Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Mom's Death- The one thing I never thought I could survive

It's been a hard year, the hardest year and ten months of my life, but God has given me so much peace and comfort. This has been a hard year for many of us. Loss of jobs, loss of homes, loss of loved ones, and the list goes on. Five months ago, I lost the rock in my life, my dad lost his wife of 34 years, my sister lost her mom, and my children lost their nanay. It's amazing how it still doesn't seem real. It still feels as if she is still here.

The greatest gifts my mom gave me was her joy, zeal for life, love for me, and her braveness. My mom loved hard, forgave so much, and truly lived her life. When she was diagnosed with cancer she told me, I may have cancer, but cancer doesn't have me. She loved God. She placed her trust in Him. And until the day she died she loved with her entire life. Everything she did was for others. Especially for my dad, me, my sister, and my children.

Because of the closeness that my mom and I shared, my mom's death was the one thing I never thought I could survive. But time and time again God has comforted me, given me peace and joy even though I thought it was impossible.

In Psalm 136 it says 26 times that God's love endures forever. No matter what hardship, disappointment, sadness, or trial we face, the one thing we have certainty in is that His love endures forever. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God.

None of us knows what tomorrow brings. We are not guaranteed anything in life, except that if we know the Lord, he will fill all of those places that are hurting and afraid. We also know that this world is not the end. That when we die, if we have a relationship with him, we will be with him in heaven and my mom and I will be together again. I cannot wait for that.

As we anticipate the end of this year, and the newness of 2012, I am thankful for God's love for me. No matter what we go through--good or bad, His love never fails. His love endures forever.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Best Christmas My Mom Has Ever Had

I found a journal entry I wrote exactly a year ago today. Coincidentally, the picture of me and the kids with my mom, on the blog header, was our taken during ourlast Christmas together last year. What I wrote below makes me realize how much more every single day is a gift. We do not know what the future holds for any of us. God didn’t answer my prayer as I begged him to. But as my mother-in-law told me the other day, a week after she lost her sister to a year long battle with cancer, “They are in a better place than us, walking on the streets of gold.”

If you are still blessed to have your mom (or dad) with you here on earth, please celebrate with her this Christmas the blessing she is to you and all she has done for you. And, I will continue to thank God for giving me an amazing momma, for me to love and cherish for 33 years here on earth.

December 22, 2010 1230am
Hilton, San Diego, CA

I don't want to forget this day for a really long time. We are on vacation in San Diego with mom, dad, Boogs, and the kids. It is an awful time to be in San Diego. The weather is rainy and no sunshine in sight. This is not typical of San Diego. Usually it is beautiful. It hurts to be here. I still want to live here, but with my mom near me too. Jesus please bring us back to San Diego one day.

We just found out that mom's cancer may have spread. I want to enjoy every day that I can with her. I don't want to forget her smile, her laugh, the way she keeps me from sleeping because her snoring is like a lawnmower right in my ear. You would never know that she is worried or sad. She is too busy being my mom, being Nanay to my kids. She is making sure that we are ok, that we are not worried about her or sad. But the truth is that all I think about is her getting better, how much I already miss her, how much I am mourning that my children will never know her like I did. They may not even remember her and all we'll have are memories of her. And all I’ll want, is my mom.

Jesus please heal her. Please provide a miracle for us. Please help her not to suffer and to really live the last of her days here on earth. Please fill her life with joy and peace. Please help me to love her and enjoy every minute with her. Jesus please give us amazing memories. Please help me to soak in every piece of her. Please fill our days with times that we will never ever forget. Jesus please provide a miracle for us.


Till we meet again, momma. I can’t wait to rejoice with you on the streets of gold. I know you’re having the best Christmas you’ve ever had.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jericho's Prayer

Most of the time I talk about how God knew I needed to have Karis. My baby girl, the one who I can have, especially during the times I miss my mom the very most. But tonight I am reminded why God knew that I had to have Jericho. For the last month or so, Jericho has been saying the prayer before we have dinner. His usual prayer is thanking God for his trains and cars and all the people close to his heart. But tonight it was different. His prayer went like this, "Jesus, we thank you for mommy and daddy. Jesus, I thank you for mommy and I want to hug her. Amen."

