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Monday, December 19, 2011

Heaven Calling

Today Drew and I attended the Celebration of Life of Heidi Swenson.  I had mentioned her in a previous blog (Keeping Balance).  I didn't know Heidi well, her family moved to New Mexico several years ago, just as I was getting to know her.  I had every excuse imaginable why I didn't need to attend this funeral today, but all of them fell short of what I knew I needed to do.  I felt compelled to go because I am friends with Heidi's sister-in-law Wendy and I wanted to show her my support.  I also felt a connection with Heidi because she too was following the call to homeschool her children.  I remember years ago when my children were young, talking briefly in the fellowship hall at Evergreen Community Church with Heidi.  What struck me was how different she is than me.  She is meek, humble and mild.  I am not.  As I listened today to those close to her, sharing about the Mom, wife, sister, friend and child of God that Heidi was, I was struck with 2 completely different thoughts.  My first thought was one of wishing that I had known Heidi better.  She really was a remarkable woman and I would have loved to have had her for a friend.  She kept journals and wrote the most beautiful thoughts to leave for her family.  She would have been an incredible blogger and I would have enjoyed following her on the web.  My second thought was the joy that was evident in Heidi's life even as she was facing the end of her days here on Earth.  She saw the day to day caring for her 7 children as a ministry and a calling.  She understood that it was because of God's amazing grace that she had all these people to love around her.  She didn't demand her right to continue on living but accepted the days God had given her as a gift.  She looked forward with JOY to being in the presence of her Savior, even while mourning the fact that she would not be there in flesh to watch her children grow older.  She understood that this world is not our home, and implored those who are left behind to pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Heidi had every reason to be bitter and yet her last words were encouraging those around her that God is faithful, loving and full of mercy.

I walked away from that joyful but sorrowful event today touched by the hand of God.  It was as if I was given a gift just by being there today.  In all the running around from event to event in this busy Christmas season, I was not finding joy in the simple everyday moments with my family.  I want to live each day in a way that will count for eternity.  I want to be remembered as a Mom that is connected to my kids and my husband.  I want to inspire others to grow deeper in their faith and to live for a higher purpose.  Help me Lord to make my days count as Heidi has done.

Below I have included a song that was sung at the funeral.  Come to Jesus, won't you?

Chris Rice - Untitled Hymn (Come To Jesus) Lyrics

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!


1 comment:

  1. I admit, I'm a bit behind in your blog posts, but I do enjoy them so much Marie. Thanks for posting this. It is very convicting and encouraging too. And Untitled Hymm is one of my very favorite songs! :)