The Last Day of My Life | A Mother's Prayer Request

Welcome to Real Life. Today’s blog is a belated Mother’s Day tribute. 

Decades before health consciousness went mainstream, my mother was a health food nut. She ate raw garlic to stave off colds. She snacked on sunflower seeds from bags meant to feed birds. She sucked honey out of actual honey combs. She popped vitamins like candy. Perhaps due to these habits, mom stayed relatively healthy throughout her life. 

However, in her late 70’s, her health began to deteriorate. She developed old age onset diabetes and peripheral artery disease. In October of 2005, she landed in the hospital for a month after by-pass operations in both legs. She dropped 50 lbs. She grew so weak; we feared she would not survive. 

Friend, mom, her sister Catherine
Yet in the midst of physical weakness, her faith remained strong. Following high school, my mother had been a nun for eight years. She left the convent before taking her final vows. She wanted a family. She considered the roles of wife and mother as holy as a life in the convent. Mom’s faith has remained an integral aspect of her being. 

As her strength waned that October, she sensed she might die. She began to give me directives such as, “Bury me with my Bible.” One of her requests left a lasting impression. 

“Pray for me, that the last day of my life will be the happiest day of my life.” 

I often think of her request. I still pray it for my mother (who is yet alive.) I pray it for myself. 

Mom and I on Mother's Day
At first glance, her words appear contradictory. We equate death with sadness, not happiness. Yet for a follower of Jesus Christ, her word choice makes perfect sense.

The apostle Paul wrote, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”[1] Paul (like mom) said this while facing death.[2] If he lived, Paul wanted to be Jesus’ hands and feet and voice in this world. But, he considered dying the better option. All his labor, suffering, and battles would cease. He’d be safe at home with his beloved Savior.

Like Paul, I want to be Jesus’ hands and feet and voice in my world. I love the abundant life I have in Jesus Christ. But, this body is not designed to last forever. One day, I will die. That same day, my Real Life with Christ will begin. That day - the day I see Jesus face to face - will be the happiest day of my life.

Dear Jesus, I long to be with you. Thank you for a hope that extends beyond this life.

Taking it further …

  • Interested in more details on heaven? Read Heaven by Randy Alcorn.
  • Heaven is for Real (by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent) is the compelling true story of a boy’s trip to heaven and back.
  • Hell is for real, too. That’s why Jesus suffered and died on the cross. He paid the price for our sins to open the door to heaven and save us from hell. Have you received this gift? To reject him in this world is to live an eternity without God.

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.[3]
  • Believe, receive - it can all begin with a simple heartfelt prayer: Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite you to come into my heart and life. I want to live for you. Amen. 

    The exact words are not important. The attitude of your heart is important. To investigate this further call (888) Need-Him or visit www.needhim.org.
  • Read C.S. Lewis’s allegory of hell, The Great Divorce.
[1] Phil. 1:21
[2] Paul was under house arrest, daily facing the possibility of execution because of his faith.
[3] John 3:16-18

Comments

  1. Beautifully written Peggi, and I will investigate those links you have supplied. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lee, for your kind words. I'm praying for you as you've done some intense "soul work" recently. :)

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  2. Peggi,
    This is absolutely wonderful. “Pray for me, that the last day of my life will be the happiest day of my life.” Wow...I have no words. Truly, I want to comment but I am too moved.
    I have read Alcorn and Lewis. Great suggestions. Alcorn has a scene in one of his books. The main character hears a voice in heaven rendering a great, eloquent sermon. When he finds the person speaking, he finds that his is Down's. Having a Down syndrome boy who gets frustrated sometimes at his inability to express himself, that scene was very memorable.
    You are such a lovely lady.

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  3. Thanks, Linnea. Sometimes I'm blown away by the profound things my mom says.
    Such a moving image from Alcorn's book. I know that as his mom, your ears hear the eloquent sermon your son's life speaks every day. In heaven, we'll all hear it. Such a precious thought. Thank you for sharing it! I get so excited thinking about the Kingdom to come.

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  4. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to your Mom and to the Lord she served. I, too, have read the books you mention. Right after reading Randy Alcorn's book on Heaven, I read Francis Chan's book "Erasing Hell" - reminding me in another way of the reality of heaven and hell.

    That's an interesting prayer "...the happiest day of my life." For me it is the tragic times when I most long to be "beamed up" and to rest in the joy of the Lord face to face. Either way, I am so ready!

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  5. Hi Jamie, Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'll have to check out the Francis Chan book. I've read some of his others.

    I can definitely relate to longing for heaven in the midst of tragedy/heavy trials. (I like the "beam me up" image. :)

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  6. Peggi,
    I have just nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger award. You probably know how these things work. I don't want you to feel any pressure, okay? I mostly wanted to recognize your site.

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  7. Peggi ~ A beautiful post--thanks for sharing! ~ Peggy

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  8. This is beautiful Peggi. Glad I found your blog, you string words together beautifully. And I'm sure your mother continues to have the "happiest days of her life" now! How can she not, in the presence of our King!

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  9. Thanks Peggi, always glad to see your blog. I'm sure your mother was a beautiful person. I'd be interested to hear about what she went through during the time she decided not to take her vows.

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  10. Hi Kathleen,
    I would, too. She's never really described this time period to me. I read this blog at her funeral last Friday (through my tears).
    Thanks for commenting!

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