Friday, April 13, 2018
A Gift not Given
It has been nearly five months since my mother passed away. I sat in her hospice room on that last day and watched as her breathing grew increasingly shallow. I had prayed for some glorious outpouring of God’s presence to permeate the room when the moment of her crossing was near, so I waited expectantly. However, Mother’s passing from this life to the next was calm and peaceful. There was a brief moment when I thought I sensed another presence in the room, but for the most part her crossing went unnoticed, even by the people directly across the hall. My mother had suffered immensely over the past weeks! There were days when being in the room was more than I could handle. Though greatly loved by her family and friends, her life had been plagued with heartaches that had caused anxiety and depression. Over the last ten years of her life we had been robbed of the person she had been in her younger years as these symptoms took their effect upon her emotions.
As her daughter I had seen firsthand the depth of her faith. I knew how she had overcome obstacles in her life and longed desperately to see firsthand some evidence of her “faith being made sight.” It was a gift that God did not see fit to grant me. However, He did choose to give me a peace in the days and weeks following her death that passed my understanding. I truly learned what it means to “not grieve as those who have no hope.” A reality that continues to grow my faith even today! The last few years have been difficult in many ways. I have learned to deal with a child that has a chronic illness, taken care of my mother, worked full time, and gone through a major life transition with my husband’s job. Surprisingly to me this combination awoke in me a fear that I had no idea I even had a propensity to. I knew the genetic tendency was there, yet I was foolish enough to think that if I could just be spiritual enough it would never become my issue, as it had become in the lives of my mother and grandmother. I was wrong! I ran into a wall that I couldn’t pray or praise my way through. I too, began to struggle with anxiety.
The last year and half I have walked the very difficult path of learning to cope with my brokenness, but it has become a journey that I wouldn’t trade for anything! My reliance on God has reached a level that I never thought possible and I have learned to put my faith in knowing that there will come a day when everything will be restored back to its pure and perfect state. Does that mean that I never feel the clutches of anxiety threatening to pull me back under? Not at all! It is something that I will probably deal with for the rest of my life. What it does mean is that I have learned to trust in spite of my emotional state. I have learned that when panic and anxiety overtake me God will be right on the other side, not waiting to scold or reprimand me for not trusting enough but waiting with open arms of comfort and assurance that I am His and am deeply loved in spite of my struggle. I’ve learned that a broken Kayla is actually a nicer, kinder, more Christlike Kayla. Multiple times over the past few months my mind has taken me back to my mom’s deathbed. I have thought back over the life she lived despite being riddled with anxiety and depression. It has helped me to understand the person she was. She pressed on, kept her faith intact despite adversity and it grew into a faith that was unstoppable! The gift I was asking for at her passing was not my gift to receive. My journey of faith is still ongoing. God asks me to place my trust in Him sight unseen. One day my own “faith will become sight”.
As Mother’s Day draws close I honor my Mom for her unwavering faith. A faith that I know became sight as her spirit quietly left the room that day. Come to think of it, that’s just the way she would have wanted it!