My grandmother passed away peacefully this morning in her sleep. She dealt with a bleeding disease called Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia her whole life and in this last year was having a blood transfusion almost weekly. She was experiencing other complications as well that made for a very delicate physical situation these last couple of years. She also had a handicapped right side due to an apparent stroke as a baby or young child - we're not really sure the cause. She had a CT scan a year or so ago and it was very revealing. She joked that she only had half a brain. That was her perspective on everything in life - her glass was always half full, never half empty. Despite, or perhaps, in spite of, her physical challenges and the social stigma of being "Bill Halbert's little crippled girl," she went to school, became a teacher, and had a family. She suffered additional loss and hardship including the sudden and violent death of my grandfather, but there was never a person who endured all of this as gracefully as she. She clung to her Lord and Savior with a simple, childlike faith, and found joy wherever she could find it. She loved reading books and that was a big part of her life especially these last years as her mobility decreased. She loved watching ice skating and wondered what it would be like to be able to do that or to even run. Her handicap kept her from experiencing those things on this earth. But now, she is no longer trapped in her marred and imperfect body. Oh, what she can do now and the love that she is experiencing in the enveloping arms of The Father. All wounds and imperfections are wiped away and there is such Joy. While I may be shedding some tears as I write this, they are truly tears of joy.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. - Ephesians 3:17-19
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:38-39
One of my earliest memories of my grandmother is going to church with her and Papaw and singing, "Ain't no grave gonna hold my body down." Praise God, that one day Mamaw will get her body back and it will be made new and perfect. Amen. This is for you mamaw. Love you!