Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shining the Light

I sit here tonight completely exhausted, both emotionally & physically.  The last week has been a whirlwind.  My sweet mama went to be with Jesus on Tuesday morning.  I was given the great honor and privilege to stand with her at the gates of Heaven.  Maybe one day I will recount all of the goings-on of that morning (and the days leading up to Tuesday), but for now, I want you all to know that she left this world the way she lived - she was worshiping her Savior.  She was barely responsive & had so very little strength left in her body.  I noticed that she kept moving her hands (which wasn't unusual when she would try to clear the secretions from the tumors in her throat).  At some point, it occurred to me that the song playing on her iPod at that moment had said something about "lifting my hands."  So when she tried to move her hand toward her face again, I held her arm up, just as she would have done in worship.  The next few minutes were so raw & tender - but I KNOW my mama was standing at His feet.  There is no doubt in my mind that He took that feeble, weakened hand and brought her right to His side, whole and healed.  I know she was singing out at the top of her lungs - something she hadn't been able to do well since her journey began, and not at all for the last couple of years.  My dad asked me to help him write her obituary, and I just kept thinking, "How do I sum up the rich life she had in one simple paragraph?"  The Lord reminded me that the most important thing to my mama was that the Light of Jesus shine, and that everyone know the hope that is the Gospel.  This morning we had the celebration of her new eternal life - some people say funeral, but I'm telling you right now, that was no funeral.  That entire service was pure worship.  I wouldn't have expected any less, though, because that is exactly the way she wanted it.  She & dad planned out the service together - well, I guess I should say, she told dad what she wanted & he agreed :)  There were two songs that she chose to have two special men sing, both by Chris Tomlin - one was "Amazing Grace - My Chains Are Gone" and the second was "I Will Rise."  I'm not going to try to find a link to them right now, but if you haven't heard them, go find them on YouTube - and be prepared to feel His presence!

I will end for now by posting her obituary (I will omit the parts with our names).  The love and prayers are felt.  There are no words that could express our gratitude for the way that you have all held us up through this journey.

(I also wanted to let you know that I have made my blog private for a while; but when I start writing again, I will open it back up.)
Cathy was born in Panama City, Florida in 1952, 2 months premature.  From the start of her life, it was evident that God’s hand was upon her.  She married her sweetheart John, in 1971 and they were blessed with three children.  After raising her children, Cathy served as the Music Secretary at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church.  She loved her work and served faithfully for 6 years until January, when her cancer forced her to resign.  The only thing more important than her family was her relationship with Jesus.  Throughout her life, she impressed on everyone who knew her an exceptional representation of God’s grace and love.  Throughout her struggle with cancer, she allowed God to use her life to bring glory and honor to Him.  What she desired more than anything was for her Lifesong to sing for Him.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to be made to Mt. Gilead Baptist Church (Walk Through Bethlehem) or Covenant Hospice of Dothan.