In December 2002 I moved with my firstborn son to a small rural town in Victoria.
Before he was one year old I joined the local mother’s playgroup for some much needed support and social contact. I was blessed to meet many inspiring, hardworking local Aussie women and to gain support and knowledge for my new chapter of motherhood. I connected with one woman who had two sons; the second was very close in age to my eldest…for privacy reasons, I will call her here a pseudo name of ‘Sonia’.
Back then I wasn’t living my life committed to Christ. I worked as the local performing arts teacher and Playgroup was my main way for making friends. The group of playgroup mums all witnessed my life then being blessed to have another two sons. My third son was born at the end of April 2005 and it was around that time I received the news that Sonia’s second son, the one the same age as my eldest, had died very suddenly – the cause unknown, a SIDS case.
This was such devastating news…I’m quite sure Sonia by this time also had a third son who would have been around six months old…My world was rocked with the frailty of life…my playgroup friend so similar to me…A mum with three boys had lost her middle child!
I was blessed to be born again not long later that year and The Lord drew me closer to Sonia. I was so happy for her when she later was blessed with a fourth child – a beautiful daughter. Sonia was Roman Catholic and even though I saw her shed tears over the loss of her second son, I don’t believe she ever blamed God – rather she was glad He was taking care of him and that she would see him again one day in heaven!
Our friendship wasn’t always smooth yet it was still real and even after moving away I knew I would always be welcome for coffee at Sonia’s place.
Not long after I became single Sonia was diagnosed with secondary cancer in the worst stage. If my memory serves me correctly she was advised that with treatment she could be hopeful of having a decade with her young family…this was possibly 2012/2013. There was positive attitude because she had survived a rare form of cancer earlier in her life when she was 17…and this was around two decades later.
Around 2 months ago Sonia was rushed to hospital as she was having trouble walking – they discovered a tumour on her spine and she had radiation for the week…However they then said she only had a few months left in their opinion. I was blessed to visit her then and we hung out together as old girlfriends…I shared with her the latest happenings in my life around one of her treatments.
Only around two weeks later I received the news that she was in fact in her last days. I went to see her but she wasn’t awake…however I was able to lay hands on her and pray for her, committing her to Christ which I felt I had to do…I also was blessed to chat again with her dad and husband.
My friend Sonia passed away peacefully in the early hours of this morning.
Today I am grieving.
It’s not I am grieving without HOPE…for indeed I hold to the truth of eternal life through Christ.
I am grieving the frailty of life once again…I am grieving the brokenness of our world yet to be restored as I know God’s good design did not include grief and death.
I understand why Jesus cried over the death of His friend Lazarus – for this is NOT the way life should be – death is the opposite of LIFE.
When the full number of God’s children return to Him through Jesus, Jesus will return to fully establish His Kingdom and bring about the perfect restoration of heaven and earth as one, where there will be NO SIN OR DEATH.
Sonia was not even 40 years old and leaves behind a loving godly husband and three children.
Sometimes with the bustle of life we can forget the frailty of life and our mortality…Sometimes we don’t want to think about it, living as if we have forever here or as if there is no creator to ever meet one day…
Yet this is not really living and I believe I can say this, as I once lived like this. I lived solely for myself and I never felt a sense of completeness deep within…Rather there was an emptiness, a lacking.
Now even living with the reality of the frailty of life I have peace and life makes sense. I know the very real frailty of my human condition has been met by my good creator and Father in heaven…For the consequence of sin is death, eternal separation from our Holy Creator who cannot have sin near Him.
We are born with a sinful nature because of Adam…
Yet God, because He is LOVE, Himself has made the way for our forgiveness and reconciliation – He has done what we cannot do – He became a MAN and died our death so that when we believe that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh we pass from death to ETERNAL LIFE forever.
God has made the way and reached out to us…
It is only because of His goodness and grace that we are able to CONFESS our sinful nature to God and admit our need for forgiveness and reconciliation and NEED for CHRIST! He re-births us with His blessed, perfect Holy Spirit which is why we become changed to LIVE for HIM and will receive eternal life.
Life is fragile in our humanness.
Yet God has made the way…DON’T put off being forgiven and restored, confess your sins and need for Christ in the Saving Name of Jesus…don’t wait for your death bed, you may not get one…and from this Ordinary Aussie Woman who knows what life is like walking it with Christ, I urge you to call out and receive the peace and fulfillment which passes BEYOND all comprehension…THIS is true LIFE!
None of us deserve this awesome, free gift…this is why we call it AMAZING GRACE!
So grab a hold of it today and be transformed through JESUS CHRIST…Just get down on your knees and call out to God through Jesus Christ – cry out your need for Him! For forgiveness and re-birth…for a life to be truly committed to Him!
Peace to you, in Jesus’ Perfect Name, Melanie J