Tender Mercies


I’ve got to admit it—it’s hard getting back to blogging (and other things) after the unexpected loss of my mom. Let me start by thanking you all for your prayers and many expressions of love and concern over the past couple of weeks. Each one has touched my broken heart. Each one has been much appreciated.

It was so difficult to see Mom lying in a hospital bed injured beyond repair, but you know what—God was with us each step of the way, granting tender mercies and reminding us of other mercies he’s given leading up to this last event. I won’t try to recount them all. There are too many. But I would like to share a few and offer God praise for them all, told and untold.

Ah, the tender mercy of seeing God’s hand in the timing of Mom’s home-going. Though it felt too soon to let her go, God allowed us a great year together as a family this year.

Mom and Dad celebrated their 60th anniversary on January 1st, and we celebrated Mom’s 80th birthday in May. Even though she suffered a TIA in June and another in August, Mom and Dad were able to enjoy our family reunion trip to Tennessee in July. After finally getting her blood pressure stabilized, Mom and Dad were also able to take a little trip back to Missouri (their home for twenty-two years before moving to Tulsa last year) just a couple of weeks before the accident. They had the best time renewing their friendships and visiting their church. All of these things were gifts—tender mercies as my friend Karen called them—to all involved.

Even the timing of Mom and Dad’s move last year—which was hard on all of us at the time—is a gift beyond compare now. God knew it was time for Mom to go home so he moved them close to family in plenty of time for them to get settled in their new home and church. If they hadn’t moved, Dad would be three hours away from family today. Instead, he lives in the same town as my sister Carolyn now, and I live just seventy-five miles away. A tender mercy indeed.

God’s merciful timing was evident on the day of the accident as well. Carolyn just happened to be at home because her boys were on fall break. The accident happened right outside the hairdresser’s shop—and she just happened to be a friend of Carolyn’s. She called Carolyn and told her Mom had been in an accident, and Carolyn was able to get to the scene in a few short minutes because it was just blocks away. Since my nephew Cody was home from school, he was able to go pick up my dad and take him to the hospital—which again, just happened to be blocks from the accident scene. Pretty amazing in a city the size of Tulsa. Coincidences? No. More tender mercies from our loving Lord.

Even the way Mom died was a mercy in the grand scheme of things. Her dad died in the months following a major stroke, and it looked like Mom might be headed in that direction. As hard as it was to see her poor sweet body go through the trauma of an accident, she went into a coma almost immediately and didn’t suffer. How much better than to endure the effects of a major stroke or the cruelty of cancer or Alzheimer’s. Yes, another tender mercy—though it still hurts like crazy to have lost her so unexpectedly.

The few days we had with her in the hospital were another gift from God. Dad especially needed those days to accept the fact that it was time for her to go to heaven. Those days were precious to us all. Even though we didn’t know if she could hear us, we were able to tell her we loved her.

These are just a few of God’s tender mercies to us, and oh, what comfort he gave us through them. What peace they offered in the midst of heartbreaking pain. What a kind and loving heavenly Father we have. And yes, I’m singing his praise through tears right now, but oh how worthy he is of our praise.

Thank you, friends, for standing with me and my family during a time of such great sorrow.

“Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.” Lamentations 3:32

*Flickr photo by Flower’s.Lover, Creative Commons License

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  1. Dave & Carolyn Strickland says

    You are so right. All of these things are proof of God’s love for us. They are a treasure to us always.

  2. what a beautiful message cheryl…i am convinced, after experiencing my own mother’s passing, that being present for a loved one’s final moments can be every bit as miraculous as giving birth or witnessing a birth…the evidence of the presence of God through every moment is a Huge comfort.

    • You’re right, Marcia. What a blessing and privilege to be present for a loved one’s final moments on earth. And yes, seeing all of the evidences of God’s presence with us has been such a comfort. So much peace in knowing that the entire situation has been in His hands.

  3. Wonderful writing/sharing,Cheryl. Thank you.

  4. I lost my dad suddenly, too, Cheryl. It’s a hard loss. I’m glad you were able to have a little time with your mom before her death. My dad was alive one minute and dead the next. I just wish I could have said goodbye.

    But, like you, I’ve experienced the tender mercies that only He can give. And we can both look forward to seeing our precious, godly parents again in eternity. And that is the tenderest mercy of all.

    Prayers for continued healing for you and your family.

    • Vonda, thanks so much for your prayers and for sharing your experience, too. Don’t know how we could bear it if we didn’t know we’d see them again one day. So thankful for God’s comfort and the comfort of family and friends…

  5. Cheryl, I think your writing about the passing of your Mother and God’s part in all of it was perfect. Feeling and believing as you do should give you an inner peace at such a sad time. Thank you for sharing that feeling.

  6. I am so glad for the many ways God has made his tender mercy available to you and your family in this time of grief. My heart and prayers have been with you as you travel this season of “letting go.” You are dear to me, Cheryl.

    • Elaine, you are dear to me, too, and your love and prayers mean so much to me right now. This loss has hit hard and deep. I’m so thankful for God’s tender mercies and the love of family and friends like you.

  7. I love the scripture verse you included too; so glad for the tender ways our Lord and your loving community ministered to you during this time. I continue to pray for you!!

    • Emily, that verse is very special to me from another time of grief, too. I appreciate your prayers so much. Losing Mom has be so, so hard. Thank you for your love and prayers!

  8. Oh honey..I feel so bad for being in my own little bubble lately..I didn’t know about your mom. I know this is all so hard. But I am thankful you can see Him in this even though this is so unexpected. Hugs, love and prayers, my friend!

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