Miracles in midst of grieve

How do I speak, when the words get stuck in my heart? It has been 11 months since my mother passed away. I have told you about how much pain it has caused me, but I have remained silent about the miracles God did for me surrounding my mother’s death.

I don’t know where to start really. The pain is still intense. I have moments where I feel as if I can handle it, but I also have moments where I silently wish her to come back. I miss my best friend, I miss our conversations, I miss her love and her hugs, I literally miss everything about her!

But that is not the reason why I wanted to write this blog. When my mother passed away some amazing things happened. I rarely talk about it but at some point, I have too and there is no better time than the present.

Before my mother passed away, or even became sick, death was a very scary thing for me. When I was a teenager, I had some traumatic experiences during my grandparents’ deaths. I was always somewhat forced to watch them in their coffin, even when I didn’t want to. It caused me to get nightmares and ever since I haven’t been able to see someone who is diseased. When I was still working in retirement homes, years ago, I had to, but it always came with a huge amount of fear. So, when my mother heard she got cancer and not more than 4 months to live, I already started to panic. I live with my parents and my mother really wanted to stay at home until the funeral. For months I told everyone that I didn’t want to see her after she passed. I didn’t even want to be around the coffin, I was so scared. The miracle happened, the moment my mother passed away. God took all my fear away from me in the blink of an eye. Without thinking I walked over to her, touched her head and said goodbye. My brother and my dad were stunned. The girl who was so scared, did the unthinkable. God gave me the strength to say goodbye to my mom, before and, after she passed away. It was the first miracle.

But the miracles kept coming. Not only did I touch her after she passed. I also was able to see her in her coffin and to be at home until the funeral. All the fear I had built up throughout my life was gone. I was no longer afraid of death. God healed the trauma from my youth exactly at the right moment. But that’s not all.

I had prayed to God before my mother’s funeral, if God wanted to help me not to cry. I know it sounds a bit weird maybe, but I wanted to experience every part of the funeral. I didn’t want a single moment to be a blur. I wanted to know who came, what songs we sang, the words that were said, everything. On the day of the funeral I only cried twice. When mom was carried out of the house and when her body was in the ground and we said our last goodbye. In between I didn’t shed one single tear. God had answered my prayer. He had allowed me to experience everything and it was beautiful. Exactly the way my mother would have wanted it to be. At some point my sister-in-law asked me why I didn’t have to cry, since everybody else was, but I simply couldn’t. God had taken all my tears for that day as an answer to my prayer. But that’s not all. There is one more miracle.

After my mother’s funeral, for two months, I kept getting a vision. Every time I felt like breaking down, God gave me one vision. It was always the same one. I saw a house. The house was made of a white, glass like material I have never seen here on earth. It was a big farm-villa-mansion type house. The material looked exactly like the building in the painting ‘Supreme Sanctuary’ by Akiane Kramarik. But this house looked different. The setting was also very different. The house was at the edge of a forest. A small white fence was around the plot. It had green grass and against the house were rose bushes with roses that were bigger than I had ever seen. The roses where red, my mother’s favorite color! Every time I saw this vision, I heard Jesus say, “Do you remember that prayer you prayed when your mother was sick? The one in which you asked me to give her a special place in heaven because she was such a good mother to you? Well, this is it. This is where she is now. She is with me and she is safe. I will take good care of her”. The vision and the words gave me so much comfort that my tears instantly disappeared. It took the edge of my pain. I will Always be thankful to Jesus for the way He helped me in my deepest grieve. He really went out of His way to help me and to comfort me.

Jesus performed miracles when I needed Him most. He didn’t heal my mother like I wanted to and yes that made me angry. But He did help me through the pain. This is the reason why I wanted to share this story of mine. I want you to know that even though Jesus may not answer your prayer, He will help you through the pain. Jesus doesn’t leave you nor forsake you. Jesus is there in your deepest darkest hours, holding you in His arms, wiping your tears away. Jesus loves you, even when He cannot answer your prayer the way that you want Him to. You’re are safe in His presence and He loves you more than you could ever possibly know. Always remember that!

