It’s been two days without my dear 外婆 (that’s Chinese for Grandma on mom’s side). I’m still experiencing a state that’s somewhere between aching waves of sadness that hit me when I least expect it and reminiscent, fond memories that play in my mind capturing the last 15 or so summers we spent together. Or maybe more? I’ve lost count. When someone you love and cherish so dearly suddenly leaves the Earth without warning and without a chance for you to say goodbye, at first you think it’s some sick nightmare…and that all you need to do is wake up for the nightmare to end…and you can go back to life as you knew it. But the truth is, God hand-picked the day no one else could foresee.
Even though 外婆 seemed so healthy, apart from the occasional heart problem, everyone thought she would live to at least 90. I still have so many unanswered questions and thoughts racing through my mind. I’ll admit I was so angry with God – probably even angrier than the rest of my family – I couldn’t think properly or focus on my work for the first 24 hours. I knew deep down this anger stemmed from my sinful nature. And it wasn’t what God intended. I had no right to be angry for His taking my grandma home. My anger later turned into grief moments after I received prayer from a kind sister at church. And moments after during worship, God gently reminded me Child, it’s okay to grieve. In fact, I encourage you to grieve as long as you don’t dwell too much in the past without being able to move on.
I remember bawling for about an hour without ceasing the moment I received the news. I couldn’t contain the pain of never being able to hear her sweet, gentle voice again. I was most angry because I had planned to see her three weeks from now. He doesn’t deserve to take her away from me this close to our time together I thought selfishly. It isn’t fair. Actually, God IS fair – He is the most righteous King who makes beautiful things in His own PERFECT time. His plans are perfect which I continually remind myself. Even though I may never fully understand why my 外婆 was taken to heaven weeks before we’d spend our summer together, I know one day I’ll come to understand.
To be honest, I’m not completely sure if she was saved. My other grandma (the one who’s slowly losing her battle to Alzheimer’s) spread the gospel to her and my grandpa days before he passed away 10 years ago. My dear 外婆 didn’t know much about Jesus, but I have faith in God’s miracles. The fact she was baptized after accepting Him as His savior even though she never went to church at home means there’s hope for people in China not as fortunate as those of us in America who freely worship.
My 外婆 was one of the most gentle, generous, compassionate and gracious people I ever met. That’s an understatement. She was THE most gentle, generous, compassionate and gracious lady and everyone knew it. She never raised her voice, ever. Nor did she lose her joyful, peaceful spirit even after my grandpa passed away after battling two cancers. She maintained her dignified, kind, humble nature. She was strong so I know she wouldn’t want me to grieve too much over her passing.
Psalms 139:16 states, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” As His chosen people, Jesus knew us before He formed us in our mother’s wombs. I’ve learned in the last two days He doesn’t want for us to grieve too much about the things on this Earth that fade away, but instead to turn our eyes towards Him during those difficult moments.
I sincerely hope that you take a moment in each day to thank our Savior for the days He has given us and to not dwell too much on what’s down here (disclaimer: this is not giving you permission to BS your way through life disregarding any consequences). Look in awe at His eternal glory so you can eagerly wait for the day He returns again.
We all need more compassion in our lives. Think about it – do you know what people around you have been through? I’m betting not really. And social media or the occasional “hi” in passing doesn’t count. We all have scars inside that need healing. Most importantly, if we learn to NOT chase after temporary things or even place our value in seemingly good things such as our loved ones whose time will all come to their inevitable end, our momentary grief can turn into everlasting joy. Our Maker’s eternal promise to us is this: He’s got you. Meaning yesterday, today, and forever.
For Anyone Who’s Ever Lost Somebody,
He’s got you.
Lots of love,