Thursday, December 24, 2015

When Everything Stops

The world stopped the night a baby was born. Everything was stopped to hear the quiet cries. Men looked for signs in the stars to find Him. They brought gifts. The world was waiting for Him. People before Him were waiting to have their sins paid in full. Priests sacrificed animals, but God had a bigger plan.

God knew exactly what He was doing. 

He gave His only. 
He'd do it again for just one person.
Without His birth, we have no redemption.

 Christmas is important because it points us to Easter. Without His birth, we have no resurrection, no eternal life. He always has a plan even when the world stops for the quiet cries of a baby.

My world stopped Tuesday when we learned that my Grandma passed away unexpectedly. I've lost people in my life and have had people come and go in my life. But when someone is constant in your life, it's easy to take them for granted, always expecting them to be there, and her passing was so unexpected. My mind has a hard time adjusting to this new normal. I thought she would be here the day we would make a baby announcement or the day we could move her into a home, so we could take care of her. She has been at every important single event in my life. I can't envision a holiday, graduation, dance recital, wedding or family reunion without her. Adjusting to a new normal is going to take time. 

Grandma was ready for our annual Christmas Eve gathering. Her fudge was made; her special outfit was picked out, she had her list of Christmas gifts, she was ready for annual pick up to head over to my parents for their annual Christmas Eve party. She talked to her neighbors with anticipation about how excited she was to see her grandchildren. I was so excited to see her and couldn't wait to discuss the latest Hallmark movies for this Christmas season. We always talk about our favorites, which ones were duds and ones that we're tired of them playing on repeat. I was looking forward to getting more selfies with her, as this summer she had a big moment and got her first two! I had big plans for Christmas Eve too.

Instead, she was extended a different invitation to a completely different party that I didn't get an invitation to. In fact, she was extended an early invitation to the biggest Christmas party. The preparations were done, her outfit was picked out years ago, the choir was singing, and she was ushered into a place filled with complete peace. Grandma was given a white robe, redeemed was written on her heart, she heard him say "well done faithful servant," as she joined the rest of the saints and began worshiping. Grandma is at the biggest Christmas party ever. It beats the fudge she makes, the Christmas presents she could give and the chats we could have. God called her home where she is walking on streets of gold.

I am heartbroken.

My world has stopped.
I don't want to talk.
I want to deny Christmas is here.
I don't want today to be Christmas Eve because it means this is real. She isn't here. 
It isn't a bad dream. 
This will be our new Christmas Eve.

If I'm honest, I struggled with her final resting place, and I've had to work through it. Finally, the Lord gave me peace and pointed me straight to scripture to let me know he had her. She is with him. Earth isn't our final home. We are always looking for our final destination, which was never meant to be here, but sometimes in our human minds, it can be hard to be joyful and rejoice, especially when we're not sure. When the end of life question comes into place, we all want to believe that it's Heaven, but I wanted to know, and The Lord provided me that answer. Relief has washed over my spirit, which has brought me peace. 

When life stops, it doesn't mean it's a bad thing. It causes us to think, search, be intentional with our actions, it begs us to rest, take care of our weary souls and simply STOP.  If you've never known the love of God, I extend his invitation. He wants you to know that he loves you unconditionally, and he doesn't want you to wait another day without knowing him. He longs for a relationship with you. 

As I move forward today, I know things will not be easy, I cling to the fact that eternity is my home, that Grandma is at the best Christmas party in the world, she has met her savior face to face, my great grandma was sitting there at the pearly gates cheering her on and it's okay my world has stopped. It should stop. I should stop and celebrate a birth and a loss. Things will move on again and until they do, it's okay.

Until we meet again, Grandma, I hope your first Christmas in Heaven is beautiful. I can't wait to see you on the other side.
Love you,


Unknown said...

We love you and God will give you strength these next few days and months. God has a reason for taking her home at this time. We may not understand his reason but have faith and happy she is in heaven and watching over you.

Unknown said...

God's timing can be such a difficult thing to grasp. He understands the anger, digesting the loss and directs you to His word for direction and comfort. Grief whether expected or unexpected is extremely hard and a time to continually put everything in God's hands. "I will never leave nor forsake you". Read Psalms 23. This time is a reminder that we must live every day to its fullest. Your Grandma is in good company in Heaven - all of my grandparents and Mom. Lean on your family and on God during this time. We love you guys!

Sarah said...

Thank you. I can feel your warm hug and your wonderful laugh!

Sarah said...

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I know God is near. We love y'all too.