First, the question.
How does a mother prepare her young children for her own death while still grasping for a miracle? By the mere work of preparing for death, do we forfeit the miracle God might have provided if we had only just believed fully, intentionally, without a speck of doubt, that it was His will for us to be cured?
These are questions I've grappled with in the past, and once again find myself asking in the midst of news discovered during this past Sunday's service. I have asked myself many times why my husband's mother never informed her sons about her grave condition. From what I know, she knew well in advance of her death that her days were severely limited, and yet her death came as a complete shock to my husband, and likely his brother, too. I've never asked my husband's brother about this. He's far too fragile a man to ask, so I suspect he had no idea either.
For either of them, would the pain of losing their mother have been any easier if she'd have talked to them about what was to come? If she'd let them know that each visit they made to the hospital may have truly been the last time they'd get to talk with her, hold her, tell her they loved her, would their mourning process have been healthier, easier on them had she been open with them about her condition? Did she not have so much love to pour out on them to last them their lifetimes, but held back in seeking a divine miracle? That's the only explanation I have. She must have refused to accept the possibility of her imminent death, in belief that she'd be granted a miracle. Otherwise, surely she would have at least written her sons a letter filled with love and hope for their future. If she thought they were too young to speak of death to them at ages ten and twelve, then wouldn't a letter have been the least she could do for closure? After all, they'd already suffered the death of their father five years earlier. They'd experienced great loss once already in their short lives. I can only imagine how she must have clung to the belief of a miracle of healing. That God wouldn't leave her boys orphaned on this earth, that she'd endured enough heartache with the death of her husband, and that her sons had endured enough heartache already that God wouldn't take her just yet--submersing them into further heartache. Not yet, for the sake of her boys, I'm sure she clung to the belief that God would intervene with a miracle of healing her cancerous body.
But He didn't. She passed away without ever saying final heartfelt words to her boys either in person, or in a letter.
Surely God does not deny us His desire, even a healing miracle, because we strive to prepare our loved ones for what might be. I've seen the heartache that lingers decades after a death that loved ones could have been forewarned about, and am convinced that if I knew my condition was grave, I'd not deny it to my family. Oh, I'd be praying, seeking that miracle, but even if I knew that I would forfeit a possible miracle by preparing my children, I'd still prepare. Because that's all a miracle is before it's delivered.
Only a possibility.
We have no way of knowing what is God's will. But I do know that my children are worth more than my life, and leaving them with final words, final acts of love, for them to cherish all their life, is a miracle in itself that God provides just by giving us notice that our days on this earth are severely numbered. Is it not a gift we need to accept, no matter how difficult?
What would you do if you were told your days were numbered, but fought for God's miracle of healing? It's not an easy question. And what is right for one, would not work for another, depending on the individual's faith walk. It's not something we like to think about. But it does make me ponder creating/updating those letters to be hidden deep within the file cabinet. Does it you?
Okay, now that I've cried a tub full, onto the winner of Erica Vetsch's The Bartered Bride.
Congratulations, G.R.I.T.S!!! I've sent you an email, please email me your snail mail address. Thanks to all who entered!
Surrendering to Him,
23 Days until we widely celebrate Jesus's Birthday on Christmas Day around the World!