Keeps Me Singing

My mother passed into heaven five years ago today.  I wanted to re-post this blog I wrote at that time about the sweet gift that God gave us shortly before she died.

It was probably over 55 years ago that a soloist with a beautiful voice went to sing in a revival service in the little town of Oakvale, West Virginia.  She sang the hymn “I’d Rather Have Jesus,” and then she sat down to listen to the sermon preached by Jimmie Jones.  Her heart was disturbed as she listened to the gospel being preached that night.  She thought of the song she had just sung, and of the words that came out of her mouth in such a perfect performance…..words that she knew she didn’t really mean.  For it was just that – a performance.  She sang beautifully, but she sang a lie.  She knew that she didn’t really know Jesus, and that she didn’t really mean it when she sang about wanting Jesus more than anything this world affords.

 

This woman was my mother, and that night changed her life and the life of our family.  She went home and urged my dad to go with her to listen to Jimmie Jones preach.  Mom didn’t know that my dad had already trusted Christ as his Savior.  It wasn’t long before my mother made the same decision.  She bowed her head and confessed her sin, and asked Jesus to be Lord of her life.  God changed my parents tremendously.  They raised their five children to know and serve the Lord, and they left us a spiritual heritage that has more value than anything this world affords.  And “I’d Rather Have Jesus” became my mother’s signature song…..one we heard her sing many, many times over the years.  One she sang with honesty for the rest of her life because of the work that God had done in her heart.

 

Last week we said goodbye to my mother for the final time on this earth.  We had really lost her a long time ago to the horrible ravages of Alzheimer’s.  She no longer had her memories, her personality, or any of her other faculties.  But even Alzheimer’s cannot take the Lord away.  He has promised to always be with us, and He always keeps His promises.  We saw evidences of His presence with Mom as she struggled in various ways.  What sweet comfort it brought to know that deep in her heart and her mind, God was ministering to her in ways that we could not.

 

Two weeks ago, on the day before the call went out to family that mother was dying, we saw a profound picture of God’s grace in her little body and in her heart.  Jan and her daughter, Bethany, had gone to spend some time with Mom in the care home where she lived.  Mom was sitting in the commons area, her head down and her eyes closed, unresponsive to the voices and the noises around her.  Suddenly, on the television that was playing, a man started singing “Amazing Grace.”  Bethany looked down at her grandmother and saw that her lips were moving.  Surprised at this, she and Jan leaned down and put their ears to Mom’s moving lips.  Here is what they heard coming from my unresponsive mother:

 

          Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,

 

          Sweetest Name I know.

 

          Fills my every longing,

 

          Keeps me singing as I go.

 

My mother was singing!  Jan and Bethany wouldn’t have believed it had they not heard it for themselves.  She was clearly singing this beautiful old hymn.  She was singing about Jesus, whom she was soon to meet.  God’s prompting, God’s presence, was there with Mom in that room.  Jan and Bethany joined her in singing, and then Bethany said, “I love you.”  Mom clearly said, “I love you” to Bethany, her eyes still closed.  Then Jan said, “I love you, Mom.”  And Mom said, “I love you” to Jan as well.

 

Those were the last words that my mother spoke.  The next day the family got the call that she was dying, and on Monday, May 4, my mother met Jesus.  Jesus, the sweetest name she knew.  Jesus, who filled her every longing.  Jesus, who kept her “singing as I go.”  Singing as she got ready to go to heaven.

 

Like my brother, John, said at her funeral…..how appropriate that Mom’s walk with the Lord began with a song many years ago.  And her life with the Lord ended with a song…..a song that surprised us all, but was such a gift of grace and hope from God.

 

A gift and an example that we will always, always cherish.

 

 

Author: Patty hesaidwhatks

I'm Patty and I write about our adult son who has Epilepsy and Autism, who still lives with my husband and me, and who is a package full of many surprises and joys and challenges and TALK! Lots of talking, which creates laughter and some other reactions as well. I also write about how God shows Himself to me in everyday life.

27 thoughts on “Keeps Me Singing”

  1. Oh Patty, this was beautiful!
    My heart and prayers are lifted for your family during this time. May the Lord continue to give peace and strength. I’m so encouraged by the legacy your mom has left, the sweet and glorious name of Jesus 🙌🏽
    I’m thankful that 55 years ago, she didn’t ignore that conviction and prompting because 55 years later, she needed these arms to welcome her home. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Deandra! I neglected to say at the beginning of my blog that I wrote it five years ago shortly after my mother passed away. Still, today is a tender day full of memories and I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. ♥️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ah, understood.

        Yes, even though that was then, there is still pain and tenderness in our hearts for those we have lost – there’s no time on grief and/or healing.

        Yes. Yes. Yes. I will continue to pray for you and your family always 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved your mom’s sense of humor. She always made me feel welcome when I spent time there with Kathryn Anne. And she told me once—that they had prayed Kathy would have a Christian friend right before we became best friends. She made me feel special. Your dad did too of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Patty, my eyes filled and spilled over as I read your beautiful tribute to your precious Mom. What a testimony of God’s love and goodness. What a legacy. I pray the Comforter to be with your family in abundance, and that the sweet memories of your Mom will live on tenderly in your hearts. ♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Jacquie! I neglected to say at the beginning of my blog that Mom passed away five years ago today, but I have just corrected that. Still, today is a tender day for us and I so appreciate your prayers!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a sweet story and precious memory and may this story and all the joyful memories remain forever in your heart. Thankful we will both see our beloved Mother’s someday again in Heaven! I hope you have peace and joy today as you remember the joyful times.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That was such a beautiful testimony about your mom Patty! Thank you for sharing. It reminds us of the power and deliverance that is found in the name of Jesus. She left a wonderful legacy! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautiful story! I remember one of my pastors telling me that often times, when he was visiting a parishioner in the hospital with advanced dementia, he would begin to say the Lord’s prayer. And the person who couldn’t even remember their own name or recognize their own family anymore would say the prayer right along with him. There’s something quite profound in that, I think. Peace to you on this anniversary of your mother’s death….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you Patty for sharing this precious memory. It reminded me very much of my own mother and when she went home to Jesus. God bless you sister.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s