Into the ashes

Into the ashes

The dust softly lands,
on the lonely desert floor,
leaving the desolate state,
of dry wasteland,
exposed.

Formed in my mother’s womb,
my footprints are alone,
and I scream,
until the emptiness,
swallows my tears.

My hands collect the dust,
until it colors my hair grey.
Kneeled into the ashes,
my torn up clothes wait,
for a sigh of relief.

In the tears,
I see my own reflection.
In the pain,
I see my old age.
In my heart,
the desert overwhelms me.

Now these words remain,
from the dust I was taken,
to the dust I will return,
but without you,
I have turned into ashes,
today.

Into the ashes

“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
(Genesis 3:19, Holy Bible)

 

 

 

 

The rose blooms

The rose blooms

Tears bring forth joy.
Through the ashes of pain,
a rainbow colors the horizon –
hope is a glimmering in the sky.

When pain scars the heart,
screams whisper in silence,
until the earth breaks into an earthquake –
relief is the essence of tears.

An ocean of tears fills one heart,
but only through the sunshine,
the rain falls down like shimmering stars,
and the rose blooms in full bloom.

*When my mother passed away last Friday, I never thought that I would ever be able to write again. For how do you find the words in such times of grieve? How do you find the words when the woman who was your greatest love and support has gone to Jesus?
You don’t. God gives them to show you His presence and everlasting love. I am not alone! And there is a golden light at the horizon!

When the world turns upside down

At the moment the ground behind our house is a construction sight where new houses are being build. Somehow this is exactly how I feel my life is at the moment. A construction sight where someone is working very hard to establish something and I  don´t know whether or not I am happy with it. Somehow I feel like my whole life comes together at this particular moment. Things are about to change and I am not happy with it.

Thursday before Easter we heard that my mother has cancer. A week later we heard that it had already spread throughout her body and she only has a couple more months to live. It felt as if the ground underneath me opened up and I was swallowed into the deep earth. As if a massive earthquake turned my entire life upside down. Even today I find it difficult to deal with. My mother is the sweetest soul that ever lived (according to my humble opinion), and that this had to happen to her seemed unfair to me. I know that a lot of people are in similar situations, so why would my mother be an exception to the rule? When it is your own family, I believe that we are all biased in some ways.
But it’s not just my mother’s good heart. She is also my best friend. Since making friends was never an easy for me, I spend a lot of my time with my mother. We made trips together to Vienna and London, we always go shopping together or drink coffee/tea at a cafe. She is the first person I go to when I am struggling with something. I tell her literally everything. She is my greatest support and always encourages me to keep pursuing my dreams. She was the first to believe in my dreams/visions and my conversations with God. She was the first to accept and support my calling. As you can see, my mother means so much to me and sooner or later, it will all be gone.

Maybe I should feel happy that she is going to Jesus, to Heaven. But right now I just feel selfish and I want to keep her close to me. I am simply not ready to lose her. I am not ready to go through this change. In the last weeks I have yelled at God, screamed at Him, cried out to Him. My emotions are twirling like a wild tornado and I feel, like I will never be joyful again. Anger has slipped into my heart, a feeling of unfairness. God can heal her and He is not doing it. People say that God has His reasons but if you see others being healed over and over again, it feels slightly unfair that your loved one has to pay the price.

Looking back at photos from a year back, I see that the tumor we noticed last December, has been there for a long time. It made me wonder why God didn’t open our eyes sooner? Why didn’t we get a chance to save her? I talk to God on a daily basis in many literal ways (which is unique I know) but this makes no sense to me.  So many questions went through my mind. When the bible tells us to pray, believe that you have received it and it will be given to you, why doesn’t God answer the prayer when we do exactly that? I prayed, I believed and it was not given to me. Why doesn’t God intervene, when He clearly has the power to do so?

