Having been brought up in a Christian family and making a first time commitment to God at an early age, nothing really unexpected had happened in my life when I was younger, until one evening in 2008. It was then that I found out that my mum had been diagnosed with cancer and was to go through a course of chemotherapy to make her better. From then, I (at an age of 8) became used to mum feeling unwell and going in and out of the hospital every few weeks for chemotherapy.
A year later, mum was moved to a nearby hospice as her condition didn’t improve and it was there, a few months later, that my brother, sister and I were told that in a week or so mum would meet Jesus face to face. In the dark days that followed I became more increasingly aware of God’s love for my family and I, and that when mum took her final breath, she would be with Jesus Christ in heaven. At 8 o’ clock on 12th February 2010, mum went through the gates of glory where she is now partying in heaven.
In the years that followed there was lots of crying and pain but I also had a great sense of peace over me as I knew where mum was. I also have great confidence that one day I will meet mum again and like the picture that God gave me a few months after her death, one day, I will run into heaven where she will be waiting for me, and I will pick her up and spin her around laughing. Later that year Dad met my future step-mum at a bereavement conference where God showed us that he had more plans for our family. A year later they got married and I also gained a step-brother and step-sister.
Through all this, God has taught me that it is not these experiences, trials or my emotional status that define me –to God I am not the “motherless daughter” or “emotional teenager” but instead I am a daughter of the Living King. It is because of the greatest love story of all time (Jesus coming to save me) that I know that I am loved, cherished and treasured by my true daddy in heaven , to whom I can cry out “Abba Father” and know that he listens to me earnestly.
So I encourage you that no matter what suffering or sadness life may throw at you, lift your eyes up to Jesus seated victorious in heaven, rise up and take heart for he has overcome the world.
Praise be to God for painting beauty with the ashes! Amen!