Today marks four (4) years since the passing of my best friend, my beloved grandmother. Today is a bittersweet moment for just earlier this week, on Tuesday, I lost my first “little brother,” my 27-year-old cousin Rahdir. While I’m sad that he’s gone, I have peace in my heart because my trust isn’t in life nor death, for tomorrow’s not promised to anybody, but it’s solely in The Lord.
Too often we think that life is everlasting. It’s not until someone dies that you’re reminded just how precious life really is. It has an expiration date, just like everything else in this world. I thought this day would be tough to get through. Prior to it, I made a bunch of plans to get together with friends to help me mourn both their deaths, as well as to go visit my grandmother’s gravesite. Yet, I woke up late this morning feeling at ease and a sense of leisurely adventure. Something in my spirit told me to get up, get dressed and get out and enjoy the sunny day of life that The Lord has allotted me to see.
It’s strange how a week plagued with tragedy can turn into peace and joy in my heart. I tried to be sad, but it’s hard to be sad when your praising The Lord. All week long, I’ve been in heavy prayer, studying my bible, tuning into worship services by Pastor John Gray, reciting positive affirmations over my life and current circumstances, and singing uplifting, hymnals and songs to God. Staying in connection with My Father God has helped me feel the breeze of peace that His Holy Spirit provides.
So, instead of my original plans, I called the cemetery and made arrangements to come another day. I finished getting dressed, painted my fingernails a beautiful peach color, put on my eyeliner, mascara and nude lipstick, grabbed my sunglasses and headed outdoors for a drive. Although an outing wasn’t really in my budget, and I had no clear destination in mind, I still followed wherever The Lord led me. My drive took me all over the place. Dipping and weaving through traffic, taking a look at the beautiful greenery surrounding the parks and homes, I finally wound up in the city center. Since I hadn’t eaten all day, I parked the car, took a stroll around town until I found a place to have an early dinner.
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NLT)
As I continue my walk in Christ, I still find it interesting how true the above scripture is. What would’ve been a very sad week for me turned into a joyous occasion for I’m now choosing to celebrate life, instead of mourning death. I must say this didn’t come naturally nor easily. After having such a heavy heart for so long after the death of my grandmother, 3 1/2 years to be exact, this peaceful joy and celebration of life is quite refreshing; though I know it didn’t come because I deserved it. It came because of God’s grace, mercy, love and favor. When I took my heavy, bereaved heart to The Lord and allowed Him to work through me, to heal me, to change me, to strengthen me, and ultimately to position me to do His work, I found myself witnessing a miracle. He saved my life, filled my heart with joy, flooded my mind with peace and helped me to see death and life in a different light.
Prior to diving heavy into His Word (The Bible), I saw death as the ultimate end. I believed it was the final stage of life with no further means of existence. Now, I know that isn’t so. Death comes just as life grows, but death isn’t the end. Our bodies may die, but our spirits still live. Our home isn’t here on Earth, but it’s with God. Therefore, when we die, we leave our dry bones / bodies, and our spirits return to our original home, with The Creator, God. Only He can make our lives anew.
“The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones. He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. Then he asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?” “O Sovereign Lord,” I replied, “you alone know the answer to that.” Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”” (Ezekiel 37:1-6 NLT)
Today, I don’t have much to say but a HUGE THANK YOU to GOD!!! My Heavenly Father has been so kind to me. He rescued me from the darkness of my grief. He guided me through the wilderness of my broken heart. He restored my strength from the hardships of the baggage I was carrying throughout the years. He loved me when I couldn’t love myself. He chose me and gave me a vision, plan and purpose when I had lost all hope in life. He spoke to my dead situations, and then began my life. My life didn’t end when my grandmother died as I originally thought at the time. No, it’s quite the opposite. It began! I now have a chance to shape and lead my own legacy from the sacrifice she made and the favor of The Lord on my side. I now have dreams, visions, and ideas that I plan to fulfill in my lifetime. My God is truly an awesomely, good God!
So lastly, I ask for you to keep my family in your prayers for not everyone is taking death with such a calming ease. I’d also like to pray for any of you who are going through such a trauma as we are. May God renew the strength and happiness of the broken-hearted. May He grant them His favor, show them His peace, and lessen their pain. May they receive comfort in The Lord knowing that His is the ultimate source of power. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.
Sincerely with love,
Travel photography by IG user: @christofs70