When my Nana passed away unexpectedly, I felt like I should be okay with it. Her life had become so small, so full of pain. I felt as if I should be relieved that she didn’t have to live that way anymore. As if loss can be justified to make it hurt less.
The loss of someone feels so unreal. I just can’t wrap my head, my heart, my logic around this reality that one day someone is here leaving voicemails on your phone, mailing you cards, giving you hugs, and then the next...they aren’t.
At the time I felt like this is where my faith card should come into play. Ya know? The moment where total shit hits the fan, yet somehow faith buffers the hurt, steps in and allows me to see silver linings or have peace or something. I wanted to be able to withdraw some of the faith I had saved up throughout the years and rub it like a salve on all the questions and hurt that the loss of my Nana brought to the surface.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing to withdraw. Turns out faith doesn't look much like a bank.
Everyone was saying, “she’s in a better place” and my response in my head was, “Is she? Like really. Is she in a better place? Or is this something we are just saying to make ourselves feel better?”.
I had never had to truly believe this part of the text. Never had to believe in the “place” Jesus said he is preparing for me. I had never been so smacked with the reality that this life, this body is just for a moment and that I’m supposed to believe in an eternity that I know few things about.
When I was maybe 9 or 10, my Nana heard I was singing for the first time on the big stage at church. So she took me to JCPenney and bought me a whole new outfit to wear, complete with cute little loafers and a butterfly headband that had small, metal wings that fluttered around from little springs. She was so proud of me. The last time I saw her she pulled out a bunch of worship music sheets she had saved from her church and had me sit on the couch with her, hold her hand, and sing.
My nana is my butterfly. So much of her life was misery and pain. Was being held captive by her past and her incapability to forgive. But now she’s free. The pain she experienced here mentally and physically is GONE. She doesn’t have to be in mental bondage by the horrendous things that were done to her. She doesn’t have to be convinced that no one wants her. Because the lies and pain that held her captive in a cocoon for so long don’t hold her anymore. She is a new creation.
She is existing in the reality that was always true for her, yet she couldn’t see. She is forever fully wanted. Fully known. Fully loved. And I’m realizing that her not being here with me, not being here to tell me that I shouldn't use products with bleach or my children will be born with no hair, her not being here to hold my hand when we walk through the crowd at Justin’s graduation, and her not sending me cards with her cutesy handwriting all over the insides…doesn’t suck for her. It just sucks for me.
And no matter how much I might miss her. I would NEVER ask God to bring her back. Because I know being with Him has got to be just too good. It has to be. And I barely get it. This whole heaven eternity thing. But what I know of this God. God Father. God King. God Creator. God Saviour. God Spirit. Is He is GOOD. Good in the purest, truest, most beautiful sense of the word. And I want Nana to experience all that goodness.
Eternity with God in this “place” that he is preparing for me is hard to believe. He told me so little about it. He spoke in riddles. He rarely gives me the black and white answer. It feels like all He has left me is this aroma. This beautifully, sweet and pleasing aroma that makes my mouth water and my soul hungry. I want it. I’m starving. I’ve got to have it. I’m following it. This aroma is the testament of something wonderful to come. Something that smells a lot like freedom, like no more fear, pain, or suffering. Like no more crying, no more living a life of sin, no more living a life with Him and yet somehow really detached. Like being fully loved. Like being fully held for forever. So I guess I’m trusting the chef in all this. I’m smelling and I’m believing that what He has in store is gonna be hella good. Because He is hella good.