God is so good.  We don’t always get what we want from Him - but we always get what we need.


As I reflect on my last days on this earth with my mother, I can bear witness to moments of mystery and blessing.


One night as I sat in the chair beside her, the comfortable one, I leaned my head towards her and prayed.  My prayer was about love - and how much I loved my mother and my God.  For a brief moment, my entire soul was filled with a discernible feeling - a wonderful feeling - I knew it was perfect love - God was telling me  - He loved us too.


The vigil beside mother’s sick bed was a long one - and I had prayed diligently for her healing, but if that was not God’s will, that He would let me be with her as she took her last breath.  The night she went home to heaven, I laid down about midnight and slipped off to sleep.  I assumed she would still be there in the morning.  At 3:30 a.m. I sat straight up and shouted to my Aunt Le Verle, who was sleeping in the chair beside Mom, “what’s that noise?”


Startled, Le Verle said it was nothing, but she said she did not hear my mother breathing any more.  I jumped up and ran to my Mother’s side, she breathed twice more - - and was gone.  The next two hours slipped by as we talked to her, prayed beside her, sang her favorite hymns and felt her hands as they cupped around ours.


Our heavenly Father did that for me.  If I had stayed asleep while she passed away - - it would always haunt me.  I have no doubt that it was Him that I heard - - although I can’t remember hearing any sound at all - - I know He woke me to bless me with the desire of my heart.


He continues to show me in small ways that He loves me and that He is in our midst in even the tiniest details.  I have been trying to find strands of pearls to use as a part of a table decoration at a family dinner - - thinking of the “pearly gates” of heaven and my mother’s love for pearls.  All I could find were iridescent pearls and was frustrated by that (because they weren’t so perfect).  Reading this morning from a book called “90 Minutes in Heaven,” Don Piper recalls the time he spent in heaven when he was legally dead for 90 minutes and then, came back to life.  He said: “One thing that did surprise me was that I anticipated that one day I’d see a gate made of pearls, the gate wasn’t made of pearls, but was pearlescent - - perhaps iridescent may be more descriptive.”  After a fitful, angry night - peace had come over me that I know I will need to face the future without my Mother.


What a great God that I know as personal Savior because my Mother took the time to take me to Sunday school and church growing up.  I may have strayed in my youth, but as I have gotten older, I have not departed from it.  And now my children know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.  That is the legacy mother left behind - eternal life in the presence of God.


Denise Holmberg