I had no idea when she called that Tuesday morning that it would be the last time I would hear her voice. Ever. It was a bad time for me to talk, so I asked if I could please call her later. She was very understanding. I don’t remember why, but we didn’t to connect later that day. And the next time I heard her name was on the phone call from my sister: Mom is dead.

I’m so thankful the Lord has guarded my heart against feeling guilty for not taking her call that day; there’s no way I could have known. And today, on the thirteenth anniversary of her death, I am also ever thankful to the Lord that by His sovereign care, nothing was left unforgiven. Nothing left unsaid. Nothing unresolved. He made sure we had precious time together. Time to say things that needed to be said. Time to forgive things that needed to be forgiven. Just enough time that when she left everything was really okay. Except for life without her!

Some years the anniversary comes and goes before I realized it is here. Then there are years when I am acutely aware, like this year. And my heart longs for her. And I am weepy for days.

In my experience, I have learned a new normal of life without a mother. It might sound weird, but it’s so normal that sometimes I forget what it was like to ever have a mom. Not in a woe-is-me self-pity type way, but in a this-is-simply-my-reality kind of way. It’s all I know now.

Have you lost a loved one? It’s hard! In these weepy times,

when I do remember how great it was to have her alive in this world, and my heart longs to have her here still, it is still hard. Thirteen years later and it is still hard.

I don’t share this to be a downer; rather, to connect at a point of brokenness. To connect in our grief so we can know we’re not alone. It’s normal. It hurts. It’s hard. And in the hard, God is our ever-present help in times of trouble. He never leaves or forsakes us, and in these times, He is undeniably real!

One of my daughters recently insisted she would not make it if something happened to me. She would. God would be undeniably real to her, too. Another day, the subject of m mom’s death came up with another daughter, and I shared how some days it hits me out of the blue that I had a mom once and it was really awesome! In her sweetness she replied, “Yeah, it really is great.”

That’ll melt this mama’s heart!

Hug your mom. Take her call. As moms there are things we do and say that just drive our kids crazy. As daughters, our moms have those ways with us! But honestly, my friend, there may be a day when you don’t get that phone call again. There may be a day when she’s no longer here to drive you crazy. And your heart may hurt. Your heart may long. You may, like me, find yourself wishing she were still here.

Live in this day. Love your people. And know that when we face loss, there is a comfort, peace and hope even in the heaviest-hearted moments when our eternity is secure in Christ. I know for absolute certain I will see my mom again, so I just have to survive the meantime. Knowing it’s not goodbye forever makes goodbye for now so much better. And when our heavenly reunion arrives, it will be forever.

Knowing it's not goodbye forever makes goodbye for now so much better!

Are you grieving? Are you facing your own mortality? Are you facing what appears to be the certain death of a loved one? You can have this same hope! You can experience this same comfort and assurance even in the midst of sadness and uncertainty.

When Jesus saves us by grace through faith in Him, He becomes our Lord and we become the children of God, eternally secure in His love. He gives us exactly what we need for exactly what we face in our time here on earth, and then when our time is up – when we’ve run our race and receive the prize of eternity with Jesus – our loved ones can rejoice even as they grieve because they can know where we are, and they can have the same assurance of salvation in Christ Jesus.

What balm for the hurting heart and hope for the grieving soul.

For more on how to be saved, see The One Way of Salvation.