Monday, May 18, 2009

Death Has No Sting

I savored the privilege and the honor of being with my Gram as she went home to dance for eternity tonight. Miraculous describes the past 48 hours. From the miracle of getting us here (with the cheapest international ticket prices anyone has ever seen) to the sweet time of singing and dancing with the Lord in a hospice room, ushering her into His presence.

Too many amazing things and I'm a bit tired, exhausted really. But tonight is a night to celebrate and carry the torch from her heart to mine.

So many thoughts, emotions mixed with awe swirling in my mind. How can I possibly capture in words the events of this day? I close my eyes and can only see one picture, a wrinkled sun spotted hand, gripping a child's gift of love.

My boys made a foam cross for my Gram and we sent it. The envelope arrived in time to bless her hospital room. We had no way of knowing she would fall when we sent it, God's timing. The pictures and verses we sent greeted me on the hospice wall when I arrived weary from a day's full travel.

She held the cross throughout the past few days. This afternoon someone put it back in her hand. Loosely tucked in her fingers, Gram couldn't communicate but her spirit was rejoicing.

We realized after she went home for eternity that the cross was still in her hand, but she was gripping it tightly. Her other hand lay limp.

She held on to the cross, a beautiful symbol of the heritage of Christ that continues on through her great grandsons!

All praise to God. Death is beautiful, there is NO sting, thank you Jesus!

The tears are finally spilling. I will miss you Gram. Thank you for the life you lived for our Jesus. Thank you for dancing with me to bed so many times. It was a joy to dance with you tonight.

Until we dance again,
Sarah Dawn

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Sharon Sloan said...

Oh, it sounds like Gram is dancing with Jesus now...casting crowns at His feet. So thankful the Lord filled your path with His miracles as He ushered her into her heavenly home. Will pray for all of you.


Sarah said...

Thank you dear friend! We would treasure your prayers for our family and Gram's memorial service as my husband prepares the message and I prepare to honor Gram with a song.

There's a lot of dancin' in heaven today,
Sarah Dawn

Lori at JOY Unspeakable said...

What a sweet post. Sad as it is to lose a loved one, there is nothing more joyful than knowing that they are now in eternity with our Savior, feeling no pain, no sadness, and experiencing joy that we can't even fathom.

I had a similar experience with my grandma where I spent time in the Word with her and praying over her as she lay semi-conscious. Her body was frail and fading away but her spirit was alive and well and soaked up all that was edifying.

Unknown said...

What a sweet story once again of God's endless grace, mercy and love!

Sarah Dawn we are praying over you and your family!

Much love and hugs - Jill
Praising God that Gram is sitting at His feet now!

Cherry said...

"Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at his Word." What a difference in a Christian homegoing! Praise God that there is a plan and a purpose! Praise God! Praise God!

Dr. Denni said...

I am so thrilled that you made it home in time to share those last hugs and prayers! To know you will dance with her again (and Mama Nete will be right beside her telling stories) is indeed a joy to carry us in the times of sadness! You are in our prayers--all of you. dks

christy rose said...

"Until you dance again" I love it!! We have such hope in Christ!! Death has no sting!! Amen!

Warren Baldwin said...

Beautiful testament to your grandmother, your relationship with her, and her faith. "She went home to dance for eternity" speaks of her life of faith an her future in poetic terms.

Ironic I'm reading this now as I was thinking of my grandfather while I was mowing this morning. A big reason for me being a preacher is his faith and devotion to Bible study. Another good post.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't be more happy for your Gram, and for you that you were able to be present with her when she met her Lord.
I will continue to pray for your family. You will certainly miss her.

Lori Dugan said...

Celebrate her life as she would have wish it. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her and the Bedenkop Family. All our love, The Dugan Family

Sandee said...

ahhh, Sarah Dawn. My heart feels sad and yet hopeful. So hard to see life marching on when those we love pass...but we do not weep like those without a hope....

Life here is so temporary, isn't it. Hugs.

Anna Nolan said...

Sarah, thank you for sharing that lovely story of your time with your Grandma as she passed on. I saw her picture and had to smile; I remember her as a very sweet, gentle lady. I'm so glad you and your family were able to be here in her last moments on earth. It must have filled her heart with such happiness to have you all there with her. God bless you all as you prepare for her memorial.

