Yesterday, I had the honor of sharing the story of my Grandpa's homegoing as we celebrated his life with many who loved him. I want to share it with you, because it is a story that needs to be told...
This last week has been one of the most terrible, and the most difficult. It has been full of much sadness, fear, instances of false hope, and a heaviness in realizing that my sweet grandpa wouldn't be here with us anymore.
But amidst the difficult, it has also been one of the most beautiful, precious, and joyful. My family and I had the blessing of spending my Grandpa's last 4 days with him. One of those, was a day just like any other with my grampy. If you don't know him, you must understand that he was extremely intelligent- which always led to a need to understand everything. So in the hospital, we needed to keep his oxygen levels up which meant he had to wear an oxygen mask. Well let me tell you, this mask was something that he needed to understand. All four of us, along with probably every nurse who had the pleasure of caring for him that week, attempted to help him "solve" this mystery. During my turn to try explaining, my gramps said, "Okay Mindy, we're going to lick this." These special moments, along with many other laughs and smiles, and endless I love you's that we shared, made those four days so so precious.
Although in the midst of it, the time felt unbearably heavy, I am so thankful for every second, because each one was laced with love and an indescribable evidence of God's faithfulness. Every step in the process of grandpa's homegoing was protected and planned out ever so carefully by our heavenly father. From the doctors with their careful and concerned explanations, to the nurses who took such good care of my grandpa and cared so lovingly for our family, there is no doubt in my mind that God was making sure that gramps was protected and treated with extra special loving care as He called him home.
Besides sharing some of these special moments - I need to tell you about the amazing way that God brought grandpa home. Those last moments, standing by my grandpa's side are moments that will forever be written on my heart. Not just because they were the terrifying and sad moments when I lost my grandpa- but because they were filled with an overwhelming sense of God's presence as He called my grandpa home in the most beautiful, most profound, and amazing way.
Standing next to my grandpa's bed, my sister and I on one side, mom and dad on the other- I clenched my sister's hand as we told him how much we loved him and that we were right there by his side. It was in that moment, when my mom leaned over to my grandpa and told him that he was going to meet Jesus, that I realized there was an overwhelming sense of strength, peace, and assurance in that room. After those tender moments of saying our goodbyes, the only thing that felt appropriate was to worship the Lord, singing songs to grandpa as he prepared to meet our maker. Lifting up our voices in praise, unsure of how or what songs to sing, it felt as if we had keep singing, as if that was the only way God had ordained for grampy to go to heaven.
Time went by, we continued to sing and came upon what we now know to be our last song. As we lifted up the chorus of the Revelation Song, which reads "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come. With all creation I sing, praise to the King of Kings. You are my everything, and I will adore you," it was as if the Lord was telling us this was grandpa's time. In unison each of our voices got louder as we proclaimed these words, and lifted up to the God who we know was very much present in that room with us.
During our last time singing the chorus, my sweet grandpa took his last breath and went to be with Jesus. As quickly as an overwhelming sense of panic and sadness filled the room as we realized that this man we loved so much was not with us anymore, an indescribably powerful sense of excitement, joy, and peace filled the room. God made it so beautifully clear that He was with us and that He had come to take the one that he loved so much, home to the place He prepared for him. I will never forget when my mom tearfully exclaimed, Daddy- I am so excited for you, you're there!!
The reason that I feel such a need to tell you this story is not to make you sad, but so that you might share in the joy and excitement of this amazing moment that God set out for my grandpa. And so that you might know that we have an awesome God who loves us SO much that not only does He give us strength, joy, and peace in the most difficult of moments, but that if we claim Him as our savior He really really does show up and take us home to be with him in heaven.
There's one last piece of the story that I'd like to share with you...
A few days after my sweet grandpa left us, I thought about that special moment as we sang the Revelation Song. My curiosity got the best of me as I knew that this must be in the book of Revelations if it's called the Revelation song. Googling the words, I can't describe the joy that came over me when I discovered what I'd found. Revelations 4 talks about the throne of heaven- what it looks like, what's there, what it sounds like- and in verse 8 it says, "Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,' who was, and is, and is to come."
I am so in awe and wowed by the beautiful moment in which my family and I had the AWESOME privilege of joining the heavenly hosts and ushering my grandpa into heaven.
My hope is that you might walk away from this celebration of my grandpa's life knowing two things: that my grandpa was an amazing, loving, generous, selfless, bundle of joy and that we have a reason to celebrate because our awesome God welcomed him home with a fanfare!