Today was full of unexpected emotions- from the sincerely happiest of happy feelings to heartbreaking sadness.
My baby sister, Steph, got engaged today. (For all of you pretending to help me keep it a secret that we knew it was coming- yeah! We can stop that now!) I'm truly happy for her, and thrilled to gain a new brother in law. Our family has been needing some new blood for a while! Congratulations Steph and AJ!
And the sadness I felt came for a family I have never met. About six years ago I learned of the blog of a little girl fighting cancer. I followed her family's heroic efforts to battle cancer right up to the day she was declared cancer free! Not long after their family endured that, her mother was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. She fought a very valiant battle against that evil and awful disease. Last September she was placed on a ventilator, and full life support not long after that. Her mind and soul were completely intact, and sadly held captive by a failing body.
A few weeks ago she bravely announced her request to be removed from life support. She bore her testimony for all to read. (She lost the control of her body, but she did have the ability to move her eyes. She was able to "type" blog posts with her eyes. How amazing is that?!) She brought me to tears with her knowledge of God, Christ, and Heaven, and her desire to go there. She has incredible and moving faith!
It was at her request that she be removed from life support and released from her earthly cage today. My heart has been so full for this family that has endured so much. I have no doubts that there is a special place in Heaven for this wonderful woman who sacrificed so much for her family. My heart is both sad for the family who has lost their mother, and the husband who said goodbye to his wife, and yet my heart thrills for her. She is no longer held back by her earthly state. She is reunited with loved ones, and has a whole, healthy, and full body again. Heaven must have rejoiced so greatly at the return of such an amazing woman today!
My heart is full of joy, love, and heartbreak. I did not know I could feel so many emotions at once. As I lay down to sleep tonight, and stop to kneel in prayer, there will be a longer list than usual, and many extra declarations of gratitude for such a full life!