Adeye said...

Hi friend,
I am so rejoicing with you that you made it home in time. What a beautiful gift from the Father! I have tears as I read your story of your final hours here on earth with your precious Gram. So amazing, so God! What beautiful memories you have. I can feel her tender heart right through your words.
Trusting with you that the memorial service is everything your heart desires for it to be.
Sending many blessings and a HUGE hug.

Enjoy this precious time with your family.

Unknown said...

Thanks, I needed a good cry today-so thrilled that you got to be there, so thrilled that you WILL dance again. SO THRILLED that the cross will ALWAYS be a memory you can share with your boys right down through the family line forever.

Anonymous said...

To Sarah, Ryan, Josh and Caleb,

Your Grandmother will always be there with you. We are so happy that you got home in time to hold her hand. God bless all four of you. See you soon. Grandma Connie and Grandpa Ken

Anonymous said...

That was a very beautiful post.  Once again it is a blessing to us, to hear about how faithful the Lord is!  We pray that the sorrow of her loss to your family will be lightened during this time!  She sounds like a very sweet woman!
God bless you all!
The Arbuthnots!

Kellie Felmey said...


Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Oh...I am sorry for your earthly loss of this beautiful woman...she looks so sweet in your photograph...but I love it that she is in the presence of our Lord and that you could be there to share in her home going!!

Anonymous said...

What a precious miracle to be with your grandmother when she went home at last. Our God is very good. Bless you all.

Blessings and love
a grandmother

Jen said...

Sweet and sad at the same time. I am sorry for your loss, but may I share a wonderful memory that happened some months after my mother passed? I was singing in church, overcome with emotion at the words of the song "Come Thou Fount" when I had such a rush of feeling, realizing that at the same time, my mother was most likely worshipping God in song too. In a way we were fellowshipping together as we praised Him. I still think of her often when I am singing.

Anonymous said...


I am enjoying keeping up with you on your blog. My heart is with you as you go through this time, and rejoices with you as you celebrate your Gram's going home. Love you lots!

Lisa Perez

Kimberly said...

My friend I completely understand!! A very similar thing happened two years ago with me and my dad. Most could not understand the peace I felt. God allowed me to be there, to hold him, to let my spirit cry out for his, to help escort him home.......I have to say that though I miss my dad every day, that was the most beautiful moment of my life! I love how you said until we dance again.....mine is until we sing again....and I know that will be! God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Sarah Dawn... you are an amazing woman after God's own heart. The Heartbeat of Heaven. I love it. Your mom and I work together at The Crisis Pregnancy Center. I have been able to hear stories about you and your family. I am thankful to Abba that you are Cheryl's daughter. Yes, the legacy is passed on from Gram. Be used by God and go where he leads. Bless you and your families adventure. Jeremiah 29:11-13 Love to your mom, D.F. Love, Leslie

Unknown said...

Hi Sarah Dawn,

I wanted to let you know that I have a blog award for you. So if you can come on over to my site and pick it up.

Blessings and In Him,

~Sarah Cecilia

Anonymous said...

My Sarah Dawn. Gram loves you and your family so much! We spent lots of time talking about your walk the Lord and all the times we spent together! Her last two days with you--and all you did for her were precious to her and to me. What God started in our family with Gram, will be continued. Thank you for your obedience to Him. Praise the Lord...she is eternally rejoicing! I love you. (FF)

Erica said...

Oh Sarah Dawn my heart sings in rejoicing that your Gramma is home yet sad for your broken heart. The Lord bless you and keep you as you celebrate your Grammas life.

Thank you for your sweet comments on my blog. You are such an amazing encourager. I'm SO excited to see your adopting from Ethiopia.

Anonymous said...

This is such a beautiful post Sarah Dawn. And it is beautiful because Christ died to redeem your grandmother so that she could dance in heaven. Thats the amazing thing!!!

Ra Ra Bazaar said...

I weep tears of joy with you. How wonderful that you were able to be there with her when she left to go home.
Thinking of you all as you through through the next few days!

Jenny R said...

Sarah Dawn,

I just wanted you to know I've been praying for you. It's never easy to lose anyone. My grandma passed away last fall, and I knew she was in Heaven, but it's still hard knowing she's gone. I hope you have peace in knowing that you grandma is in a better place and you will see her again someday.

