I can hear the kids moving around upstairs this morning. I usually love having them come barreling into the kitchen, rummaging around for breakfast (or brunch). But today I am willing them to stay right where they are. Don’t come downstairs. Because when they do, I have to tell them that our beloved Aunt Sue passed away.
It seems right that the woman who introduced our entire extended family to Jesus should meet him face-to-face first. It seems right that she’s the one to be in glory, rejoicing in the presence of her Lord and Savior. It seems right that she should be the one seeing all things fully, living pain-free and enjoying the amazing goodness of her God.
I am usually all for what’s right. I’m not such a big fan of being right right now.
My mind is clouded with what I want – how I wanted Sue’s story to be written. She was going to beat the tumor. She was not going to die. This woman who introduced so many people to the Lord… she couldn’t be the one to die. Child molesters or murderers or rapists – they should get glioblastomas and die at 67. Not Aunt Sue.
Then, through the haze of my raw emotions, these verses come to mind:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Do I really believe that? Do I really believe that God’s ways are higher than mine? Does higher mean better? Because I think my way – keeping alive the woman who loved people and God more than anyone I’ve ever known – was pretty darn good. Better, even. It has to be better than this. Doesn’t it?
Even as I’m convincing myself that I’m a better planner of all things than the One who created all things, I remember this chorus:
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name
I hear the kids upstairs again. And I continue to will them to stay there because I don’t want to say out loud, “Aunt Sue died.” But delaying the inevitable is not exactly a good plan, so I will just tell them. And I will say that the woman God used to bring our entire family to himself is now with him in Glory. She is no longer suffering. She is whole. She is complete. And she is worshiping the God she loved so much in ways she only dreamed of before.
And I will tell them that God’s perfect plan was to give us Sue Wilson as our aunt. And in his perfect plan he had her to tell us about him. And because of his plan and Sue’s faithfulness, we will one day worship him with her.
Thank you, Lord, for giving us Sue. Thank you for taking her home to you.
Blessed be your name.
Aunt Sue with newborn Michael
With Michael and newborn Amy
With Michael, Amy and newborn Rebecca
September 2014 - my last picture with Aunt Sue