The funeral was today. Fittingly, it was at a chapel on the cemetery grounds called the Celebration of Life Center. It was a celebration of life indeed. Quite a simple service actually. Opening reading of Psalm 139 (…You knit me together in my mother’s womb…). Amazing Grace sung by everyone. A slide show that had everyone laughing, crying, sighing, and remembering Mandy with a huge smile…just the way it should be. Then it was my turn…
What an honor to share. Memories of the birth of her son Sage (when she was just 16). Laughing about youth group pranks. Talking in the Hospice House about the Bible, heaven, fear, fighting, and peace. I shared two Scriptures that Mandy and I talked about the day before she died. The first was from I John 5:13:
“My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion.” (from the Message)
We talked about “knowing.” We talked about fear. She talked about her fear turning to peace. Beautiful.
Then I asked her what she was most looking forward to about heaven. She said, “Not hurting anymore. And the streets of gold.” That led to a conversation about Philippians 3:20-21
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await a Savior from there – the Lord Jesus Christ – who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control will transform our lowly bodies, so that they will be like His glorious body.” (NIV)
When Jason (my friend and Mandy’s brother) called me a week ago Tuesday to tell me that she had gone Home, the first picture in my head was of a pain-free Mandy, dancing with her Savior on streets of gold. And that’s exactly what she’s doing. Unless, of course, she’s eating dessert at the banquet feast…or going for a swim in the crystal sea…or running through a field of flowers…or exploring the heavens with the angels…or laughing in the presence of the Author of Joy…or…
Mandy, you are loved and deeply missed here. But I know your smile is back, bigger than ever, for you are finally in the presence of the One who knows you best…and loves you most. Welcome Home Mandy. Welcome Home.