to read her precious stories.)

I shared my first Memorial Box Monday here, regarding our adoption. (For any new readers, at the time we were still calling him Danilo, but now he goes by Daniel.) Today I'm going to share one about my mom. She's been on my mind and heart a lot lately. Last week (Feb. 18) she would have celebrated her 67th birthday and in a couple of weeks it will be the six year anniversary of her going to be with the Lord.

This story takes place March of 2004. She was in her last days of a six year battle with cancer and we were savoring every minute we had left. We were already at such a place of brokenness because just weeks earlier, we lost a baby boy near the end of my pregnancy (that story can be found here .)

To understand the significance of this story, I must explain that my mom was one of a kind. She made every day seem like a party and could find humor even in the worst situations. For example, she did one more round of chemo with the hope that she would live long enough to meet her grandson (who is now with her for eternity). The treatment burned all of her soft tissues including tastebuds . . . except for one who she affectionately called Bud. She named her car, her piano, even her wheelchair. The term "detail-oriented" was certainly an understatement when describing her. Not only was she creative, she lived poetically. And she wanted her last breath to be on a day that had meaning.

Thus when the calendar flipped to March, she was bummed. There wasn't a day in March worthy of her obituary. She wished she could make it to a day like Palm Sunday or Good Friday or Easter. But she knew her days were few and I could just hear her talking to God under her breath, "March . . . really?"

While my mom was praying for a day of significance, I was praying for a sign of significance--a sign that our storm was almost over. During a nine month period we lost my grandmother, our son, and now my mom. In addition to those losses, we had also faced with some detours and other challenges in our life. I was thinking that God should just cover me with boils and call me Job. I was becoming fearful about what might be next.

The morning my mother died the sadness was overwhelming and I just kept praying for peace. Later that day, I glanced at my calendar and saw a little word typed in the box for that day . . . "Purim." Since I'm not Jewish, I wasn't sure what it was but quickly Googled it. I couldn't believe it when I read about the Feast of Purim, that this is the celebration where sorrow is turned to joy. Never has Wikipedia been so profound. I just wept reading the words "the days of mourning are over"!!!

Apparently the Feast of Purim is observed on a different day each year (according to the Jewish calendar)--anytime from late February to mid-March. But that year Purim just happen to fall on the same day my mother went to be with the Lord. God is amazing.

I picked up the phone to tell my mom about her perfect day--then realized this sweet revelation would be coming from her Father. I'm sure her mouth--with brand new tastebuds--let out a squeal when she found out how beautifully God had numbered her days.

And my prayer had been answered as well. I suddenly had such a peace and calm that this would be the end of our pain and our goodness and mercy would follow. And it has . . . in abundance.

I wish I had kept that page of my calendar to put in my Memorial Box. Instead I tucked a copy of the verse from the beautiful book of Esther that records the first observance of Purim.

Feast of Purim
"The time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration." Esther 9:22

The book of Esther is the only book in the Bible that doesn't mention God, yet His mighty hand is seen throughout the story. And as we celebrate the anniversary of my mother's passing, we don't remember that day with sadness, but stand in awe of a great God of great love who cares about every little detail. I'm so grateful that His mighty hand can be seen throughout the story of my life.

Humbly His,


Karen said...

..all I can do is give you a hug and thank you for the sharing of this story.

Kim said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your loved ones but your story is beautiful and I too appreciate it and thank you for sharing it. It is a comfort to me as I care for my Mother who has Alzheimer's and is declining more each day. Thanks Kathy!

Mom Of Many said...

Oh Kathie,
What a precious, precious story. God is so into all the details...and to give your mom's homegoing on such a precious day...

I love you sweet friend and I pray God's continued comfort as you remember your mama.


Blessed Mom of Four, Now Five said...

Now, exactly how was I supposed to read THAT without crying......
Smiles through tears,

Shannon said...

OH...thank you for this beautiful story!!!!! How deep and precious is the Lord's love for us!!!! It is beautifully written and tells wonderfully about our amazing God!!!!

Tenny Kusuma said...

Thanks for sharing a wonderful story. I'll say a little prayer for you today and your family. Here's something to cheer you up..check it out

Renee said...

This is a wonderful story of God's deep abiding love for all of ous. He shows himself in the desires and the details of our lives. May God bless you and yours.

單存 said...

婚姻對男人來說是賭他的自由,對女人而言卻是賭她的幸福。 ..................................................

Kathy said...

What a beautiful reminder that God is tender and merciful, and that He cares about the smallest details of our life. To think that you even had a calendar that mentioned Purim! Only God! I think I will always think about your Mom and God's goodness to your family when I read about Purim now. Bless you for sharing.

Charissa said...

Kathie - I just came to your blog from A Place Called Simplicity. Thank you so much for sharing this story! Incredible! I am sorry for your losses and am glad that you are moving on to joy!

3d電影 said...
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