Our pastor, Dr. Dillon, says there are a few times in his life where he has so clearly, almost audibly, heard the Lord speak to him. And this past Friday, my dear friend and role model Karen (LifePark Women's Ministry leader) spoke about how God can use Christmas songs to speak to us. I know that to be true. I shared this story with her that night. So, I feel I should share my Silent Night experience with everyone.
Friday Night, November 23, will be a day I'll always remember. We had been in Columbia all week with my Gramma Fraylick, loving her, spending time with her, holding her hand, and telling her goodbye. We headed back to Charleston that day to await what was next.
When the end of someone's life is near, as a believer, my first thought, albeit perhaps a bit morbid, is "Where will they be going". If they are a true, redeemed follower of Christ, I know it is Heaven. If they are not saved, I shudder to think how the family will accept this grief and deal with the pain. See, as believers, we grieve not as people who have no hope, but as a people with a hope. (Don't quote me word-for-word on that, see 1 Thessalonians 4:13 for the actual text). Our hope comes in that our loved one is in Heaven, and by knowing that, we may find a bit of joy and peace even in death.
I was really wrestling with this question about my Gramma. I knew she knew the Lord, I knew she had been saved. I did ask my mom about it a few days before, just for reassurance. I think in my human nature of questioning, I just needed to hear someone audibly tell me she was saved, she's going to Heaven. But being the closest person to me who was ever in their final days on earth, I was struggling. I didn't want to see her in that state. I didn't want to go into her room. I didn't want to remember her like that. I didn't want to think about her leaving us on earth, and I needed to know that I know without a shadow of doubt she would be going to Heaven with Jesus. (I did end up going into her room and kissing her and squeezing her hand, and telling her I loved her, and telling her goodbye, and just sitting with her and my family. I will forever be thankful for those moments).
So, struggling with the whole scenario we were in, we went home to Charleston, jumping every time the phone rang.
I was watching a movie with David that night, and he had fallen asleep. The song Silent Night, recorded by Sinead O'Connor, began playing. I was half asleep, not really paying attention to it, but I could hear the sounds in the background. When the song came on, I was immediately awake. I had no idea what was going on in the movie, but I had this feeling that I needed to go off by myself, somewhere silent, and listen, really listen, to that song. The Lord was pushing me. So I got up, went outside and pulled it up on YouTube on my phone (Hallelujah for smartphones, lol!). I sat and listened, and wept.
Never in my life have I so clearly heard the voice of the Lord.
Silent Night, Holy Night. All is calm, All is bright.
The song progressed, as I kept crying and praying.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
And I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, the Lord telling me "I'm ready for her. This song is for her. It's time for her to go to sleep, in Heavenly Peace." After a few more moments of crying, and praying, and laughing, (yes, laughing) I called my sister, and my mom. I HAD to tell them what I just experienced. I had to share it with them, knowing they wouldn't think I was crazy. I think also, I needed to tell someone, so that I would have an accountability of sorts, or a witness that this really happened. That someone else knew what God was speaking to me.
The next day, she passed. I know the Lord was giving me the peace I needed, because he knew what was coming the next day. It was perfect proof of His absolute divinity and timing. Had it not happened this time of year, I would not have heard Silent Night. He perfectly ordained it all. I was, and still am, in awe of His wonder, His power, and yet His attention to little ol' ME. Please know, I'm not seeking to take any glory for this moment. I'm not trying to be selfish, or talk about MYself, or MY experience. I'm simply sharing for the GLORY of the Lord. HE perfectly used my Gramma's passing to speak peace over me, and to reveal to me HIS power, through something so simple as a Christmas song.
**I'm sure you all know, two days later, on Monday, my Grandma Young passed away as well. I'm not trying to "jip" her, or leave her out. I just knew this was for my Gramma Fraylick. Maybe God was also trying to prepare my heart for Grandma Young, and I just didn't know it at the time. Maybe that's a question I'll ask Him, when I meet Him.