Gone From My Sight

img038If you follow my posts, you know a couple of weeks ago my cousin called to say my aunt was dying. Some relatives felt I needed to leave immediately if I wanted to see her alive. Ironically I’d agreed to speak on “Trusting God When Life Stinks” that Friday. Larry and I prayed for guidance. I felt I was to leave after my talks.

After I made my decision someone said, “If she’s so important, why are you putting this event over her?” The answer on my lips quieted my own doubts and fears. “It’s not who is more important. It’s about where God wants me to be.”

God graciously made the timing of my visit perfect. Several family members’ visits overlapped the night I arrived. Aunt Jane revived a few times for us to engage and tell her we loved her.

My daughter Ginny was unable to join us that weekend. In our trip to and from my aunt’s funeral this weekend, she shared her memories and the special comfort God has given her. The following are Ginny’s thoughts I asked her to share with you.

“Aunt Susanne told me that in the last couple of days of life, my great Aunt Jane had moments of consciousness and spoke of ‘them’ coming to meet her. She knew where she was going and looked forward to seeing those waiting for her arrival.

When I think of her life and what she valued, I know she’s having a blast in heaven.

Aunt Jane loved us and made our Thanksgivings together one of my favorite times. Her petite frame carried a big smile and contagious laugh. She took pleasure in beauty and made everything just right to create a special time. She enjoyed life.

Aunt Jane was also full of spunk. She said it ‘how it is’ and showed you the right way to do something.

Gone From My Sight, attributed to Henry Van Dyke, helps me picture her entrance into heaven.

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

7427_149373912655_5569917_n[1]Then, someone at my side says, ‘There, she is gone’

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, ‘There, she is gone,’
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, ‘Here she comes!’

On his deathbed D. L. Moody said, ‘Soon you will read in the newspaper that I am dead. Don’t believe it for a moment. I will be more alive than ever before.’

My great aunt was full of life, spunk, and adventure. Yet she is more alive now then ever before.”

Ginny was unable to say good-bye, but one day, because of Jesus, she’ll say hello again.

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Debbie Wilson

Deborah W. Wilson

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  1. Marilyn Couch

    Debbie, because The Lord is the most important Person in your life,
    you have discernment about His Will and His Way. Thank-you for
    sharing about the beauty and the elegance you saw and appreciated
    in your Aunt Jane. One day in Heaven, I’ll look forward to meeting
    her. Whenever my loved ones have left, my last words to them were,
    “I love you and I’ll see you later.”

    • Debbie Wilson

      Marilyn, you are so right. There are so many practical benefits from walking with Jesus. God is good to show us how to have discernment. When I questioned my decision, I recalled James 1 promise that God gives wisdom to those who ask in faith. He also says we’ll be unstable if we doubt. I had to choose to believe His promise and my emotions followed. I love your salutation to your departing Christian loved ones, “I’ll see you later.”

  2. Keita Ikeda

    Indeed. We need to be where God ordained us to be. I can only imagine what went through Hudson Taylor’s mother when she said goodbye to him on the docks, never to see him again. I believe he was only 27 or thereabouts.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Keita, Good point. I can’t imagine her pain either. In a real sense she suffered “the death” of her son when his ship sailed away.

  3. Ann Musico

    What a lovely post Debbie. It is so comforting to know our loved ones are simply out of our sight and more alive than ever before.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes. Thanks, Ann.

  4. Leslie Oldham

    Debbie, thank you for being “real”. Not folding under the pressure of “what others think” but knowing God’s perfect will for your life and most importantly, being obedient to His will. God bless you indeed and I know your Aunt Jane will forever live in your heart and in your memories. Thank you for sharing.

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