FREE devotional for Mother’s Day weekend! This weekend only, in celebration of moms everywhere, I’m offering Adopted for Daily Life: A Devotional for Adopting Moms FREE for Kindle! And to give you a taste of the beautiful writing that is found inside the book, here’s a sample that comes from Laura’s week on Joy:
Day 1 //Joy
Rejoice in The Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!… The Lord is near. —Phil. 4:4 & 5b (NIV)
The night my mom passed away was not humorous at all, but as I reflect on it, there was something funny about the ordinary moments that happened shortly before she took her last breath. We decided to take the breathing mask off because it wasn’t helping… it was such a relief because it was so loud. Amidst our new found quiet my sister started rustling through my mom’s purse and pulled out some perfume. My mom loved perfume and my dad bought her beautiful, expensive bottles of perfume pretty much every Christmas.
“Should I spray it on her?” she asked my dad and me.
“No, “ I kind of hissed and whispered.
“Yeah, yeah go ahead,” my dad disagreed. So puff, out it squirts. My mom smiled while she lay there, which prompted my dad to say quickly, “Do it again.” Puff, out it sprays on the other side. And the smile emerges again. “She likes it.” We all agree and smile. The Lord is very near now. So, joy is sitting there with us right on top of her bed as the scene unfolds, and my sister and I argue about perfume like little kids.
Maybe an hour goes by and we’re not sure how much longer we’ll all be breathing together. My dad thought he’d go home and rest, while my sister and I stayed. He bent down and kissed my mom goodbye for the night, but also goodbye in the earthly time zone of forever. That is what my mom was waiting for. Understanding that joy and strength go together, the Lord gave my mom strength at that moment to lift her head and sort of breathe the words into his ear, “Good bye. I love you.”
In her devotion on Humility, Michelle Simpson wrote, “Joy is knowing the Lord is near.” Because my mom was with the Lord at that very moment, joy was more than near. It actually wrapped itself around my chest and lifted the pain that had lingered there for so long, due to my mom’s physical suffering. Then joy took the hands of each family member and placed them together so that we found ourselves in a circle around the bed. We thanked the Lord for allowing my mom to achieve her lifelong goal: “Be though faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.” —Revelation 2:10b (KJV)
Author Fred Bittner wrote, “Joy comes when we live in his presence.” My mom lived in his presence. Both her life, and her death, brought great joy, even amidst great sorrow. And in that moment, I knew God was taking me another step down the road of adoption. He would use the loss of my mom to help me become a mom to someone else, my soon-to-be son, who had also lost his mom. It would be a joyful road because the Lord would be right there with me holding my hand, which would mean joy would be right there, too, holding the other one.
Father, thank you for offering us joy, even in pain. Thank you for providing a crown of life to all those who are faithful. I want your joy, Father, always.