I stepped out the door this morning to go to work. The grass was so green and beautiful. The air was a little crisp and the tree limbs were swaying so gently in the breeze. I heard the birds chirping all around. It looks like we could get a little rain today, and just in time to water those cilantro seeds that my son has planted in the back yard. I took a deep breath in and just thanked the Lord for all of His wonderful blessings. It’s going to be a wonderful day!
This day has not always been so wonderful though. I spent many years in mourning for the loss of my mother on this day. Today it has been 16 years since I saw her face. Now before you get all sad sap thinking about this, I would like to share a little story with you guys. I want to show you how today, right now, the same anniversary day, can be so wonderful and so much different than all the other April 2nd’s before.
When mom passed, I really didn’t know how to process it. It seemed like every fight or argument we had ever had was amplified. I would spend so much time thinking the “what if’s”. What if I had just obeyed her when I was younger? What if I had held my tongue when I was angry? What if I had called her and spent more time with her? And the list goes on and on. It was enough to drive you crazy. The more I thought about these things, the more it caused spite and hatred within myself. There was no end to it. Each year, this day would come around, and it was like the cycle would start over. I would think about her and just cry and cry.
A few years ago I was reading my Bible. I was reading about Moses’ death in Deuteronomy 34. Verse 8 says, “So the sons of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end.” I had not seen that before. They mourned for 30 days. I started searching out this time of mourning some more. In Genesis 50, when Jacob dies, the Egyptians mourned for him for 70 days, then it says the days of mourning were over. It also says that Joseph, Jacob’s son, mourned for his father for 7 days. In Numbers 20, Aaron passes, and it says that the people mourned for him for 30 days. The more I read, the more it felt like Yah was revealing to me that there is indeed a set time for grieving those who pass. The Father does not intend for us to be in a perpetual state of mourning for our loved ones. I went back to Deuteronomy 34 again to read the account of Moses’ death. After Moses passes, God buries his bones in a place that cannot be found. Was this so the people would not revisit his grave? Did God not want the people to set up some kind of shrine or memorial for him? I felt like maybe in my heart, this was what I had been doing with my mom. I was still in mourning for her, and in my heart and mind I had lifted her up. Maybe even skewed the memory of all of those arguments a little bit. When I thought about when we were mad at each other, in my memory I had created a one sided argument. I kind of blamed myself for everything and put her in a place where she never did anything wrong. I thought about these things for a while, then I continued reading on. The most beautiful thing happens to God’s people next, they moved into the promised land! Oh what a glorious thought came into my heart. The people mourned for their loved one for a set amount of days, and when that time was over, they moved on to wonderful blessings from the Father! HalleluYah!! My heart was overjoyed! If the people had stayed in the state of mourning, then the promises that the Father had set before them could not have been revealed. They would have been living in the past with no hope for the future! This was me! I couldn’t move beyond the loss of my mom because I hadn’t ended my mourning. I sat there and just wept and wept. I felt like a load had been lifted off of my chest. I prayed and thanked the Father for the time I had with my mom, and I thanked Him for showing me that it was ok to move on to “the promised land”. Oh, what beautiful treasures He has shown me since!
Now each time this day comes along, I am reminded not of what was lost, but of all that I have gained. I have a beautiful family and am surrounded by so many friends. My Dad has kind of taken on the role of grandma and grandpa. He had never been a big talker growing up, and now he just talks and talks. It feels like meeting him all over again. I laugh and think about how maybe since my mom was never at a loss for words, that dad didn’t get a chance to say what he wanted to say. They were a beautiful pair complimenting each other perfectly. I think about how my brother, sister, and I are closer than we used to be. I am overjoyed looking at my beautiful niece and nephews, and how the times I get to be with them are such a gift. I think about my in-laws, and what a blessing they are in my life. They treat me like I am their own and love me more than I could ever imagine. Oh how this day is a day of rejoicing now, and I can’t even contain the joy that is in my heart.
I have been thinking about all of my loved ones today. I know that I have friends who, right now, their loss is still so fresh. My heart aches for them and what they are going through. I understand that emptiness. I also know that I have other friends who may be like I was for so long, stuck in that grief for years. My prayer today is that they all understand that the time for mourning is a necessary tool for healing, but the Father did not intend for us to stay there. He has so much more incredible blessings to show us if we just move forward. I love you all, and I hope you are blessed by what the Father has put in my heart.