Anonymous said...

I've heard many times that "God danced the day we were born." Now I think He may dance the day we return to Him. I loved my grandma very much, too, and still think of her and the many times we spent with her and Grandpa during our childhood (my sister & me). God bless you & your family for all you are doing.


Jen said...

Sarah Dawn,
I am so sorry for your earthly loss but rejoicing that your beloved Gram is at home with her Savior!!! Thank you for your sweet words on our blog! Feel free to join us on our journey. I will keep you and your family in my prayers as well!!!

All God's best..........

Daveda said...

Hi Sarah, I wanted to come by and say hello. I am so glad that I did. My grandma has recently been diagnosed with Lung cancer, and for her there is no treatment. Oh but our beautiful savior is so good! I needed this be reminded that though she will be missed..."Death Has No Sting" Thank you Sarah Dawn, this has blessed my morning.

Unknown said...

Jeez, I can't believe I have to sift through all these other commentators....just kidding....

What does 'Besitos' mean?

Did you get my email, the one that probably Jill sent you herself about adoption? It's truly remarkable!

Love you girl!

~Sarah Cecilia

Always a Southern Girl said...

How beautiful of a post!! What a sweet tribute to your Gram.

I am following your blog. I hope you stop back by mine sometime. I have always wanted to be a missionary. I guess I am one, just in my own backyard.

Praying for ya! Renee

Mich said...

I found you by way of a friend's blog. I just loved your title. and then when I found out you were on the mission field...I was a missionary kid and I am now a minister's wife, so I thought I would check out your blog, for I would love to pray for you and read about your adventures.

I am very sorry about your grandmother. From all you wrote, I can tell she loved Jesus. You will be in my prayers.

Amy said...

Sweet friend, what a beautiful, loving tribute to your Gram. It's said that the best use of one's life is to spend it for something that outlasts it. It seems one of the great gifts of your Gram's legacy is that she was one to help light the fire in your heart for God...she's basking in His warmth and Pure Light as she dances today in Heaven. With Love and Joy and Prayers for Continued Peace and Beautiful, Happy Memories...Always, Amy

Alison said...

Hey Sarah Dawn,
I am so sorry to hear of your Gram's passing. But so pleased for her that she is with the Lord! Praying for your comfort as well as the comfort of your family until y'all see her again.

Also enjoyed the post on adoption. I pray our little Ben has a heart of compassion like Joshua's! Mike and I have talked of adoption since we first married. We pray to see what God has planned for us.
Much love,

Joyeful said...

What a beautiful, beautiful post!! I could almost see your precious Gram dancing her heart out and radiant with joy! My tears spill for you, dear Sarah Dawn--it is hard to let them go as I have had to let my Grandpa go home as well not too many days ago. The space they leave can never be filled by another-- but isn't it so good to know that we will soon see them again in eternity!! We mourn, but not as those without hope!

My prayers go out to you and your family!
I know God must have sent you my way, I feel like I have just met a kindred spirit!

I can't wait to get to know you and "get drenched in God's goodness!"


Goat Gal said...

Sarah Dawn
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving your sweet comments. I am so blessed to have read the story of your Grandmother's passing. What a tremendous legacy of faith and love she leaves behind. Hugs to you sweet sister.

Kimmie said...

How wonderful that God gave you times of dancing to reflect on and to hold until you dance again together on the streets of gold.

May His abundance flood over you and may His hand comfort you as you mourn.

I'm praying for you...
mama to 7
one homemade and 6 adopted

AtlantaMama said...

WOW! Hi Sarah, it's nice to "meet you" thru our blogs. I LOVE YOURS TOO! Where are you from (in the states) and where is your mission? My husband and I love going out, so maybe one day will come your way?!! Did you guys train thru Bethel at all? (Bill Johnson) Just wondering?! Anyway, I am a follower of your site now and I know we'll keep in touch and continue to encourage one another in the Lord. My husband and I just got on board with a church plant and we are excited to see what God is going to do w/ that. Blessings!!

AtlantaMama said...

And blessings over you and your family as your Grandmother went to be with Jesus. I'm so glad you got to be there w/ her!

Lighthouse Prayer Line said...

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Pastor John Whittington said...

Beautiful post, and beautiful hope that we have in Christ! Thank you for encouraging us all!

