Foreshadowing: Saying Goodbye to Shine the Light

Lyric selection from Mandisa’s song above:

There is grace that you can’t imagine

There is love that you can’t out run
There is peace that you can hold onto
When your world is coming undone
You don’t have to give into the fear
Don’t have to have let your story stop here
And when that hand tries to pull you back
You don’t have to go back, you don’t have to go back

Don’t be trapped by yesterday or a hostage of tomorrow.

Today is Yours. Use it…be a Light in the dark to others!

Now, as the famous Paul Harvey used to say…

it’s time for the “Rest Of The Story”

I have been rather distracted since I was last on here. Life happens and we do our best to take what we’re given and “roll with it.”

God never said the “roll with it part” would be easy.

My parents died when I still young, smack dab in the middle of my adolescence. Though I was assigned guardians, their support was seriously lacking. I might not have landed in an orphanage, but my emotional growth was thrust into a “pit of mines.”

God gave me the most faith inspired and loving mother in the world – she truly “molded” me into becoming the God-fearing woman I am today. How do I know? Because I heard time and again during my adolescence that the things I experienced (well, the things strangers KNEW about) would have caused “the average person” to crumble, quit living and give up.

Yes, I’ve come to believe that could very possibly have happened…except it didn’t. I’ve come to adopt the principle that I must have been supernaturally covered by The Great I AM.

From this vantage point, “The Trinity” is a game changer.

A better part of me died with my Mom back in ’83. It took me decades to get beyond mourning her loss. God is faithful though and used his “super-natural-ness” to fill in those empty spaces in ways only He can. And so the story begins….

November 1983 – A Foreshadowing

When I finally arrived back “home” for funeral proceedings (and I will never forget this) there in the family room, centered on the kitchen table was a candle, burning bright and strong…..

3 days Prior

My mother had fought a rare form of cancer for nearly a year. The disease emaciated her once strong and familiar frame.

We hadn’t seen her since before I started school after Labor Day. We weren’t planning to visit again until Thanksgiving (just two weeks away) but Mom requested us to come sooner…that weekend. She knew God was going to call her home. It was November.

Having walked in the front door, I took one look at her and knew that death had taken residence. I instinctively “shut” down to avoid emotional shock. Fear I’d never know, raced through my mind and body. Dad and I exchanged glances and I knew to keep “mum” and not “crack.” I kept my distance all evening and dared not look her direction. That could not have been easy…because we’d been so very close throughout my childhood.

Up until her diagnosis, treatment and ultimately my permanent removal from her care, I considered her my best friend and I was always by her side. Until now….until this.

Our visitation was short lived (pun intended) and the next day, as we readied to depart, she called me to her side and her message remains a haunting memory:

Please listen and be good, your guardians will take good care of you. They know what’s best.

But for possibly the first time EVER, she was wrong. I think she knew it, too. But she wanted to let go of this world and give me words of encouragement because she was at death’s door.

And as much as I should have been in good hands, the opposite was true.

My mother wanted to say goodbye to me. I’m sure she wanted to tell me she loved me. I can’t remember if she did, I don’t recall if I ever gave her the chance. I could barely look at her. I’m certain she must have read the fear in my eyes. I didn’t recognize the woman I had called Mom for such a short time (15 years). I think I may have given her a brief kiss on the forehead as she lay in her hospice bed. My memory is too foggy to remember.

The last time I saw her alive is etched permanently though…

We’d left the house and were in the car; having taken our seats, our doors now closed. That’s when I noticed movement in the garage. Apparently, my mom had plans of her own. She was not going to have me leave and allow my last memory of her to be from her hospital bed “wasting” away. No, she had insisted on “modeling” the fighter she was.

The cancer may have been ravaged her body but it never decimated her will. She was determined to show that WE could be bigger. That with God and Faith, nothing could stand in our way. We are bigger and more powerful with Jesus, than without.

With help from Dad, she had him escort her from her death bed to the garage. That is where we watched her wave goodbye to us. Her pathway to Eternity set in place. In that moment, I knew….something – everything would never be the same.

I don’t blame her or my dad for the events of the next few years. The trials I faced were designed for me to grow from, learn from and emerge with a profound strength that would not have been possible otherwise. God meant me no harm. He knows everything that occurred and probably with much more detail than I would care to recall.

I was in the fiery furnace, but I was not alone and I am here now – purified.

In the minutes after Mom’s passing, my brother had lit the candle that remained sitting on the table. Her spirit had left her body, but he was fighting to keep the warmth of the woman we knew as mom alive in that house. The body remaining may have been just a shell left behind…but there had been a fierce-some, loving, God-fearing spirit contained within and that candle represented the fire of her essence in our lives…and in each of us.

I s’pose it’s really no accident that I ended up with this blog or that I selected this name for it. I imagine it’s all part of His master plan. My mother’s spirit may have been snuffed out decades ago but the candle that was lit that day was a foreshadowing of events in my life.

She believed in my writing, my creativity, my imagination and ultimately the foundations of faith that were laid within my soul.

Even if she was right, when she lamented during her illness, “I won’t live to see my baby girl grow up,” I’m beginning to see there was a reason for that moment. That candle was a message God was sending to me. Even if I wouldn’t know or recognize it then; I have only truly recognized it’s significance now – with my blog writing journey underway.

The foundations were being laid for what was…for what is to come. So yes, mom: my eyes are being opened and I’m beginning to understand…I love you and miss you too but more than that:

I will keep the faith. I will walk the narrow path. I will follow Jesus – just as you did and like you, I will continue with the purpose God has set before me and I will keep:

Shining a light in the darkness



8 thoughts on “Foreshadowing: Saying Goodbye to Shine the Light

    • Thank you…it was not easy to write. I took myself back in time and cried a good portion of the way through it. I started the post intending to just “ramble” but God saw fit otherwise. I never connected the foreshadowing until today…..


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