Every year, I usually write something on the anniversary of my mom’s death or around her birthday in December. While those two days of the year are difficult, this month is going to be perhaps one of the most difficult I’ve experienced since she passed.
You see, I’m a dancer. Mom put me in a ballet class when I was three years old, and always encouraged me throughout my teens and even into college. She was there for almost every performance — she even drove to Daytona to see me perform with my college dance team. Later this month, I’m going to perform again for the first time in almost five years, and it will be the first time I’ve performed without her physically here.
I tear up thinking about that fact, but it’s not just about me. Thinking about the events that occurred right before my mom passed away infuriates me and I get upset that those were her last days. Sometimes I think about the things she’s going to miss (or has missed). Then I’m reminded that she now lives in a better place.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. – Revelation 21:4
We’re all put here for a reason, and my mom worked hard doing jobs in which she really helped people — but she didn’t receive the rewards I think she deserved. But that’s not what matters either. She wasn’t working to gain approval or affection of people on earth (Jesus tells us to not boast about good works in Matthew 6:1-4); she was doing what she was called to do. I always admired the fact that she didn’t care about other people praising her work (which they usually didn’t), and she didn’t live according to the ways of the world. Rather, the work she did was to glorify God (Matthew 5:16).
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
When I listen to “Because He Lives,” I think about what it means to cross that river — what happens when you die and your spirit leaves your body. And it’s in that moment that I know that my mom is in the Kingdom, continuing to serve God.
And then as death gives way to victory, I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives.
It’s easy for us to get caught up in worldly matters and let the ways of the world guide our actions and emotions. But ultimately, what matters is what happens when the very short earthly life ends. As the scripture says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33) and “Commit everything you do to the Lord” (Psalm 37:5). So instead of focusing on the past and letting the world get me down, I will choose to focus on the present and the future, and the ways my mom’s life continues to teach me about how to live my own.