Four Months Ago Today

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It’s been four months today since my sweet aunt Roxanne went home to be with the Lord. I miss her so much. We all do. She fought up until the last day. She wanted to live so badly. I’ve often asked the Lord why He would take my aunt, the sweetest, most loving person on this earth. Why her? Right before she passed away, someone said, “If Roxanne didn’t love you it was because she hadn’t met you yet.” That is the truest statement of my aunt. She took time to nurture every single relationship in her life. Every single one of us prayed every day for the Lord to heal her. I remember laying in bed one night basically begging God to please take the cancer out of her body because I wasn’t ready to let her go. This time last year, no one knew that in less than a year, she would be in Heaven. On my birthday when she called to say, “Happy birthday to my favorite niece!” I never dreamed it would be the last time.
This morning at church, my pastor talked about the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I’ve heard this story since I was a kid. When the king commanded all the people of Babylon to bow down and worship his idol, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down and worship anyone other than God. The king ordered them to his throne and asked why they wouldn’t bow down and worship the idol and went on to tell them that if they didn’t, he would have them thrown into the fiery furnace. They began to tell the king that they wouldn’t worship anyone but God, even if it meant being thrown in the fire because they knew that God was their deliverer. Let me pause and say that this part of the chapter is really where I’ve always stopped. I’ve just left it at “God is our deliverer. When we ask him to deliver us from a situation or problem or when we ask him to heal someone or do something in our life, He’ll do it because He’s God. That’s what He does.” But if you read the next sentence it goes on to say that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego told the king, “No we won’t bow down and worship your idol and you can throw us in the fire if you want because God will deliver us (and this is the part that really stuck out to me this morning) BUT EVEN IF HE DOESN’T DELIVER US, we want to make one thing clear: we still will not worship your idol. We STILL trust our God and believe in who he is.”
I immediately began to think about all the times we prayed that my aunt would be healed. We didn’t know what the outcome would be. Those three guys didn’t know the rest of the story. All they knew was that they wouldn’t worship anyone but God and they just trusted him. For all they knew, they were going to be thrown in the fire and possibly burned to death. But they trusted in Him as their deliverer. We didn’t know if my aunt would be healed but we trusted in Him as the healer. When she passed away, it was really hard to trust that the Lord’s will had been done. How can you even say that in a situation like this one? She wasn’t healed, she’s not here anymore. How is that God’s will? It’s in these moments that we have to be like the three that wouldn’t bow down to the idol, we have to trust that no matter the outcome, He is still our God, our deliverer, our healer, our comforter….whatever we need Him to be.
I miss my aunt so much. I visited her grave today and it’s still so hard to accept that she’s gone. I’ve said this so many times, though…the love she gave to me will live on in my heart until the Lord takes me home and I see her again in Heaven. I remember my mom calling me from St. Louis telling me that she had passed away. That was the hardest phone call to take. I thank God for the people He had placed in my life at that time, though. His plans are far beyond our comprehension. When we face the toughest trials, He is our deliverer, even when the outcome isn’t as we expected.
I love you, aunt Rox. I miss you everyday.

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