Some days she doesn’t come to mind, and then there are times when I think “I need to ask Mom about . . . ” and then it hits me all over again. She’s really gone. Sometimes I have picked up the phone to call and tell her a funny story about one of the grandchildren, and again remember . . . she’s no longer here.
My mom went to be with Jesus a year and a half ago, and my dad went to heaven five years prior to her. Within a few days of her death, a strange thought pervaded . . . I felt like an orphan.
I presumed it was the reality that both parents were no longer present in my life. As the feeling persisted I asked myself “How can a grown woman, with a wonderful husband, four precious children and six darling grandchildren feel like an orphan?” It baffled me — but the feeling remained. I solicited friends in the same situation, and discovered they too felt the same way, and used the exact word to describe their feelings.
It means “a child who has lost both parents in death.” The definition fit! I had lost both parents in death. I was an orphan.
A few days ago, I felt it again . . . a lonely feeling of being an orphan. And once again, it plagued me. . . until I picked up my Bible and began reading in John 14. There it was in verse 18!
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
I stared at it. Re-read it again and again, until the tears in my eyes fell onto the page forcing me to quit reading. In an instant, I knew HE understood! I am certain theologians would say I was taking it out of context, but in that moment their “rules” did not matter.
This was His word to me — so direct, precise and comforting! He knew and understood my heart. He cared how I had been feeling and He let me know it! He would not leave me an orphan, but He would come to me! I bowed my head and waited.
It has made a difference. That one short verse accompanied by His presence. Something changed deep inside my heart, in the place where the loneliness resided. He came and filled it with His understanding, caring, compassionate love.
I’m quite sure I will not stop missing my parents, but the depth of missing them has changed. I have a Heavenly Father who has promised He will always be with me and will never leave me or forsake me. I am no longer an orphan!