On Monday afternoon my husband and I attended the Funeral or Celebration of Life for yet another of our friends who passed away earlier this month. Lanell’s service was very sweet. The church was full of family and friends whose life she had touched. I am sure her Spirit was quickly in the presence of Jesus in Heaven upon her last breath leaving her earthly body. No longer in any pain or suffering.
She was such a sweet servant of God. She was our Birthday Card writer for our Bible Study Class. She took such joy in it and in greeting others in the class.
Especially touching was the sharing of several of her grandchildren. These young people ranged from 18 years old and up. The true, heartfelt grief these grandchildren shared and obviously felt was very touching. To be loved sooooo greatly by your grandchildren is something we all should strive for. They were sincerely going to miss their MawMaw. She had touched their hearts and ours with her thoughtfulness, her genuine love for them, and her big smile. She always had a big smile for you whenever you saw her no matter what else was going on.
The comfort to all of the family and friends was the wonderful memories and the knowledge that they will see her again in Heaven.
The pastor focused the message on 1 Thessalonians 13-18 and also the belief that because LaNell was a believer that her soul/spirit was no longer here on earth but left her earthly body and was instantly in the presence of God and Jesus in Heaven.
This comes from 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 ( NASB):
6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by [d]sight— 8 but we are of good courage and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive compensation for [e]his deeds done through the body, in accordance with what he has done, whether good or bad.
It was an excellent message and sweet service. Some of the comments the family made about things LaNell said before passing, it got me recalling the same time before both of my parents passed away. Both were at home on hospice during the last days. Both had some visions or encounters with family members or friends from their past. It was as if they were seeing them again very vividly. Mom and Dad both made some movements of their hands as if they were taking communion with someone before they passed. These things made me believe there was some preparation going on for leaving their earthly body and going into the presence of God. All 3 of these folks were active, faithful believers and were ready to go meet Jesus.
He has prepared a place for us. John 14:1-4 (NASB)
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me.2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
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