I've been wanting to write this since shortly after Mother's Day last year, but I was always waiting for the words to come easily. This probably won't be as articulate as I'd like, but I think today it's too important to miss saying.
I had a bumpy childhood. We all have, to some degree. My mom was a single mom for some years. I love him, but Dad was and still is, sometimes very difficult. Which hampered my mom's ability to be the mom she wanted to be. She was tired, frustrated, and didn't have a lot of patience. She messed up sometimes. But she was obedient to God's Word. And because of that alone, for all her mistakes, she got it absolutely right.
She made sure that we always knew how very much she loved us, she asked for forgiveness when she needed it, but most importantly – she made sure we knew Christ. She didn't just take us to church. She had a relationship with God. And we did, too. She wasn't without sin. In fact, I'd venture to say she messed up with God and with us royally sometimes. But she stayed obedient, always going back to prayer and worship, and letting us see how important it was to be humble before God. To not turn our backs on our faith just because we didn't feel worthy or because a Christian life was too hard.
And here's the most important part: ten years ago, on May 22, 1999, at 11:00 p.m., shortly after getting off the phone with airlines and funeral directors and our home church pastor, I went to bed lonely but at peace. My sister had died. But I knew where she was and Whose she was. My sister was young. But she was ready. In the days leading up to her death, Lora emailed my mom about her maturing relationship with God. How, despite some trials she'd suffered recently, she was leaning on God, sure he was lifting her up. She was so in tune to Him that she called my mom one day in April to say that she was driving along that day and she could almost feel Jesus in the passenger seat. She was at perfect peace that day. She had no clue that in a few short weeks she'd be in her final place, alongside Him. None of us knew. But for all our grief and sorrow, my mom and I cling to the promise that we will see her again one day.
Here's the thing. To date I have not lived a worse nightmare than getting that phone call in the wee hours of May 22, 1999. We hadn't expected it. Couldn't have imagined it. We couldn't possibly have been prepared for that kind of shock and tragedy. But thanks to my mom's continued obedience to God's will, my sister was prepared for it.
My mom's legacy will not be the shouting or short temper. Among a multitude of her other awesome attributes, it will be that she introduced her daughters to Christ. I am grateful for my mom's obedience, my sister's faithfulness, and God's promises.
"Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you." John 16:22
Crystal, your post and the following comments have left me speechless! Your mom is an amazing lady! And you are too! Lora was too!
Wow. What an awesome mom. And what a legacy Lora was able to leave because of that awesome mom. I know you will be the same wonderful mom to your girls. And I’m thankful to have “met” your mom myself. She has been a great friend to me across the miles!
What a wonderful post! As moms, that’s our primary job, I think. It sounds like yours did it well — and you are, too.
That was a very beautiful post. I don’t think you mis-said anything and everything came out with great clarity and thought.
i found your blog when searching for some baby burp cloth patterns. and i have been looking further. i have to say how much i admire your earnest and thoughtful words. i gave my life to Christ thirteen years ago, and it was the most wonderful thing i have ever done. is it always easy just b/c i am a christian? no. but i know who i am and Whose i am. i am tearfully writing this as i try to imagine your pain (which i can not) but i stand by you as a sister in Christ and know that prayer for His comfort when things seem tough is the answer. what a blessing that your mom was able to give you uys the gift of not only knowing the Lord but actively living IN Him! God Bless you!
My dear friend I am so thankful that your mom taught you and your sister about the love of our savior. That is an amazing post!
Brianna Dupuy says
When I first read this post, I wanted to comment.. but could not find the words. So reading it for the third time…I finally found the words. This world is full of decisions, and choices. Award moments, and failure moments…. I don’t kow what it is like to be a mom… but I do know that it is probably one of the most important jobs in the world.. Hats off to Crystal’s mom for teaching her girls about Christ… because he is our greatest hope… our greatest triumph will be to get to Heaven. I am so glad that you had that “peace” Crystal when your sister went home… you hold on to your faith, and someday you will be able to look into your sister’s eyes. God bless you.
Erin Beck says
Man Crystal you write so beautifully about your life. I never got to meet Lora but through you I feel like I knew her and when I also go to Heaven I will know exactly who she is. It is amazing the comfort you feel when you have Christ in your heart about dying, I am not scared or worried because I know where I am going for eternity! You are an awesome sister and Lora is so lucky to have you keeping her spirit alive everyday:) Love you
I cried when I read your posts about your sister dying and being a donor. That’s so awesome your friend is able to receive the gift of life from a tragedy. God works in wondrous ways.
Grief is something that is not easy to endure. It never quite seems to go away…even after you don’t think you have any more tears left to cry.
Wow. I pray that my son can say the same about me, someday. Way to go, Crystal’s mom!
Oh Crystal – what a wonderful post. And then I read your mom’s comment and cried some more. It’s so nice to know that even though we blow it so often as parents the most important thing we can show/teach our kids is to love Christ. I pray your week is filled with His peace and love as you think about your sister!
i am sobbing right now, and absolutely grateful to our lord, crystal… you didn’t have to say these things, but i thank you for them — it *is* hard work, it *is* frustrating at times, but despite it all, it *IS* worth it. i remember telling lora after she died, sitting in the parking lot of our albertson’s grocery store, “well, i may not have known much *about* heaven, sweetheart, but at least i got you *TO* heaven!” thank u for acknowledging my efforts ((hugs)) — always, mom