"If You Could See Me Now!"

 

Psalms 91:1  He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

             In Memory of Ann Cumbo Ewing ~ September 16, 1924 - August 24, 2011

 

For the past 15 years my Mommy and we as a family have had to cope with the progressive disease of Alzheimer's.  It is a debilitating disease that robs the victim's ability to think, make choices, remember, carry on a conversation and finally the cognitive function becomes severely impaired.  It has been difficult to watch the changes in our Mommy and know that there was absolutely nothing we could do to help her.  Our only peace and hope was in knowing that the Lord was riding this out with us.  Many people would say, "Don't you question the Lord as to why your Mom has to just lay there day in and day out without any quality of life?" It would be only human to question the Lord, but we knew He was in control.  Our responsibility was to take care of her until God healed her here, or took her home.  Even though she had become a shell of who my Mommy was at one time, just having her here was a comfort.  That little frail body was the body that brought her three children into this world, that body is the one that we could embrace, kiss, just sit beside and hold her little hand.  We would always talk with her as if she knew everything we were saying and I believe that many times she did know we were there.  Our caregivers would often say, "Your Mom totally changes when she hears your voice, or my sister, brother and Dad."  Yes, I believe she did know more than she was able to respond to, but she was being held captive.  I believe that there are sicknesses and infirmities that take hold and take control of its victim.  As the years passed my Mommy's appearance changed.  It was as if she was not even there anymore, that infirmity had taken control over her mind and body.  Many times that spirit of depression would present itself in my Dad and we would have to take authority over it.  As a family our prayer was, "Lord, Mommy belongs to you, we pray you would heal her here, but if you chose to take her, please let it be quick and don't let her suffer."  God answered that prayer, it was sudden and without suffering.  We were blessed that both of our parents were living in a basement apartment in my brother's home and we had caregivers around the clock to take care of her.

Last Tuesday I received a frightening call that Mommy had become really sick and I needed to get there immediately.  I rushed to their home to find her in respiratory distress and she was moaning with pain.  It was an educated guess most of time since she was unable to tell us what was wrong. There had been no fever, or other symptoms that would indicate something vitally wrong until now.  We immediately rushed her to the ER where the nurses and doctors began working on her.  It was then that I heard those dreaded words, "Shelia your mom is critical!"  Critical?  I couldn't believe it; she was fine earlier in the day, what in the world was going on.  We were blessed to have doctors and nurses that were earthly angels to care for her.  I knew then that she wasn't going to make it; I knew that she would not be returning home.  My brother rushed back home to get my 89 year old Dad and bring him to the hospital.

 It was going to be a difficult night, but we all needed to be right there with her.  After a lot of procedures she was finally transferred to the ICU unit. 

Because of her condition and her wishes prior to the disease we requested no CPR, intubation or ventilator.  The doctor gave us the diagnosis that she had become septic, an infection that went into her bloodstream.  It quickly began to shut down all of her organs and now it was just a matter of time until she would go home. 

God gave us the greatest gift!  My Dad, sister, brother and myself had a front row seat to watch the rest of my Mommy's life played out on earth's final stage.  When I practiced as an ER nurse I had always looked up as my patients that knew the Lord, were taking their last breath, knowing that their spirit would begin to ascend toward the ceiling and finally into heaven with the angels.  The testimonies of people that had had an "out of body experience" would say that their spirit left their body and they were floating to the corner of the room looking back at their body while the medical staff was working on them.  For 2 hours we loved on her, kissed her and prayed over her.  Each moment that passed would bring more labored breathing.  My brother leaned down and said to her, "Mommy, we are releasing you into God's hands, you have battled long enough; you can go to be with Jesus, we are right here with you." When he said that she squeezed our hand and a couple of tears trickled out of the corner of her eyes.  A few moments before she took her last breath, I was trying so hard to be strong for my family; then suddenly I heard the devil say, "God has forsaken you, He didn't heal her and now you have to stand here and watch her die!"  But then I heard, "My child I will never leave you or forsake you, I will go with you all the way!" At 4:49 Wednesday AM the angels came to usher her into her new home…..All of us looked up and waved….."Good night Mommy, we'll see you again!"

Her life celebration was held on Friday and a celebration it was!  God imparted a supernatural strength to me and my brother as we preached her celebration service along with our Missionary from Haiti, Pastor John Hanson.  One of the touching moments was the song, "If you could see me now," that my nephew sung for her.  An invitation was given for those that didn't know the Lord with many hands being raised.  Praise God even in death, God gets the glory……

I Corinthians 15:54 Death is swallowed up in victory. 55. O death where is thy sting?  O grave where is thy victory?  It has been difficult letting go but I know that she is saying, "If You Could See Me Now!"  You would never grieve again!  Finally my Mommy knows everything she is healed and whole!  The devil lost this battle! The most amazing gift was that when God took her spirit to heaven, that spirit of infirmity also had to depart…….When we viewed her body for the first time at the funeral home, our entire family was overwhelmed by her appearance.  She looked like the Mommy we remembered before the disease had ravaged her body and mind.  She was Mommy and she was at peace.  The presence of the Lord was so rich; God had revealed to us that she had received the ultimate healing! No longer in bondage, but she was free!  Free at last!  

Because we have chosen to dwell in the Secret place of God, He has covered us with His love, peace and comfort! That my friend is the only reason we are surviving!  We have a hope that we will be reunited with Mommy and one day soon we'll spend eternity with her and the Lord.

 

After praying, I chose to share this private experience with you because I believe that there are many of you reading this devotional today that are enduring the same situation. The enemy can torment you when you have prayed and held on to your faith for God to heal.  But, there are times that He chooses to heal ultimately by taking our loved ones to heaven. It is a grand entrance into an eternal perfect place.  Our faith was strong in God that whatever He chose to do, we could accept.  Mommy was no longer ours but she was His child and through every moment of endless battle, He was there.  Hold on to the Lord, I promise He will see you through.  In this life we will go through many things, but God promises to be with us.  Remember this, "When the storms of your heart, seem overwhelming, Jesus will always stay in the boat with you!"  Peace to you my brothers and sisters!

 

Dr. Shelia Isom

Experiencing Revival Devotional

 

 

For more from Dr. Sheila Isom and Experiencing Revival, please visit www.drsisom.org