“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” Hebrews 13:14 NLT
I can tell it’s March.
Even without a calendar.
The air feels like home.
That’s when I’d head back to Mama’s to celebrate her birthday.
And there she was, waiting on the front porch for her kid, with a smile and a welcome.
Our routine rarely changed…birthday cake and bear claws, thrift shops and kitchen table talk.
These days, I celebrate here while she celebrates in heaven.
I can only imagine…
Perhaps you can relate.
I see you, sweet friend.
So, what do we do when the air feels like home?
After her death, I’ve wondered (and worried) if I would forget things about her….the “What would Mama do?” stuff as well as her gentle voice.
Yet, I’m discovering quite the opposite.
When I’m cooking, I hear her soft whisper over my shoulder, “Don’t forget to stir!” When I’m in my car, I recall her foot pressing hard against the passenger floor mat with “I don’t want to tell you how to drive, but…” and I’ll laugh out loud! And, when loneliness pops in….because it will…I can feel her love wrap around me like the biggest hug.
Death can’t wipe away what love has stored away.
Home sweet memories that reside in our hearts.
I love that, don’t you?
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 NLT
I was with Mama when she took her last breath on earth and was surprised by one of my emotions.
I felt overwhelming joy for her.
Joy that her cancer was gone. Joy that she was in heaven with her Savior. Joy that I would see her again someday.
Joy in our grief is a comforting gift from God.
It doesn’t diminish or disregard our loss.
Not one bit.
Instead, it invites us to celebrate what they meant to us.
What they still mean to us.
Sometimes…most times…that is much easier said than done.
That’s why we have a heavenly helper.
His name is Jesus.
His comfort and love is beyond our comprehension.
And, yet…amazingly familiar.
It feels like home.
“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b NLT
I was a little girl the first time I heard a preacher say, “This place really isn’t our home. Heaven is.”
Honestly, heaven seemed pretty far away at nine years old.
But, at fifty-nine?
That’s a whole different story.
Over the past year, I have mourned with friends and family who’ve lost their loves.
And, oftentimes, fear shows up in the wondering.
Slithering in, trying to steal away hope.
But, it’s no match for our Heavenly Father.
Fear can’t slip through the grip of His nail-scarred hands.
He promises forever life to all those who believe in Him.
He removes our anxious thoughts and replaces them with heavenly anticipation.
Then, we’ll finally catch a glimpse at what that preacher was saying…
What Mama and our loved ones who’ve gone before us already know with Hallelujah certainty.
This place really isn’t our home. Heaven is.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:4 NLT
Tomorrow is Mama’s birthday.
I’ll enjoy a bear claw like I always do (www.tinasavantgibson.com/bear-claws-birthdays-beautiful-memories), along with an endless cup of love.
And, I’ll remember and celebrate and anticipate.
Grateful for those Home Sweet Memories that live on in my heart forever. XO
Spread your joy,