Saturday, March 5, 2011

Remember With a Grateful Heart

      Today brings both feelings of joy in celebrating the birth of a loved one and remembering the loss of another.  Such is life. We have both days of mourning and rejoicing. God promises "to all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory."(Isaiah 61:3)  Admittedly there are days when that promise seems far away.

     Over four years ago I had a horrible nightmare about my sister Patsy. I dreamed an evil person stepped out the shadows and before she realized he was there, thrust a knife through her heart. I had no idea at the time just how prophetic that dream was to be. None of us at the time realized just how far and devastating the arm of evil would reach.

Barry Mayo
February 20, 1986
March 5, 2007

     A short time later we received the news that her precious grandson, Barry had been murdered in Iraq. Indeed evil had reached its hand all around the world and pierced her heart. While we remember everyday and grief with them, we are totally inept in taking that pain of loss from Barry’s Mom Kimberly and Grandmother Patsy. Only the God of All Comfort can do that.

     There are countless numbers of relatives and friends who miss him. I am sure many, as I do, often wonder what could of, should have, would have, possibly been for his life had it not been cut so short. I will never fully understand the why of many things in this life. Often things seem unfair or unjust. Nothing seems good from his death, but we know Barry was a good young man.

     I learned this week through Paul that lack of gratitude is a sin. We as individuals and as a nation do not always have a heart of gratitude. We are too often self centered and ungrateful. We should never forget or take for granted the young men and women who have willingly sacrificed their lives for our country’s freedom.

Greeting Soldier Home

     More than once I have prayed how to honor Barry’s memory. First and foremost we must never forget his live or his service to our country. We must be grateful every day for all things God has given us. We must live a life of honor worthy of these gifts. We must never forget the evil that lies in wait for all of us and pray for God’s mightier hand of protection.

     I believe these are some things Barry might agree with. What I do know is Barry wants for nothing. I find myself thinking of Barry when I check the mail each day. I have to think he is checking Heaven’s gate everyday, expecting and looking for those he loves to join him at his palace.

      "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

Matthew 2:18


La'Nan said...

Words are never really adequate, but i know that one day All the pain will be replaced by joy. That is our hope.

Brown Shoe said...

Amen sister! :) Did you get your appliances?

Kathy said...

I appreciate what you have shared - having gone through a traumatic loss last year - I understand - but, knowing God's love and His promises - I cling to those and they give me strength - you've honored him quite well in this post -

God Bless,

Diane said...

Grief is such a monster, even when we know the love of Jesus and can reach out to Him for comfort. Please know my heart and my prayers are with you and your family. Barry has reached his eternal reward; he has made the ultimate sacrifice for an ungrateful and unholy nation. His family has also sacrificed that we can enjoy the opportunities we have. I am thankful every day for all those like him who have given all so I might be free. I know that doesn't make your pain less, but I also know how much joy I get every time someone tells me how they respected, admired and/or appreciated my late husband. I pray my gratitude can help in some small way to ease your pain.

Many hugs.........


bikim said...

such a sad and beautiful post at the same time!
take care,

Tammi said... mom and dad have had to cope with the loss of their daughter, and I am coping with the loss of my only sister, Sherri. When she was only 22. That was nearly 14 years ago, and sometimes that pain in our hearts still just grabs us. But thank the Lord, Who is our Great Physician and Comforter, when He began to heal our broken hearts, He gave us unlimited amounts of "follow-up" sessions to have therapy on our hearts. The afternoon she passed away, the verse Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose" was on a little calendar, staring at me when I entered our appt. after coming home from the hospital. I wondered "How Father are You going to get any good out of this?" But, He has. . .and every year, on her "Anniversary" I would weigh the grief of losing her on one side of the scales, and the good that He had brought from her untimely death. For many years the grief outweighed the good, and recently the good and the grief had "balanced out"....but just last year, 13 years later, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that out of ALL the good that God had done, He had given me a deeper faith in Him, a closer walk with Him, I had been given HIM. And when I placed HIM on the side of the "good" that definitely threw the scales over and made it all worth it. Oh, my heart still aches for her, and misses her so~but I know I'll see her again. And if He allowed this to happen so that we could share our story---no, His healing POWER, with others such as your dear family, then it was worth it. She would be happy too, to know that her death was not in vain.

God will turn this all around. It takes time, but God is not bound by time like we are. So He has already turned this tragic untimely loss into much good, and may He receive all the glory and touch the hearts of those left behind to grieve such a loss.
Praying for you!!!
hugs! mmmmmmmmmm

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

I'm so sorry to learn this about your family member...prayers will be sent up for you and your entire family.


Crown of Beauty said...

Dear Linda,
I read this post with misty eyes. Although I am fairly new on this blog (having visited only once or twice before) my heart connects instantly with you on a deep level. When a loved one is violently taken away from our earthly lives, there is a sense in which the grieving never ends. Only the comfort of the Father's love helps ease the pain, as well as knowing Barry is in the arms of the One Who created him and loves him best. There will be a coming day of being eternally re-united with those who have gone before.In that place, God promises to wipe every tears from our eyes.

May God give you a fresh touch of His comfort and strength today.

Thank you for sharing this moving post.

With loving thoughts,
Lidj (a "Scarf-Apron-Bible" sister