Published September 27, 2016

Shelia Shares
"It Is Finished"

My mom died in April, 2009. She had suffered with memory loss and no longer knew who I was. My siblings and father were gathered around her bed when she took her last breath and went home to Heaven. It was a great loss to those of us left behind, but we knew we would see her again when we made that same trip to see Jesus.

The week of her funeral, my father told each of us children that he would no longer be taking all his medicines. We each gave him our blessing. He flourished for a few weeks and then he started to decline in health. It was seven weeks later that my dad joined Jesus and my mom in Heaven.

When my dad talked to me, he told me he had completed what he needed to do on this earth. He had been here for my mom.

For many years, my dad had suffered with heart problems. His first open heart surgery was in 1975. The medical technology was fairly new then and the doctor said it wasn't totally successful. He gave dad ten years to live. Dad lived 34 more years.

As mom aged, she no longer knew my name. The Christmas before her death, she no longer knew that I was family.

Although mom didn't know my dad's name, she knew he was "her man." Right up to the end of her life, she recognized "her man," and would follow him anywhere. If he took his walker to leave their room, she grabbed her walker and followed his footsteps.

My dad had several surgeries over those 34 years. He took his medicines so he could be there for mom. When she died, he felt he had completed his work on the earth. That seven weeks from her death until his was the longest they had ever been apart since their marriage 67 years before. He arrived in Heaven in time to celebrate her first birthday celebration there. I still miss them both.

Jesus said few words on the cross. But, when He said, "It is finished," it was not a hopeless cry. It was not an expression of defeat. "It is finished" was a cry of victory. Jesus had completed every task that was set before Him on this earth. He had lived with one purpose and that was to do what the Father willed Him to do. He came to earth to die for everyone of us and knowing His death was imminent, he said, "It is finished."

There is no defeat in death if we know where we are going. There is no defeat in death when an eternal reward is within reach. There is no defeat in death for the Christian who has accepted Jesus' payment for their sins and knows they will see God.

When I die, don't say "She lost her battle." When I die, say, "It is finished. Shelia has won the victory."


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