Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I will miss grandma Bobbie

Bobbie Heaton, 1924 - 2012

Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones.

This is not a subject that I often sidestep, and as a pastor I have had the honor to being with many families in one of the most difficult times in life.  When a loved one dies is not an easy or pleasant time, but it is important that we understand it from God’s perspective.

Monday was not the easiest of days.  The call came to our office at church that a friend of ours that we have been helping passed away sometime early Monday.  Larry has battled addiction and difficult situations for many years, and his death was a shock to all of us.  Yet I remember a couple months ago having a great conversation with Larry about his faith.  He not only believed in God, but his faith was solid.  Larry is in heaven because of the promises of God.  His addiction and even battle with depression was too much to handle.  I do ask that you pray for Larry’s family.

Monday was also the day that my grandmother, Bobbie Heaton, went to heaven as well.  As I write this I am sitting in parent’s living room in Tulsa, Oklahoma after driving the 1,100 miles from Virginia to here in under 24 hours.  My mom is also sitting with me in the room.  She has struggled with my grandmother’s health for a few months, and grandma’s death is a blessing even though it is hard.

Grandma Bobbie and my aunt moved into our home when I was very young, and she has lived with my parents for well over 30.  I have very few memories that don’t include my grandma.  She could be difficult and loved to argue, but I want the world to know that one of the most precious people in the world left the planet this week.

This lady believed in me.  Every time I saw her she would say, “I love my boy.”  Her words were affirming and so full of love.  My wife shared a story with me today of how she and my grandma would go for a walk 15 some years ago and share stories.  Julie says that grandma Bobbie made her feel like she was one of the most important people in the family.  She was kind and sweet.  She will be missed.  She spoke life into the family that she loved so much, and she believed the best in us and for us.

I now turn my attention to pray even more for my mom and dad as they have cared for grandma all these years.  She had only been sick a few months.  When I was very young, I remember grandma had cancer, ovarian cancer I believe, and she had surgery that completely healed her body.  Other than some problems with her eyes, grandma was very healthy until this past spring. 

When grandma passed away Monday evening, there was peace.  There was peace evident in her body, and there was peace evident in my family.  Death is painful.  Sometimes death comes in tragedy or in horrible ways.  Sometimes there is great suffering and pain.  And at other times there seems to be a fading away.  Grandma Bobbie faded away.  It wasn’t always easy as her mind was slipping and her health was declining, but I am so glad that I got to spend a few days with her earlier this month.  I wouldn’t give any thing for those days.  I also believe with all my heart that the conversations we had about heaven only a couple weeks ago became reality on Monday evening.  There was a reunion between loved ones.  Grandma met Jesus first thing.  I take joy, comfort and even excitement in that fact.

Death is difficult, but Jesus prepared this situation for those who know Him.  Heaven and hell are real, and we need to know that we know Jesus.  This is why He died on the cross for us.  He forgives our sin, He gives us meaning while we live, and He gives us the promise of eternal life with Him.  Heaven is prepared for God’s family.

I will spend the rest of this week sharing some stories and sharing about heaven, but I start with this post sharing with you that I will miss my grandma.  Yet I will see her again because I will go to heaven one day too. 

Pray for my family.  Again, pray for Larry’s family as well.  May God give us great amounts of peace as we claim the promise that each of has to deal with death, and praise God He has dealt with it for us already.

In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

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happy birthday, Julie

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