Sometimes you read thing something that makes you stop and evaluate your marriage, your faith and your life. This guest post from my friend Connie Plummer did that to me, and I wanted to share it with you.
They are like a man who builds a house. He digs down deep and sets it on solid rock. When a flood comes, the river rushes against the house. But the water can’t shake it. The house is well built. – Luke 6:48
In this life, we practice for the important events.
- A trial run to the hospital before it is time to have the baby.
- A ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ graduation walk through.
- A wedding rehearsal.
- That song you are going to sing
- That speech you are going to make.
The list goes on and on of how we prepare ourselves as humans for the biggies in life. But I honestly never considered a dry run at death until a recent Saturday morning when I received a five a.m. wakeup call from my Dad. My active, healthy, chipper Mom was in an ambulance on her way to a hospital with these words ringing in her ears: “You may not survive the trip.” That wakeup call and message sent me dressing, packing a bag and trying to process what I had just heard.
The hospital was two hours away. Two hours to sit quietly as my husband drove through sleet and rain to get me to my parents, Two hours to pray. Two hours to contemplate what could be happening.
My parents, more than most anyone I know, have thoroughly prepared themselves for this eventuality; wills in place, final arrangements made, love to me expressed. And yet, there we all were, looking beyond it all to forever, and realizing that our earthly forever may no longer hold this one we love so much.
The two-hour drive to the hospital was quiet. Neither of us spoke. We each were lost in our own thoughts and prayers. Though the ambulance trip should have only taken forty minutes, weather delayed them and we all arrived at the hospital at the same time. As I walked in beside the gurney that carried my mother, I began to breathe when she waved and smiled at me. She was not leaving us today.
As the next few days passed with a series of tests under the care of a precious Christ loving doctor, we moved from the brink of forever and slowly back to life as we knew it before that phone call. But we were changed. Each of us, processing it differently, shared with the other our thoughts that early morning. My Dad, married to Mother for sixty-five years, spoke of that moment when he placed her in the ambulance and kissed her goodbye, possibly forever. He told her he loved her, of course. But when I asked Mom, “What did you say to Daddy?” she spoke of the overwhelming peace she felt at that moment of parting. And what did she say to this man who loves her so? She said, “I’ll be waiting for you.”
How insightful was that? Whether she made it to the hospital where he would be, or whether she waited for him in Heaven, she would be waiting on him. Spoken with assurance, with conviction, and with love. “I’ll be waiting for you.”
It’s just as the hymn “The Solid Rock” reminds me…
“When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.”
Looking back on the experience, I think perhaps it was not wasted, this dry run at eternity. It spoke to me of love, of family, of the fact we are not home yet, and of the promise that Christ stands with us when the world as we know it slips out from under our feet.
Connie Liz Plummer is a daughter, wife, mother, and now grandmother. She tends to see the events in life, both major and minor, as teacahble moments God uses to help her love others and appreciate Who He is. It’s a journey she loves to share with anyone willing to come along.