The First of July
July 1st should be a special day for me. But for the last 21 years, I’ve never really paid particular attention to this day. Today marks the 21st year since the death of my husband. And today, I had an urge to visit his grave.
When I mentioned it to my daughter, she insisted on coming with me. She also suggested for me to go to church with her at Fellowship Monrovia, where she’s been going for the past couple months. She told me that the pastor was an excellent speaker and that every time she went, she felt lifted up. She felt very confident and energetic after service. Afterward, we would go to my husband’s grave. Usually, I would have refused. I haven’t stepped into a church for about 20 years. It didn’t mean that I didn’t have faith, as I still had my fellowship with God because I continuously pray and have the conversations with him.
But this time, I was moved to go with her. I was so glad and thankful that I went. The speaker today was a visiting pastor, and he did such a good job. He put bible verses into a real-life context and made it easy to grasp the meanings. I was so moved, and before I left, I went to hug him and the head pastor.
We went to my husband’s grave afterward. While there, we usually try to clean the headstone. It wasn’t difficult, as I had cleaned it the last time I had been there with my son and granddaughter, but we still needed to trim the grass around the stone. As I sat there, I realized that I could count on my fingers how many times I’ve been at his grave over the past 20 years. I felt ashamed that I didn’t go more often. The things my husband has done for me is more than I can imagine. Even just before he passed away, he gave me a gift. He tried to tell me something. I mistook what he said until a year later when I realized he was trying to tell me that he loved me. A few years later, I decided to write an article about how I fought for him to keep getting a blood transfusion from the hospital for three days so that he would stay alive, but he passed away only several hours after they agreed to keep giving him blood.
All that time, I thought that I had tried so hard to keep him alive. I wanted him to live so much, but he passed away anyway. When I finished writing, I realized that he had wanted me to keeping living. By fighting, he knew that I would gain the strength and energy to live on and move on without him.
But there was one more surprise he had given me that I did not realize. About a week ago, when I was praying with my son, I realized something about his death.
My husband had had surgery on his lymph nodes because they were enlarged. The operation, coupled with the radiation he was receiving, made his body very weak and the wound from the surgery never healed and sealed, so the blood kept coming out from the opening of the wound.
One time, when our church members came to visit, I had to pull up the sheet to cover his neck so they wouldn’t see the blood on him. A week before his passing, he asked me suddenly if I had been standing next to him. I told him I hadn’t, and I had been sitting on the sofa resting. He told me that he had seen Jesus then. I asked him what He looked like. He said that he couldn’t see Him clearly, but he knew He had had a warm and smiling face. Also, a couple of days before he left, two doves kept walking back and forth on the window outside of his room.
After my husband passed, I couldn’t understand why he had to bleed to death too. Hadn’t Jesus’s blood brought salvation and saved the people already? Why my husband? This question has lingered and never answered until recently.
I realized that this coincides with the topic of the last chapter of the book I’m writing: Who Am I? God’s message was that “I am God.” We all also have the heavenly character of God. He is our father, and we are his children, so we are God too. Even though I’ve finished writing my book, I still can’t accurately display what God is through it. Who am I to become him? How can I become him? After the realization I had last week, I finally got it.
What my husband did wasn’t a coincidence. He gave me the last gift, a lesson on how to become godly. He reminded me that Jesus bled too. He was doing what Jesus did. He taught me how to follow God’s footsteps. It doesn’t mean that I have to bleed to death, but I have to follow God’s steps to have His love and His wisdom. To gain our rightful ownership and to manifest His power. This way, we can live in glory as He did. I’m still learning, but I’m so thankful, after 21 years, that I finally got my answer. What a gift.