It's so hard for me to believe, but it's been 15 years since my sister, Sherri, went to be with the Lord. I remember standing in the florist shop ordering flowers for her funeral, and thinking, "Surely the Lord is going to return soon, because I can not bear the thought of living without her...and He won't put more on us than we can bear...this is clearly too much. I know He must be on His way back. We won't be here in another 10 years...surely." Well....it's been 15. . .and has that caused me to doubt Him? Has that caused me to become bitter? Has my faith diminished? Certainly one would think that any of those would be reasonably expected outcomes, especially considering how I distinctly recall saying "Surely He will not expect us to actually have to DEAL with her loss on a daily, or even worse: YEARLY basis."
But here I sit. . . 15 years later. I can truly testify to the fact that God is faithful. No matter WHAT circumstances cause your grief. Sudden tragedy..Sudden loss of a job. Sudden death of a loved one. Psalm 34:18 says The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. I clung to that promise even when I could not even pray any words to express my grief.
In the wake of her sudden death, and the days leading up to her funeral I recall very little...guess from the shock. But one thing God allowed my memory to retain, and subsequently He has etched it into my heart: Standing at her casket the night before her funeral. People were lined up outside, waiting to come in. . .and there was my former piano instructor . . as we stood at Sherri's casket I told Lynn, "I can never play again. .. how can I play from a heart that is broken?" She said "You have all the more reason to now." I didn't understand. .. but that was 15 years ago. . . Now I understand.
God uses music as a tool in the healing process. . .and in the few months or even years after she passed, I could not hear certain songs sung without boo-hooing. One specific song was "Serenaded by Angels." Couldn't hear it sung, or played on the radio.
How could I continue to PLAY from a heart that was broken? In order to get the refreshing juice from grapes, they must be crushed. . .and little did I know that God was going to use Sherri's untimely death to become a platform for me to offer encouragement and comfort to others. . .and do it through the music that He caused to come forth from that once crushed spirit and broken heart of mine.
God is faithful. 15 years later, here I sit . . .with a healed heart. . . still thinking of and missing my sister, but with a new perspective. God WILL allow us to go through hard times, sometimes they seem even more than we can bear...but it's to reveal HIMSELF to us. . and draw us closer to Him.
And below is a musical arrangement of none other than Serenaded by Angels. . in memory of my sister's 15th year with the Lord. Her time in eternity has only just begun.