Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 10th, 2012. The presence of God.

Saturday, March 10th, 2012. Three weeks ago today. The day God called Rebecca home. It's a day that I will never forget. I felt God's presence like never before.

The night before was like any other Friday night. I stayed up pretty late, so on top of my sleep meds, I thought I would sleep through the night. Early Saturday morning, as in 2 or 3am, I woke up and was wide awake. I had a strong feeling that I should pray for Rebecca. I couldn't get her off my mind so I layed there and prayed. The rest of the night, or early morning technically, I was very restless and didn't sleep well. God needed me praying more than I needed sleep.

When I got up for the day, around 10am, my dad told me that Rebecca was taken to the hospital around 2am (the same time I woke up and prayed) and was put in the comfort care room. I didn't really know what that meant, but I got dressed as fast as I could and drove to the hospital. I couldn't get there fast enough and probably sped all the way. I was getting more anxious to see her. On the way to the hospital, I was listening to music and one of the songs that came on was "I Will Rise". This has been Rebecca and I's favorite song for a couple years, maybe even since we were diagnosed (She was diagnosed with cancer a month after I was diagnosed with Lyme). As I listened to the words on the way to the hospital, I had no idea that God would call Becca home that same day.

"There's a peace I've come to know 
Though my heart and flesh may fail 
There's an anchor for my soul 
I can say "It is well" 

Jesus has overcome 
And the grave is overwhelmed 
The victory is won 
He is risen from the dead 

And I will rise when He calls my name 
No more sorrow, no more pain 

I will rise on eagles' wings 
Before my God fall on my knees 
And rise 
I will rise"

"Blessings" also came on.

"We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
You love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

I didn't know that later that day, I would really understand what this song means. "What if Your healing comes through tears" would take on a new meaning.  

I parked and walked through the hospital as fast as I could. I prayed all the way. I prayed for her comfort and peace. When I arrived on the 10th floor, I asked the nurses where the comfort care room was. They all had a painful look on their faces as they pointed me to the room. From the outside it looked like a normal hospital room. However, it was not.

When I entered the room, I didn't even have a chance to see Rebecca before her parents came and hugged me. We all cried together. That was when I finally understood that she would be with Jesus soon. We hugged and talked about how she would be pain free and at peace in Jesus' arms very soon. She would be healed forever. She deserved it.

Her parents then gave me the opportunity to spend time alone with Rebecca, and tell her that it was okay to be with Jesus. She needed to hear it from me. I hesitated at first, but only because I was scared. I knew it would be the last time on earth that I would talk to her alone. But then God gave me the strength and peace that I needed. Her family left the room, and for the last time on this earth, it was just me and Becca.

I sat by her and rubbed her arm so that she would know that I was there. I'm sure that she could hear us, she just couldn't respond anymore. Tears fell as I told her that it was okay to go to Jesus. Those were some of the hardest words I've ever said. I truly meant those words, but letting her go was hard. I reassured her that I would miss her so much, but that I will be okay until I saw her again. She and I have talked about Heaven so much in the past 3 years, so I talked to her about Heaven. How there will be no more IVs, pain, nausea, PICC lines, ports, medicines, needles, blood tests, CT scans, surgeries, hospitals, and wheelchairs.

I told her how thankful I was that God chose us to be friends. That verse in Philippians 1:3, "I thank my God every time I remember you" has never been more true. I told her that. We'd been through everything together since we were diagnosed. We both agreed that getting sick was worth it since we became friends because of it. Our friendship was one of a kind. I reminded her of that. Most people with a chronic illness have to go through it alone. We were blessed to have each other.

As I sat by her, I kept reassuring her that it was okay to go with Jesus when He called her home. I told her that I would see her soon. God gave me the words to say to her and the strength I needed to say them. I am so very thankful for that precious time with her. I'll never forget it.

After I spent time alone with her and everyone came back in the room, we spent hours sitting by her, reassuring her that we were there and that it was okay for her to go be with Jesus. As I sat by her and rubbed her arm, I couldn't help but think what was going on in Heaven as they got ready for her arrival. They prepare for you and then welcome you. Jesus said He's preparing a place for us. Wow. "You will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:11 

As the time grew nearer and nearer, I couldn't stop thinking about what was going on in Heaven as Rebecca got closer to home. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but it seemed like a peace came upon the room. Enough peace that we could tell her to go be with Jesus. Enough peace to talk about what she was fixing to experience in Heaven. Enough peace to be able to smile while talking about Heaven. Enough peace to laugh at things we love about her. 

