The week leading up to Memorial Day, which was also the weekend of our oldest son’s 29th birthday, I sat in the Hosparus unit with my mom for the 3rd day in a row, not knowing how much time we had left with my stepdad, Jerry. With time dragging on, yet ironically time flying, my mind flooded with memories.
SNAPSHOTS OF MEMORIES
One in particular memory was the morning of my wedding - 21 years ago this week. I was a young mom excited with the fact that on this day we would officially become a family. MY three little guys, ages 4, 6 & 8, would become OUR little guys. And I would soon be Mrs. Christopher Krukar. But as anyone who is familiar with active little boys, you can imagine how stressed I was trying to get myself ready on that morning, along with three who really didn’t want to be wide-eyed on a summer Saturday morning for anyone other than Bugs Bunny. Yet in walks my mom & Jerry with a box of donuts ready to feed and wrangle my brood into miniature tuxedos. I can still see our youngest Jamie snuggled up to Jerry on the couch in his oversized t-shirt, knees tucked up inside and a sweet chocolate grin on his face.
Fast forward a little to Fall at Mom & Jerry’s home on Alfresco Place. Nick, Sean & Jamie would love to go to “Green Grandma’s” and “Turquoise Jerry’s” (as they became affectionately known as) for a big leaf raking, culminating in a “run, jump and completely destroy” any pile that Jerry created. I can still hear their giggles and see Jerry’s smile as their faces popped through the mess of leaves.
PRECIOUS AND PAINFUL
Memories can be wonderful and precious, but unfortunately in this broken world, they can also be painful and heart-wrenching.
My stepdad, Jerry died on May 26. On the heels of this, came the news of my precious friend Patsy’s death. And then, our world came face to face with evil, as we tried to take in the devastating tragedy that occurred in Orlando a weekend ago. My heart has been extremely heavy and burdened. However, I am reminded again and again of what Christ said to his friends in John 16:33… “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus didn’t say, “You may have…” or “It’s quite possible you will…” or even “It’s 99.9% probability that…” He says, “You will.” He knew all too well. He didn’t sugarcoat or make sure it was politically correct first, so as not to offend – Jesus spoke TRUTH. He didn’t end there, though. His next sentence made sure we didn’t stay focused on the world’s troubles that were going to come. Jesus wanted us to return her minds/focus on Him by saying: “BUT take heart! I have overcome the world.” I know we have all seen this scripture a thousand times, but pay attention that Jesus gives us a clear strategy to combat the fear and anxiety that comes with knowing trouble is lurking. He prefaces that sentence with “…so that IN ME you may have peace.” Christ is our anchor! Christ is our strength! He is our peace when we are in Him! When things of this world become unbearable and painful, Jesus is our answer! He is the only solution!
I’ve stated before because I am very familiar with this one: Fear is one of Satan’s most effective tools to halt a believer in his/her tracks, to keep us from being and doing what God has equipped us to accomplish. But our Lord knows this, so much so, that His Word resounds with statements that tell us not to be afraid, for “I AM WITH YOU – Emmanuel – God With Us!” The enemy wants nothing more than to see us flee and cower in a corner and disappear.
So let me remind you of who you are! You are a child of THE King. He chose you. He sought you out because He loves you unfathomably! He would move heaven and earth for you – in fact He did! He came to this earth, laughed, loved, cried, toiled, suffered in a way we cannot begin to imagine and died on your behalf, on my behalf. BUT, it did not end there! He crushed death! He walked away from the grave more alive than ever! Jesus wins! Therefore, we win!
I’ve heard at many funerals over the years, particularly when we lose loved ones, that we carry on their legacy, that they live on in us and in our memories. How much more so, as children of God, is our eternal legacy?! How much more should we strive to live lives that point others to Christ, to be His hands and feet to the broken, to be loving, gentle, kind and grace-filled?! We are commissioned to be His light in this world. We have a perfect love that was fully displayed in Jesus that needs to be known. Our world is crying out for a hope/a love that only He can bring. Be that love – it’s your legacy!