I crave your prayers and beg your patience as I try to write a very difficult entry for me. Believe me, I didn’t want to write about this moment in my life at all. However, due to things that have happened this week, I believe God is telling me it’s time to tell this story. The first nudge was a devotion I heard by Beth Moore; the final was an episode of The Chat with Priscilla Shirer on YouTube. God knows writing has always been my way of processing and dealing with things in my life, and He knows I need to do this now.
It’s been two years and ten days since my Uncle Donnie passed away in the early hours of a Saturday morning. He and my aunt had just had a house built next door to my parents, and he had brought up their last load of belongings just a day or two prior. That Friday evening after work, we all sat on the porch and talked for hours before saying goodnight and going our separate ways. More about that later. Uncle Donnie wasn’t feeling well but insisted that it was just indigestion.
I was staying in my parent’s guest bedroom, and just after midnight, my aunt pounded on the door startling all of us into wakefulness. She had come running for help when she realized my uncle had stopped breathing. As we all ran back to their house, my mind couldn’t fully grasp what was happening. All I could think was, “Dear God, help us!”
I remember kneeling by my uncle’s head, patting his face and calling his name hoping, praying for some kind of response while the others performed CPR. There was none. I ran outside to call 9-1-1. The whole time I was waiting for someone to answer, for the call to be routed through dispatch, for the ambulance to come, I asked God, “What are we going to do?” I knew already my uncle was making his way to Heaven, and I was asking, “How are we going to get through this?”
God answered. It wasn’t audible, but I heard Him say, “I’m here. You are not alone. You are going to get through this with Me by your side. You will make it through because I have all of you in My hands.” Isaiah 41:10 has always been my verse, and I repeated it over and over. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Despite the chaos and heartache happening in that moment, I had a moment of peace. I just kept crying out to God, and He just kept us all right there in His hands as we grieved.
We didn’t know it at the time, but God had given us a precious gift in that last evening with Uncle Donnie and our conversation on that porch. We all talked about Heaven. God knew Uncle Donnie was coming to Him early that next morning, and He wanted it fresh in our minds just exactly how good it was going to be. Believe me, knowing that Uncle Donnie had been saved through the blood of Jesus Christ made his passing a victory! Through Jesus’ blood, Uncle Donnie had experienced victory over death. He had passed through that veil into Heaven and was face-to-face with Jesus. We mourned for ourselves, but we celebrated for him.
Reading the posts people wrote about my uncle proved that his life spoke Jesus’ love to everyone he met. There’s no doubt in my mind that Jesus greeted him with, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” He was so dearly loved by us all, and I can’t wait to see him again!
In the days that followed, I prayed for God’s strength to get us all through. In the weeks that followed, I prayed for God to take the nightmares about that night away. He did. That brings to me to why I’m writing this now.
That devotion by Beth Moore was on Romans 8:28, which says, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. As Beth explained, this is Bible 101, and we have gotten so used to spouting these words over and over that we don’t even hear what God is saying to us in them. That hit me so hard!
Suddenly, I realized again that God has given us this promise that if we love Him, He is going to make all things work for our good. I am clinging to that promise as I write because I’ll be completely honest. It’s hard to see the good in the loss of a loved one or whatever hard time we may be facing.
So here I am praying for God to open my eyes to see the good, thanking Him for the salvation that makes that good possible, and asking that if you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, please let me introduce you to him.