This boy says the CUTEST things and I try very hard not to correct him THAT much. Sometimes I try to remind him that we should thank Jesus for our food too, but that night James and I just looked at each other and smiled. Later that night, James was teasing me because he said that Jericho just melted my heart by what he said in his prayer, especially because he is a momma's boy. I got to thinking, and it made me realize how much Jericho loved me. In his pure and innocent love, he reminded me so much of how I loved my mom. From the second I can remember, I loved my mom. Everyone would always tell me how much I never wanted to be away from her. I remember when my mom had to have surgery when I was five years old, and you might as well have taken her from me forever. That week of being away from her was like ripping my heart out. I still remember sobbing and sobbing when I couldn't see her. I stayed with my grandparents that week and my grandma gave me an EKG sticker that was on my mom, that I placed on a piece of paper so I could hug it, and that was the only way I could fall asleep. It's so funny how that memory, from 28 years ago, still resonates deep in my heart of the longing I had for my mom.

My mom was my biggest cheerleader, advocate, closest friend. She made me feel like I was priceless. Irreplaceable. Loved. When she died she took a piece of me with her. Through my relationship with her, I learned what it meant to be loved unconditionally, how to be nurtured. How to be protected. I never understood the depth of her love for me. Now that I am a mom, I can understand the fierceness in how a mother loves her children.

A few months ago, one of my best friends and I started a bible study, by Beth Moore, called Breaking Free. This study has completely changed my life. God knew that I needed to be in his word and soaking in his truth, especially during this season of life.

One of the truths that was revealed to me in this study shook me to my core. Here is the passage as she quotes from an amazing man, Oswald Chambers.

Our soul's history with God is frequently the history of the "passing of the hero." Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in their place, and that is where we faint and flail and get discouraged. Take it personally: In the year that the one who stood to me for all that God was, died--I gave up everything? I became ill? I got disheartened? Or-- I saw the Lord?

It must be God first, God second, and God third, until the life is faced steadily with God and no one else is of any account whatever. "In all the world there is none but thee, my God, there is none but thee."

My mom was and always will be my hero. What got me was when Oswald Chambers says, "In the year that the one who stood to me for all that God was, died--I gave up everything? I became ill? I got disheartened? Or-- I saw the Lord?" and truly, I want to say that when my mom died, the one who stood to me for ALL that God was, I saw the Lord. It is hard. It is painful. Sometimes I just want lie in bed and sleep, and just be sad, but because of my babies, I get up every morning, make sure they are fed, and loved, and nurtured, and KNOW without a doubt that they are one of the greatest gifts and blessings God has ever given me, just as my mom showed me.

Another thing that I have been thinking about is how I don't ever want to be the one who stood for God to my children. My mom never intended that to be, but my mom what God in the flesh for me. My love and dependence on her was so strong because of her ever perfect way of loving me, the best that she could. My mom and I had gone through hell and back together, not in our relationship with each other, but in the things that we went through, together.

Though I pray that my babies love me, and know that I love them so deeply, I LONG for them to have their reliance on Jesus. I long for them to place their hopes and dreams on Him, because He is the only one who can fulfill all of the dark, lonely, and hard places of our souls. He is the only one who will never let us down, and He is the only one who will love us despite all our ugliness.

Especially since I know my Jericho loves me in such an endearing way, I have made it a point to try to let him know that God loves him so much more than I ever could. There was one day that he was crying for about twenty minutes, because in his two year old world, the worst thing that could ever happen to him every day is that he has to take a nap. The most loving thing that I could think of to say to him was that I loved him so much. But it hit me, my words and actions need to start now. He needs to know that no matter how much I love him, the only one who could ever love him more than me is Jesus. So now I say to him, "Jericho mommy loves you the most in the world, but do you know who loves you more?" and his ever so emphatic response is, "Jesus!" I hope one day he realizes the truth of those words. That me, as his mommy will love him the most that is humanly possible. But the truth is that no matter what, the only one who can love him perfectly, flawlessly, and without fail, is Jesus.

Oh, how I am so grateful to God for my mom. How she loved me the most that was humanly possible for her, and how she made sure, in the most possible way she could, that I loved God too. And though difficult for me to accept at times, only He can fill the void of her in my life. But how beautiful, how my mom's legacy of love and faith in God, has been the greatest inheritance that she has passed down to me, and now to the best of my capacity, will passed down as an inheritance to my children as well.