home going

mom-oval-photoOn the 13th of September, at ten to seven in the evening, my Mom was ushered into heaven to be with Jesus forever.  It was a two-and-a-half year battle with cancer that is now over.

Everyone keeps saying “she lost her battle” – but I just keep hearing my spirit shout that she won the battle!  I know that not everyone will agree with me and that’s fine.  I understand, physically on earth, her body didn’t win.  But she has won.  Right now, my Mom is completely healed and set free from every disease, pain, fear, and worry.  She’s victorious!  She’s perfected!  She’s glorious!  I call that winning.  Since the whole goal of our life is to live for Jesus and be with Him forever… she wins.  Mom won the battle.  “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  Philippians 1:21

One of the things my Mom always said to me my whole life was that she couldn’t wait to be with Jesus one day.  She so looked forward to the day when she got to go to heaven, and now her greatest desire has been fulfilled.

The Father upheld us the entire time.  The peace that passes understanding is a verse that I’ve often read in the Bible.  I knew it, I believed it, but I was a little shocked when I saw that peace reigning in my life.  In my head I knew I should expect it, but when that peace was there, I was so surprised by it.  It truly is a peace that passes my understanding.  When everything else was full of worry and fears; I found myself at peace, simply trusting the Father and resting in His care.

I want to share with you the story of Mom’s passing from this earth and her entrance into her heavenly home.  In all that happened, especially that last evening, Father God was the architect.  I have truly seen how He makes all things beautiful, even death.

Mom had been bedridden since the 24th of August, it was hard to watch her be in that state and growing weaker.  Those three weeks were the most difficult of my life.  I hate pain and to see people in pain!  I kept praying for her and asking the Lord to do a miracle of healing, one way or another.  On Labor Day (the 5th of September), I was talking to the Lord and the Holy Spirit told me that “it would happen” on Tuesday.  I wasn’t exactly sure what “it would happen” meant to Him, to me it meant either that the miracle was happening on Tuesday, or she was going home on Tuesday.  Either way I was expectant, and the next day (which was a Tuesday) passed with nothing happening.  But it all did happen one week later on a Tuesday.

A few days after Labor Day, my best friend Rachel said she wanted to come over and do some worship with us.  She asked me to let her know when to come over, as I would know when it was the right time.  On Monday, the 12th, I knew it was the time to worship, so I asked Rachel to come the next day.

Since Sunday evening (the 11th), Mom became virtually unresponsive and remained that way the next few days.  On Tuesday, as evening approached, I already sensed a change in the atmosphere.  I believe it was the weightiness and the nearness of heaven.  Mom continued to sleep peacefully.

Rachel arrived about 6:40pm and we went to talk with Mom.  It was then that Mom actually opened up both her eyes – and she opened them wide, which she had not done in several days.  You had a sense she was already seeing the other side. I asked Mom if she wanted to worship Jesus with us, and she said “mmhmm” in agreement.  We went to the room with the piano and Dad stayed by Mom’s side.  Rachel began to play and sing the song “No Fear in Love” by Steffany Gretzinger.  As these words poured out over Mom, “There is no fear in love,” she slipped from this world into the next.  It was as simple as that.  One moment she was here, the next she was gone.  Afterwards, a friend commented that she began to worship Jesus here on earth and ended the song in heaven.  Beautiful.  It all happened in such a peaceful way that only the finger of God could have orchestrated it all.  He makes all things beautiful, even death.  There was no struggle, there was no fear, there was simply letting go and settling into the loving arms of Father God.

My sister and her husband arrived just as it was all happening.  Kristin later said she had a sense it was going to happen that night.  My Dad was also planning to sit up in the chair all night by Mom’s bedside.  We all knew beforehand.  Even my niece Kaitlyn, away at college, worked five hours and finished up her weekly assignments on Monday, because she felt like she really needed to get them done – God cares about it all, even the little details!  A week before, I had to change my return ticket to Ukraine, since it was scheduled for the 10th of September.  I didn’t know what new return date to pick, but the Holy Spirit impressed upon me the date of September 25th.  I had a sense everything would be over by then and I could leave the beginning of October.  This is also true, since the funeral is on the 24th and everything will be over by the 25th.  God in His goodness takes care of all the details.

Now, with it being less than a week after Mom went home to heaven, I can say it’s been difficult.  I do cry often.  A friend of mine said this process is “grieving with hope.”  It’s so well phrased because that is exactly what it is.  I grieve because I miss her. I grieve because of all the things she won’t be around for.  I grieve because I won’t hear her laughing again until I’m in heaven.  I grieve because, she’s my Mom!  Yet, I have hope.  Yet, I rejoice.  My Mom has seen the face of Jesus!  She’s heard His voice!  She’s looked into His loving eyes!  She’s touched His nail-scarred hands!  She’s seen the Father in all His glory!  How beautiful!  How wonderful!  How could I ever want her to return after she’s seen the face of Jesus?!  I could not ask her to leave!  I could not ask that of anyone.  I know my Mom is dancing, singing, laughing, and rejoicing in heaven right now.  There is not an ounce of doubt in my mind – I know where she is.  I’m confident in this fact – Mom is with Jesus!  How awesome!  And soon and very soon, we will all be together again, worshipping the King, reveling in His majesty, and enjoying His presence together forever.

See you in a little while Mom!  I could not have asked for a better Mom than you!  I’m proud to be your daughter!  I love you!


No Fear in Love – by Steffany Gretzinger (click to listen)

Stir in me a love that’s deep

A love that’s wide, a love that’s sweet

And help me, Lord

To never keep it to myself

And if my heart should dimly burn

And if my feet should fail to run

Call my name and I will come right back to You

There’s no fear in love

There’s no fear in love

I wanna stay close to You

It’s really that simple

I wanna stay close to You

Just as simple as this song

I wanna stay close to You

It’s really that simple

I wanna stay close to You

My whole life long 

3 Replies to “home going”

  1. Leann, this is beautiful. Your mom is proud of you. Praying for you and your family as you walk through grief, with the Almighty Counselor at your side. Hanging onto the hope to see her again and for us to be with Jesus.


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