On Saturday, October 20, my mother-in-law got out of work and told me she just "felt" like she should go visit my grandmother. She was in a nursing home/rehab, 45 minutes from where my mother-in-law lives. I told her that was God, directing her paths and showing His love towards ME, because she went to see her and had a really good visit.
I was sitting at home when I received a text message. Much to my surprise, it was the following picture of my grandmother, smiling. It said "Grammy Lilley says hi." I could tell it wasn't her phony "hurry up and take my picture" smile but was genuine and that just made me happy.
My mil later told me how she and her roommate had just had a huge belly laugh over her roommate getting her wheelchair stuck in the bathroom door. She also shared that Grammy told her how happy she was to be there, how she was a social butterfly and that she was at peace. I've always had a special spot in my heart for my mil but her taking the time to visit my grandmother just endeared her all the more to me.
Monday, my grandmother just didn't seem herself and by Tuesday morning, she was bed-ridden. My heart hurt so much, knowing that I couldn't be there with her. God would not give me peace to make the trip from NC to NH. I didn't know why but maybe it was because of the events that he had planned. God does know what is best for us.
On Tuesday morning, my aunt called me. She just "felt" like she should. Coincidence? I think not. She told me how Grammy wasn't talking but she could hear them, as evidenced by the half smiles she'd give on occasion. My aunt offered to put the phone to her ear so I could talk to her. I took that opportunity to tell her how much I love her and thank her for everything she's always meant to me. Then I got back on the phone. Literally, within minutes, my aunt whispered, "Karen, she's gone." I could hear other family in the background saying, "she was waiting for Karen to call." I believe she was. My grandmother and I have always had a special bond. She used to say that we shared the same heart.
After hanging up with my aunt, I looked at my phone and we had not even been on the phone a full ten minutes! I would never have called Grammy's room at 8am! GOD did that - He knew how badly I wanted to be with her and in that small window of time, He saw fit to put it on my aunt's heart to call. I am amazed. I don't know how many hours I spent on the floor with my children, grieving her passing.
At some point, I began thinking of my life verse:
Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
I began wondering how God was going to take this situation and bring any beauty out of it or add any joy to it. To make a much more detailed story shorter, about 8 hours after Grammy's death, I received this beautiful gift:
Coincidence? I think not. That's GOD. I don't know why He chose to unfold His plan this way - why my grandmother was never to know that she'd be a great-grandmother once again, but I'm not going to question Him. We would certainly appreciate your prayers that this baby with continue to grow and stay healthy.
There are so many other things I could tell you - how God intervened - how He allowed not only me but my mom to find precious items that we wanted to keep and treasure but thought were lost. Things that belonged to her. How in her final days, she testified of her faith in Jesus Christ and her assurance of spending eternity with Him after a lifetime of near silence on the matter. How God allowed her memorial to go smoothly and for people who do not necessarily agree on matters of faith to come together and honor her life. Oh! How I miss her, but I am so very thankful for God's intervention and His love towards me. Over and over again, I have seen his guiding hand. He is a good God and I love Him.
© Adorning Grace 2012