A Time of Remembering
by Ruth Smith
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and today has been a day that I have been remembering as mother, daughter, and grandmother.
This morning, I had the joy of watching my oldest granddaughter, Cari Trowbridge, receive her bachelor’s degree from Grace College. Not enough tickets available, but it was great to enjoy the service via online streaming. Last night my second oldest granddaughter, Courtney Trowbridge, received her associate’s degree from college. So it was a time of being a proud grandmother.
This afternoon, I joined my church family in remembering the life of a 16-year old member of our church, Makayla McKenzie, who went home to be with the Lord this week through an automobile accident. I didn’t know this young lady personally but had the joy of watching her contributions as recently as this past Sunday in a musical ensemble and in the recent Passion Play. It was obvious that her life was a tremendous testimony for the Lord wherever she was, whether at school, at church, or at home.
I was particularly touched by her notes from the last week’s youth meeting, which were shared by our youth pastor. Her final notes were: “Do all to the glory of God. The Lord is ready and waiting for me.” Little did she know how soon that time would come.
As I listened to the testimony of this young girl’s life and the loss this family had experienced, I couldn’t help but think how difficult it would be to lose your 16 year old daughter. Then my mind began to bring back many memories from my life.
When I was 8 years old, I remember the day when my mother came to school and the principal called my brothers, sisters, and me from class and we went out to the car where our mother told us that Daddy had died that morning of a heart attack. I cannot imagine what a challenge it was for Mother to be left with 5 children still in school, the youngest being 6 years of age. We lived on a farm, so the farm had to be run, but our oldest brother had just returned from the army, so he stepped in to run the farm. Our oldest sister was married and lived nearby.
But a year later, our oldest brother would die in a car accident. Yet, life had to go on. What a challenge for a young widow!
As the years passed, we all grew and married, it was 1993 when a call came from Texas. My nephew, a policeman on the swat team in Pasadena, TX, had been shot and killed leaving a wife and two year old son.
A year and a half later, my own husband, finally lost his battle to cancer, at the young age of 57. At this time, I had been teaching the ideas of Providential History for many years through the Pilgrim Institute ministry. Now I had to examine my own heart and see, do I really believe what I have been teaching when it applies to my own life – that God is in control? I searched the Scriptures and found great peace in His Word as I found several conclusions: First, death is only another step in life when we know the Lord as our Saviour. We simply step from life on earth into life in heaven with the Lord. Secondly, the Scriptures confirmed that it is God that gives life and He is the one who determines when it is time for the end of our life on this earth.
We may not understand the ways of the Lord, but it is He that controls the world, the heaven and earth are His. We must trust in Him.
The following poem was shared today, but is appropriate for all who have left this earth and gone on to eternity:
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard him call
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way
I found that place at the close of day.
If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss.
Ah yes, these things, I too, will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow.
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savored much.
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief;
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me
God wanted me now, He set me free.