On behalf of my husband’s family – and my own heart – thank you so very much for your kind words and for your prayers as we grieved the passing of my mother-in-law. This was the toughest week of our lives, and we miss her terribly. Yet, we even as we grieve, we weep as people of hope. Our tears of sorrow are mixed with smiles of joy and yes, even laughter.
For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. (1 Thess 4:14)
In fact, my favorite memories of Kathy are the times we laughed so hard our stomachs hurt! May I share with you a couple of memories about my mom-in-love which were shared during her service?
Most of our laughter-filled moments occurred when she tried to teach me something. ‘Tried’ being the operative word there… but that wasn’t her fault. Despite her best efforts, I’m still terrified to thread the bobbin without her talking me through it. And then there was that time we made homemade mashed potatoes and, well, we always hoped everyone would conveniently forget our giggled confession that those black flecks were more Teflon than pepper. 😉
But one thing Kathy did successfully teach me is to love well. And she herself loved well until the very end, praying for those who came to visit her and speaking with every caregiver she encountered – about Jesus and the peace she had because of His grace.
Faced with a terminal diagnosis and only weeks to live, she accepted it with grace and trust in her Savior. God gave Kathy a special anointing to proclaim His love and truth in her final days. These final days were spent not focused on herself, but in listening and ministering to others.
She could do this because she knew this life isn’t all there is. She wanted everyone to know, though, that heaven isn’t a default destination. Because brokenness keeps us from entering God’s presence, we need to be rescued from ourselves. And we can only be rescued if we choose to be, by choosing with our heart and mind and soul to believe that the words in 1 John 4:10 are talking about each of us personally and individually:
This is real love–not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
Kathy knew that it’s not about us; it’s about loving each other well, just as God loves us. I am so blessed to have been loved well by her. ♥ Even though she is gone from us now, her work – and her story – continue on. We know one day we will see her again. The same Lord Jesus who dances with her now also sings comfort over those she left behind.