Last Monday, my adopted aunt slipped into eternity.
|Aunt Lydia and I during my high school graduation|
ceremony in 2010.
It's hard to imagine, really. When I think about heaven, I think about Jesus. David. Paul. Mary. Even though my grandpa, five little unborn siblings, and now my Aunt Lydia are there, it's difficult to picture heaven with people I actually know and love living there.
Aunt Lydia and I were very close. I recall many times when she would read my thoughts and laughingly repeat them out loud. It was humorous how she always knew what I was thinking. No matter how hard I tried to keep an expressionless countenance...she knew.
Aunt Lydia knew how important certain things are to me. Like chocolate and coffee. It became a tradition for her to buy me special chocolates for my birthday. And she even bought me a special coffee clock for my own home someday.
I've always desired and felt the call to be a wife and mother. Aunt Lydia knew that. She prayed hard for a special young man for me. She would always encourage me that, in God's timing, someone very wonderful would indeed come. Towards that end, she gave me a special tea set for two...and gave me the direct instructions that it was for me and my future mother-in-law to enjoy someday.
|Tea cup crafting day.|
For years, my family, the Hoppmans, and the Blodgetts would get together to watch creation videos, go through soul winning training, and do crafts. About this time last year, we made paper tea cups and filled them with - guess what?! - chocolates.
Aunt Lydia and I both loved Emilie Barnes books. We would talk about how to make a loving, peaceful home environment, organizational skills, and meal planning. We both loved candles, and it became common for her to bring me a new one every couple of weeks.
|Birthday celebration for Joshua, Nick, and my dad in 2013.|
These are the things I am going to remember. Not the five months of battling breast cancer or the suffering that led up to her passing. Heaven was made sweeter by her presence, and I know I have one more reason for being eager for the Lord's coming. And I know I will always see Aunt Lydia in her eight children, each of whom I love dearly and am grateful to call my friends.
I'll always think of Aunt Lydia when I hear the words to In Christ Alone. We both loved that song so much, and she would often sign her many emails with the title words. So many parts of the lyrics are so fitting.
In Christ alone, my hope is found.
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This Cornerstone, this solid Rock
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace.
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My Comforter, my all in all.
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
We are not as those who have no hope. Aunt Lydia loved the Lord and was known as a worshipper of God. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. So I do not say goodbye, but...
Until we meet again.