From the Heart

5 Years Spent At Home

img_0201You know how a song can connect you to many emotions and memories? Like when you hear the Full House theme song and instantly are transported to Friday nights and eating pizza on the living room brown shag carpet? A few days ago I had one of these song-connected moments. It happened while putting my mini-van into reverse. I had just buckled in 4 kiddos after enjoying a “coffee date” with my beloved Aunt and Uncle at their home. We had just spent time laughing at shared memories of their daughter, my cousin, my best friend. I say memories because that is all we have left. Five years ago, today, she left this earth to start her eternity with Jesus. At just the age of 24, she was lucky enough to be called home to heaven. Now, through the Caravan speakers came the lyrics: “God is Good.”

At the beginning of November, five years ago, my husband bought John Waller’s CD “As For Me and My House”. Per his tradition with newly purchased albums, he put the CD into my little Corolla so that we could learn the lyrics and simply enjoy new music. On Sunday, November 13, 2011, we packed up the Corolla and our one year old and set off to see my best friend, my cousin, in the ICU of our hometown hospital. For the duration of the 4 hour drive, we listened to John Waller sing about our God. I usually have trouble concentrating on song lyrics for more than the first verse and chorus, but there was one song on this album that gave me the chills and comforted me during this long, cloudy, and dark drive home. The name of the song is simply, “God is Good.” Please check it out here: Lyric Video of “God is Good” by John Waller

Hours after contemplating the truths brought forth in this song for the first time, my best friend’s heart had stopped and she was gone. She was with our good God, but I did not feel good about it. Thankfully God’s goodness does not depend on how we feel.

So, the other day, as I put the van in reverse, waved goodbye to my uncle, and my now 6 year old was asking what I was going to make for lunch, this song brought a rush of memories back to me. You see, this CD played on repeat for the entire week that I helped sort some of her belongings in her apartment, planned her funeral, and buried her. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, these songs, particularly “God is Good” started cementing too new memories. Good memories. How are these good memories? Because God blessed them. People prayed for us and my family and friends started making lasting connections that would bless us for years to come. Her funeral was a blessing to all present. The pastor presented the life-saving gospel to an overflowing, grieving, confused congregation. Lives were changed. I cannot explain how we all got through that week other than that God was in control and He makes all things good.

“When life doesn’t go the way I thought it should, sometimes it’s because, God is good.”

Five years later, I wish I could have a “coffee date” with her and tell her all about God’s faithfulness in the lives of her parents, her friends, and her cousins. She would be tickled!

I want to ask her about heaven.

I want to tell her about the latest election…no wait. She doesn’t want to know! 🙂

I want to tell her that her death has played a crucial role in developing contentment in my heart. While she was living, she was a great example of contentment. ( I never once heard her utter, “I’d really like to get…” or “I just wish I had…”) But in her passing, I was reminded of this even more: this world was not her home and neither is it mine. The material possessions we strive for here are meaningless. Her roommates and parents could attest to the saying, “You can’t take it with you.” They were the ones making decisions about all of her earthly possessions…left behind. Call me crazy, but I regularly de-clutter my home while thinking, “What would my husband or family think of this mess if I died suddenly today?” I giggle as I do it and it makes throwing things away so much easier! This whole experience has also affected my approach on spending. The best purchases are things that can be passed on to others to aide them in their time of trudging on this earth. I was blessed to inherit her sewing machine (which I use ALL of the time) and pieces of furniture that hold mine and my children’s clothing. I’m so grateful that my family can use these earthly treasures and still be reminded of her every time we use them.

Today there are purple flowers on my table. (I have never met anyone more enamored with the color purple than her.) They are making my earthly dining room in my earthly home look so pretty and full of life. I can’t help but think, “What do the flowers in heaven look like? Has she really spent five years in her real home? What is time even like there?” I can’t wrap my mind around it.

I also can’t fully comprehend the reason for God’s goodness but I’ve certainly experienced it time and again in the last 5 years.

“Thank you, Father. You are higher and You are always good.”

One thought on “5 Years Spent At Home

  1. Sheila- thank you for the wonderful reminder of who I belong to. As I sit this morning in the quiet and watch the gorgeous sunrise, I was reminded of God’s goodness as well. Thank you for sharing your blog with us this morning. Love you!


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