Barbara's Move to Heaven

 

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” ~ Proverbs 3: 5 & 6

        During the past four years, I have experienced my most difficult “life assignments”.  I’ve gone from being a wife and mother in an All- American average household, to being a grieving mother and a breast cancer survivor.  I am surviving both, only by the grace of God.  I understand that I’m being “refined in the fire”.  I am clay being molded by the Potter.  And I trust Him.  I have no choice over my circumstances; however, I can choose my response to them, to allow myself to become bitter or better in the midst of them.  I can choose to trust my Maker, believing with all of my heart that He is in control and He doesn’t make mistakes.  God has the bigger picture.  He created me to glorify Him and to further His kingdom and for no other reason.  I “get it”.  I better understand my purpose and I strive to assemble and effectively use the pieces God has given me to work with.  My glass that is half empty is also half full and that must be my focus.  I must concentrate on the positives, keeping my faithful eyes on my Heavenly Father, lest the devil use my heartache to stifle my Christ-centeredness.  Christ centers me.  He made me.  He made my daughter and honored me in being her mother. The appropriate response for a gift is gratitude and though I am heartbroken in missing Barbara, I am so very thankful that I was so blessed to have had her in my life.

        The scriptures remind me that God understands a pain far greater than mine.  I didn’t have to watch my child hang on a cross and suffer and die for all mankind, so that we could have the opportunity for eternal life.  God did that for me! Christ did that for me! And then, He blessed me with Christian parents, the husband of my dreams, and three beautiful children.  I am so thankful to have been blessed to be their mother.  And I must be thankful that now one of our children, Barbara, is living forever in the presence of Jesus.  Because He lives, she lives!

        Barbara moved to Heaven when she was sixteen.  Heaven University!  Should I complain?  Barbara is alive for all eternity, in the perfect place.  I must trust the God that made her and gifted her to me for awhile, and I must be about my purpose for Him in the meantime, assured that she is safe with Jesus and I will see her again one fine day. 

        Barbara was the daughter of my dreams and my best friend.  She was a leader in her school, church, and community.  Barbara was an honor student.  Barbara volunteered at the Gene Stallings RISE Center, working with mentally and physically challenged children during her last three summers. She enjoyed helping with Bible School and youth group activities; sang at church; was confident, yet unassuming of her giftedness; loved Jesus and people; always had a smile; and she was just so “regular”.  Barbara was genuine.  She was far beyond her years and a blessing to all who knew her. Barbara was using all that God gave her to work with to the best of her ability.  I aspire to be like her.  I now have many pieces “missing”, but many pieces to use.  I must be obedient to God’s instructions to “use my pieces” for Him.  Since Barbara moved to Heaven, I have an urgency to share Christ’s love and how He has carried me “in the valley” in an effort to offer hope to others who walk similar paths.  I am keenly aware of my life’s “moment” and that I must make the most of it; for no matter how long my opportunity, it is short.

        The Holy Spirit cocooned me in the midst of my daughter’s earthly death.  He provided the “peace that passes all understanding” as I told her friends in the hospital, “Barbara wins, either way.”  Barbara suffered brain death following a motor vehicle accident while pulling from our driveway onto a busy highway. 

        Our family had shared a discussion on organ donation just weeks prior to her wreck; therefore, we had “done our homework”.  We knew Barbara’s wishes from her very own lips and didn’t have to make a decision at such an emotional time.  We knew the answer.  It was automatic.  Barbara had expressed her desire to be an organ donor and her decision lengthened five lives on earth and postponed grief for their families. 

        I helped dress Barbara for her “going home service” and I feel it is important to share that it was evident that Barbara had been handled with extreme care.  She was as neat as a pin from the “organ donor surgery”. You would have thought the surgeons were worried about her scar!  Many myths need to be dissolved concerning organ donation and this fact is one that needs to be shared.  They certainly didn’t know her mother would be dressing her. 

        Missing Barbara is the most difficult assignment I have ever had.  Our lives are forever changed.  Each day is a challenge, but God has held us and given us His grace, His supernatural ability to do in us and through us what we could never do on our own.  God has enabled me to better understand and “do” my purpose for Him.  It is my prayer for each of you that God will enable you as you strive to trust Him, no matter what.   

 

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