Later that afternoon, there came a time when everyone just knew that she would be with Jesus very soon. We all gathered around her and then the nurse took the monitors off. She always hated those monitors! We held each other and her uncle led a prayer. Around this time, it started to rain outside. Becca loved the rain, and it seemed like Heaven was crying with us. Our eyes were fixed on Rebecca and God. "For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon YOU.” 2 Chronicles 20:12b

What was going on in Heaven at that moment? Her parents kept reassuring her that it was okay to go be with Jesus when He called her home. They told her that she had fought so hard, and that it was time to be with Jesus.

At 5:31pm, Rebecca received eternal healing and peace in Jesus' arms. With her last breath, I felt a moment of peace. "She fought the good fight, she finished the race, she kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7

I then truly realized that with her final breath, she was with Jesus. I felt closer to God than I ever had. One minute she was with us, and the next she was literally in Jesus' arms.

I know that God was holding us all in that comfort care room. He was present. I could feel it. He was there to take Rebecca home and give us peace and comfort.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 

That peace continued, but then the sadness came. Sadness that she was not here anymore. Sadness that she wouldn't be here to go through life together as you and your friends plan. We all cried together and held each other. There became a special bond with the people in that comfort care room when Becca was called home. 

After many hugs and tears, we all left the hospital that night and started a new season of life.

I've never experienced two, such strong emotions at once. Peace and grief. How can they exist together when the grief is so strong? Only through God. Without Him, we would just be grieving. "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hopeWe believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him." 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

The only reason we have peace in this time is because of God. There is nothing in this world that can bring peace right now. Nothing. But because of God, we have a peace that passes all understanding. Because of God, we have peace because we know we'll see her again. Because of God, we have peace because we know she is pain free and cancer free in Heaven! Because of God, we have peace because He promises to carry us through each season of life.

Being with Rebecca when God called her home was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. It's incredible that we were with her when she met Jesus face to face. I felt so close to God. Immediately I had a new perspective of Heaven. It became really real. 

I still have that feeling of awe that I can't describe about that day. She fell asleep and left this world and entered into Heaven. She saw Jesus face to face with her last breath. She received eternal healing and peace in Jesus' arms.

But we miss her so much. We are human and selfish and want her here. We'll never be the same. Our lives won't go back to normal for a long time. This season of life is not easy. But if God gave us peace and comfort through the hardest day of our lives on March 10th, 2012, He will get us through this season and every other one.

A couple songs that are perfect right now.

"Praise You in this Storm" by Casting Crowns

"For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
'I'm with you'
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

"With Hope" by Steven Curtis Chapman

"This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you've gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you, but ...

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope 
There's a place where we'll see your face again

We'll see your face again

And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father's smile and say well done
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home
And now you're free, and ...

We have this hope as an anchor 
'Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true, so ...
We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
We let go with hope

I'm so thankful for being able to be with Rebecca the day God called her home. I can't wait to see her again. 

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39


  1. Victoria this is so powerful, so moving, so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this experience here. No words I write will ever properly be able to convey my response or how much love I have for you & how much I just want to hug you .. you have been through, already, so much more than anyone should have to go through. But your unswerving faith and hope are possibly the most inspiring things I've ever come across, anywhere. Thank you.

    So much love x x x

  2. Crying, that's all I can say.
    Kim Rice

  3. Wow. That's amazing. I haven't met you, but to have shared this with the world, you deserve the deepest Thank You.

    It was one of my life's greatest, hardest gifts to be with my dad when he passed. Yes, what a sacred time.

    Blessings, and your bravely in doing what you did not only helped you and your friend, but all of us as well :) - Linda

  4. Victoria, Your Dad shared this with me. I am sorry for your loss but rejoice in the strengthing of your faith. And yes I understand the jumble of emotions you describe since I walked through them and continue too since my wife went to our Lord a couple of years ago. Blessings on you Victoria for your faithful friendship and trust and may you have ADONIA's Shalom.
    Paul Rice

  5. What a beautiful picture you painted, Victoria. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thank you for sharing this experience with us. It's true that its been 5 years since it happened, but I cried with you while reading what you wrote. Yes our Lord is faithfull. And your faith also amazed me.
    Thank you again Victoria, for sharing this with us.
    As I am typing this, the holy spirit just told me, " This is why I named her Victoria!". You are more than a conquerer in Christ Jesus!!!