It seems in life that things go in circles. We start off as babies, having our parents raise us and take care of us, then we become parents ourselves, raising our own kids. Our kids become adults and then we get the joy of grandchildren! While in the midst of loving being “Nana” to two wonderful grandsons, I also have the responsibility of taking care of my own mother who has suffered for years with Parkinsons. It is amazing how similar the responsibilities are taking care of grandkids and taking care of a disabled, aging parent.
My sister and I decided at the last minute to take my mom on a short road trip to Williamsburg, Virginia. I was driving the car, giving my sister a list of things to pack for my mom: the wheel chair (for what used to be a stroller), a bib, mom’s sippy cup, her special silverware for Parkinson’s disease, her depends, her wipes. Is all of this sounding similar to when we were taking care of our own children?
My mom is now closing in on the end of her journey here on earth. We just admitted her into hospice a couple days ago. While my mom was in the hospital, one of my mom’s aides gave my mom this adorable stuffed lamb. While my mom laid in the hospital, she held onto that lamb as a child would, hugging it close to her heart.
I am so blessed to have a praying mom who has known the Lord for 50 years now. Even though she is a Christian, she still is nervous about dying. I am praying about how I can minister to her and comfort her during this time. I have always pictured myself walking into heaven to meet Jesus, with Him already in heaven and me walking toward him when I enter those pearly gates. I pictured entering heaven by myself and meeting Jesus when I got there.
The day after my mom had received that cute little lamb, I was having my quiet time and came upon Isaiah 40:11. It says “He tends his flocks like a shepherd. He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart.”That so ministered to me! Jesus is omnipresent. He can be in heaven waiting for us and He can be carrying us into heaven at the same time!. In John 14: 2-3 it says “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you also may be where I am.”
I never caught that Jesus will be with me and ushering me and my loved ones into heaven. We won’t be going into heaven alone. John says that “I will come back and take you to be with me”. And then I had that beautiful image of my mom hugging that little stuffed lamb in her arms close to her heart. In the same way, Jesus will be her shepherd and hold her in His arms close to His heart, as He ushers her into heaven to be with Him. I am so grateful that God gave me that image and that I could share that with my mom.
I love that God gives us little word pictures and images to share His love with us, to enlighten His word and make it a little clearer when we need it. He is so faithful! I hope this little image of Jesus holding us as a precious little lamb close to His heart as He carries us and our loved ones into heaven gives you comfort.