The only answer that comes up inside my heart, right at this moment, is because He loves us! God will not let us be tested above our abilities. Maybe, just maybe, God loves my mother so much that He wants to prevent her from getting hurt. Maybe bringing my mother Home (to Heaven) is the only right answer. And maybe, even though I do not feel it right now, God will help me through this. I will get through this. One day I will get up and smile again.

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.
Romans 8:28

God loves me. And it is that love that will guide me through this. The interesting thing is that as I was angry at God, I refused to talk to Him for a while. But God talked to me and said, “Gineke, talk to me”! You see, God rather wants us to yell at Him in anger as we tell Him exactly what is inside our hearts than hide and ignore Him. God the Father once told me, “When you cry, I cry. When you are angry, I am angry. When you laugh, I laugh”. God is one with our emotions. He feels what is inside our hearts. He understands all the emotions that are within us. When someone hurts us, God gets hurt too. So if there is one who we can confide in, it is God. And that is what I ended up doing. I told God exactly how I feel and it made me feel a whole lot better. I cannot grow by my own strength, I need the light of God to lift me up. Only with God I can get through this. Only with God there is hope even when I don’t see it yet.

In times of grieve

Exactly a week ago my grandmother (the last one I had on earth) passed away. Last thursday was her funeral. She reached the blessed age of 92. I loved my grandmother and I am so blessed to have some good memories of her. I know she is in a better place now. A place that she longed to go to. A place where my grandfather and my uncle were waiting for her.

In times of grieve we can be more sensitive towards words than at other times. So am I!  When Billy Graham passed away (also this week), people all over the internet were praising him for everything he has done. And he did do great things! But what stung me, was when I read in some responses that Heaven was throwing a big party right now and that Heaven was blessed to have him. No offense towards anyone but why do we think that Heaven will be happier with someone who had the opportunity to do more for Jesus? I am only being honest. It bothers me. Not everyone gets the opportunity to work in such a big way for Jesus. God has a personal plan with everyone. But when I lost my grandmother and I read these praises, I found it hard to take in. Was Billy Graham better than my grandmother? Was Heaven throwing a party when Mister Graham entered but with my grandmother, no one cared that much? I was struggling with this last week!

Believe me, this is not about Mister Graham or my grandmother. It happens with many famous or well-known people. When someone who was well-known passes away, Heaven is so blessed to have him/her. But we don’t say these things about a homeless person on the street or our nextdoor neighbor! And I get this deep sense of standing up for these people. Jesus always said, “The first will be the last and the last will be the first in the Kingdom of God”. And with this in mind I get the deep feeling to defend the unknown. Maybe it is my grieve speaking right now. But in the eyes of God everyone is exactly the same.

As I was struggling with these thoughts, a certain bible verse came to my mind that gave me a sense of peace. It is Matthew 11:11 which says, Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Jesus said these words shortly before John the Baptist was beheaded by King Herod. Jesus loved John. They were even related in a sense. Jesus’s Mother Mary and Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, were cousins. But Jesus has in mind that in Heaven, everything is different than here on earth. God the Father does not treat one better than the other. For the Father, everybody is equal. Here on earth we establish a certain hierarchy. The one who does the most for God is somehow also the best. But to me it was such a great comfort to know that God does not look at people this way? My grandmother was not an evangelist. She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother. She was loved by many but did not have many conversations about Jesus. She was a believer, a sinner saved by grace, but not a well-known evangelist. And still God is as happy to have her in Heaven as He is with someone like Billy Graham (or Henri Nouwen, Thomas A. Kempis or anybody else). This thought gave me peace and understanding. Maybe I have always known this but I was grateful that God pointed it out to me anyway.

Like I said, we get very sensitive in times of grieve. Things that normally don’t get to us, do now! Normally I would have ignored the whole thing but now I couldn’t. And in this struggle, God was right there with me. He was comforting me and helping me to see things in a different way. Grieve can throw a blanket over our eyes and make our sight foggy. It can prevent us from thinking with a clear mind. In these moments of grieve, we may know that Jesus wants to comfort us and help us. We do not face this alone. We are never alone. Jesus love will always be with us. Even when nobody sees us.