Keith and Sherry were introduced into our lives when we began searching for someone to keep Asher as a baby. We didn’t really know them well at the time, but she kept coming to mind as a possibility. Our prayer for childcare was to have someone love our children and teach them about Jesus. Sherry surely did that and more. Our relationship with Keith and Sherry has blossomed into one that is very important to us and we can see how God blessed us with placing them in our lives.
I asked Sherry to write to you because I know there are many who will be able to relate to the pain and the joy in her story. Her mom was affectionately known by my kids as “Gran”. Gran would always meet them at the park and feed the ducks with them. They loved spending time with her and I know she loved it as well. I’m sure the pain of losing a parent is very difficult and I hope by reading these words today, you will find hope and encouragement.
I was honored that Amber asked me to be a guest writer for Testimony Tuesday. Although I have never “blogged” before, when she asked, I knew exactly what the Lord wanted me to share with you. Before I share this story, I want to tell you, this is not a sad story, (I am sure I will pour out many tears as I write) but a story of celebration.
“GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD AND PROCLAIM HIS GREATNESS. LET THE WHOLE WORLD KNOW WHAT HE HAS DONE. SING TO HIM; YES SING HIS PRAISES. TELL EVERYONE ABOUT HIS MIRACLES” PSALMS 105:4
As I was reading a devotion one morning, the Lord showed me this scripture in his word. I knew this would be the theme scripture I would use for Testimony Tuesday. I want to PROCLAIM HIS GREATNESS during this time. I want to “LET THE WHOLE WORLD KNOW WHAT HE HAS DONE” for me, how I could see his touch all over me. I love to sing especially “SING HIS PRAISES”, singing always makes me feel better. I want to “TELL EVERYONE ABOUT HIS MIRACLES”.
On March 9, 2013 my life would change forever. For on that day, I would experience seeing a miracle, feeling the love of Jesus Christ like I have never before and having Jesus to hold my hand. You see, this Saturday morning started out as a HAPPY Day, planning to meet at my mom’s church for a Pancake Breakfast for a dear friend that was experiencing health issues. I was going to get to see and visit with lots of friends plus have a great breakfast. Little did I know I would never eat breakfast. On that beautiful sunny Saturday in March, my mom looked at my face and the next face she saw was Jesus, her Lord and Savior. On that beautiful sunny Saturday in March, my mom was holding a bottle of earthly water and in the next second she received the gift God had for her, “living water” (John 4:10). She will never be thirsty again (John 4:15).
“PROCLAIM HIS GREATNESS”……. I experienced God’s perfect timing that Saturday morning. Keith and I arrived at the breakfast, my mom came to show us where she was sitting, I was able to give her a big hug. I had no idea this would be the last time I would hug her. She was so happy, surrounded by all her church friends at a place she loved, HER CHURCH. She was not alone in her apartment, she was with so many of her friends when the LORD called her home. Many of her friends told me how she had talked to them that morning. How she gave many hugs and smiles. How she had the opportunity to tell them she loved them one last time. God put one of my mom’s best friends sitting right beside her. He had trained people there to administer CPR. He had so many of mine and Keith’s friends there to love on us during this time. What a Blessing. Although this was such a traumatic experience because it happened so suddenly I can see GOD’S GREATNESS in his timing.
Sunday morning at my mom’s church, I was told almost everyone at the 11 a.m. service stood up and “PROCLAIMED HIS GREATNESS”. People normally do not STAND and SPEAK at this church. They STOOD and SPOKE about how they saw JESUS by all the little things my mom did for them. My mom was an awesome servant, because she did little things behind the scenes. She was not an out-front person. But, she always planned ways to bless people. She always had notes on her kitchen table about people and her plans to do some special something for them. Many Sundays she would be late getting home from church because she had to drop off bulletins to people who were unable to attend the service. She was always visiting and taking meals (her special meals of Chicken Pot Pie or Chicken Noodles) to people. AND, she sent CARDS and always had a kind word for people. One of the scriptures at the funeral service was, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, were they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever our treasure is there your heart and thoughts will also be.” Matthew 6:19-21 We selected this scripture because, My mom stored up here treasures in HEAVEN, by being an awesome servant and blessing so many in special little ways. Always look for ways to bless others and you will be blessed. Make time to do little things for people, be a servant, you never know what someone is going through and how you can impact their lives.
“LET THE WORLD KNOW WHAT HE HAS DONE” for me…. And you. His word says in John 14:16, “I will ask the Father and He will give you a Comforter that He may remain with you forever.” John 14:27 says, “I am leaving you with a gift, Peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” The Holy Spirit has given me so much comfort and peace during this year. For those of you who have grieved the loss of a loved one, you know that grieving is a process. You have many sad days. But I know God has been walking with me through this process. Many days I can feel him holding my hand. He shows up at my saddest moments and picks me up. He helps me to see him (and feel my mom presence) in the small things. A bird singing, a butterfly, feeling the ocean waves, a song or encouraging words from a friend and all the wonderful memories.
My mom always went with us to the Living Christmas tree at a local church every year. It is a Christmas tradition. This year, I just could not bring myself to go with her not sitting beside me. You have to get tickets in advance for the worship service and I never got tickets, but at the last minute a friend had two tickets she gave me. When we arrived at the worship service, we were ushered to an almost front row seat. I know this was the Holy Spirit putting me just where he wanted me to be because through the service, I felt that mom was sitting right beside me (just happened to be an empty seat beside me) At one point, I even reached over and held her hand. This memory helped me through the hard Christmas season.
“SING TO HIM, YES SING HIS PRAISES”…. Anybody who knows me, knows I love to sing. Singing a worship song to Praise HIM will always make you feel better. When I cannot bring a scripture to my mind, I can always remember lyrics to a favorite hymn. I found a treasure in my mom’s bible when I was looking through it a few days before her funeral. There on a little piece of paper in her handwriting was the words “In The Garden”. A dear friend sang that song beautifully at my mom’s funeral. Just another one of God’s blessing during this painful time.
“TELL EVERYONE ABOUT HIS MIRACLES… “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life “ John 3:16 . That is a Miracle and his promise to us. I know I will see my mom again and she will have a brand new body. AMEN!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4
A special Thank You for friends that have loved on me this past year. Most of all, I thank my Father for holding me on his lap and loving me. He has wiped away every tear from my eyes (Revelation 21:4). He has kept track of all my sorrows and collected all my tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8).
In memory of “Mom”
Esther Lucille “Lucy” Crook
June 18, 1934 – March 9, 2013