Preparations of the Heart
Some time ago, I had a conversation with a friend who was sharing her frustrations with her soon-to-be high school graduate. I’ll never forget her comment as she said … “This must be God’s way of preparing my heart for when she leaves home for college!” We laughed because we got it. There comes a time for our darling children to leave the nest and it’s easier on our hearts to kick them out when they exhibit less than desirable attitudes and behaviors!
I’ve thought of that phrase over the years and often have wondered about other ways in which God prepares our hearts. Several years ago, my father-in-law was diagnosed with a terminal cancer. His last year was a bittersweet time of life filled with “last” celebrations. Last birthday, last Thanksgiving, last Christmas … again I remembered that phrase and felt like God was preparing our hearts so that when the time arrived, our hearts wouldn’t hurt as much. But they did.
So today I sit and contemplate another “last”. The reality of our sweet little mama’s situation is that this will be her last Mother’s Day celebration this side of heaven. My sisters and I have chatted with the medical team who is providing our mom with care. Plans are in place to make sure that her needs are being met accordingly and that her wishes are honored. Comfort care visits with a social worker and hospice staff are being scheduled. She comprehends and is ready and I would guess that she has already been mentally and spiritually preparing for this time.
I’ve seen her physical and mental health decline over the past few years and as difficult as it is to witness, I believe my heart is being prepared for the inevitable heartache that is soon to come. In the meantime, however, I am at peace knowing that preparations are happening in Heaven for her homecoming. Jesus said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” And this comforts my heart.
Staci J. Allen has more than 15 years of experience teaching and working with preschoolers. She currently serves as the Director of Caring Ministries at The Summit Church. Staci and her husband Rick live in Lee's Summit, Missouri, and enjoy spending time with their adult children and grandchildren.