Two-and-a-half weeks ago on May 23rd, our fourth grandchild, Emma Elyse, came into the world, exactly one week after my mother’s funeral. I was blessed to be able to witness her birth and see the miracle of life. It was the day God appointed Emma to be born, just as May 15th was the day He appointed my mother to die. I know this because the Word says in Psalm 139:16 that all the days ordained for us are written in His book, before even one of them comes to be.
Watching my mother slowly slip away this last year with Alzheimer’s, which caused swallowing issues plus a variety of skin conditions, was not a pretty sight. Mother was always neat and tidy, hair fixed and makeup on. She was not able to take care of herself at all, not even able to brush her teeth or comb her hair. She had cellulitis that wouldn’t heal on her legs, a horribly chafed backside because of her immobility, and rashes that made her scratch constantly.
Why did she have to suffer in that way? Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season (purpose) for every activity under heaven.” I believe it was for me. I’ve written about it. I would not trade the understanding I have now of how much I loved my mother and how much she loved me for anything, because it has set me free in an area where I didn’t fully realize I was bound. Isn’t that just like God?
Here comes little Emma into the world, all six pounds, four ounces of her, perfect in every way. Smooth, soft little baby skin, perfect features–and as my son-in-law said, everything working as it should, her pee-er, her pooper, and her lungs (she has a good set of pipes!). She has already stolen our hearts. What will the Lord write on the pages of Emma’s life? He has a will for her, a perfect plan, but she will make her own choice on whether to cooperate with God to fulfill it. Her parents have a huge responsibility to guide her, but I know they are up to the task.
The last year was very wearing on me as I watched my mother decline. I felt I was becoming depressed, even imagining how long I might have left to live, or if I would end up with Alzheimer’s. It’s hard to live in the present when you’re facing the death of someone you love. But now with a new baby in the family, I feel the joy of life rising in me again. I feel young and full of purpose. I have an awesome husband to come alongside as his helper, adult children and their spouses who are truly my friends, and grandchildren whose little lives I can impact with love.
Someday my time will come; my purpose here will be completed. There is no reason to worry about it. I know where I’m going and who will take me there. Lord, you are a God of order and purpose. Sometimes, as with my mother, you reveal your purpose to us now. But some things we can’t understand while we’re still on this earth. Some things are too painful to grasp. But we can trust you. When you say you have made everything beautiful in its time, and you have set eternity in our hearts (Eccl. 3:11) , we know that in eternity we will see as you do, and it will all make sense.