Sue said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes as I remembered the bittersweet feelings saying good-bye to my Mom. I am sorry for you loss, Sarah Dawn, but rejoice that your Gram is dancing before the Lord tonight. May His peace pour over you as your remember with fondness the love you shared!

Hugs & Prayers

The Sweetest Things said...

Hello Sarah, I have a lot to say, and was going to leave a lot of different comments but decided to just leave one. = -)

First thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your kind comment.

Second I'm sorry to hear about your grandma, but love how you look at it, that she is in heaven and dancing with the Lord

Third I love your blog and your writings, you write beautifully.

Fourth I love the pictures of the family, your children are adorable, you are blessed.

Fifth Your 7 year old touches my heart and brought tears to my eyes, he is well beyond his age and is blessed by the Lord, his compassion he has is a God gift for sure

Sixth We all make mistakes saying things to the ones we love and hurting them. I'm glad you forgave yourself and it is great knowing you asked forgivness of the Lord and your children. There are alot of people who don't do this and it's a shame.It can do more damage when we don't say we're sorry.

Seventh I am following your blog as I don't want to miss a thing. I don't know how I didn't find you before this.

I have more to say but I'll wait for another day.
May God Bless you in your everyday, on the mission fields and bringing home those babies you plan to adopt.
God Bless and Hugs

christy rose said...

please come by my site today. i have an award for you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your sweet comment on my recent post at MomZookeeper's Therapy! :) I am speechless after reading your amazing post honoring your grandmother's life. With my dad's terminal illness, the great peace that we have to hold on to is that he does know the Lord. I have no doubt that I, too, will see him on the golden streets of Heaven! :) So we cherish every moment we have while he is still here with us to the best of our ability. I'm in awe of how God brings people into our lives and allows our paths to cross through the internet and blogging. Thanks again for stopping by my blog. God bless you.

Debbie Petras said...

Dear Sarah Dawn,
So nice to meet you. Thank you for visiting me on Heart Choices and leaving your kind comment. I am thrilled to know that you're from Phoenix too. I will follow your blog so I can read your updates.

I'm sorry about the death of your grandma but thrilled that she know Jesus. It makes such a difference when you know you will see her again. But in the meantime, I'm sure you'll miss her. My grandma played such an important role in my spiritual growth and I miss her too. But I will also get to spend time with her in eternity.

Many blessings and comfort to you.

Julie said...

Dear Sarah,
I found you from Christy Rose's blog. This was a beautiful tribute.
My father took his last breath 3 months ago. It was a bitter/sweet moment as I held his hand with tears pouring down my face. It would be the last time on this earth that I would hear him say "I love you"... or see his smile or hear his breath. I ache some days to hear his voice one more time. But I rejoice that he is where he was made to be and will one day welcome me with open arms.

I am sorry for your loss. I understand.

I wrote a tribute to my dad when he died as well as one on his birthday, May 19th. I'd love for you to visit any time. I love meeting new people!

It's nice to meet you!

Anonymous said...

What a bittersweet post, my Nana passed away last year so I can sympathize with you. You have a way with words and I thank you for commenting on my blog. Not only are we married to our first kiss, we mention royalty in our "About Me" ((winks)) I am looking forward to getting to know you better :) I will keep your family in my prayers, we'll be seeing your grandma soon!

<3 Martha

Shanda said...

Sarah~what a beautiful post. I kept thinking of this Scripture:

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Psalm 116:15

No doubt He has welcomed her home with open arms and is dancing with her even now. Her joy is complete.

Praying for you sweet sister & for your family.


Grace on the Narrow Path said...

Sarah Dawn,
Thank you so much for visiting my site today. As I read your post about your Gram - - -my mind completely saw my mother and my family at the Hospice House. We are praying the God opens the doors for her to be there in her final days. Your Gram left an impression . . . she loved the Lord. She never gave up on HIM. Her family and friends saw this amazing love... how beautiful to be remembered in such a sweet way! I know you miss her on this earth . . . but remember she is a place so special she would never want to return. One day we will all(those who have received His gift of salvation) rejoice in Heaven with the Father.

I too am very hesitate about awards. You may copy the award free tag on my blog if would like to. When Rosel wanted to bless me and glorify Jesus I could not refuse her. It is difficult . . . because God is the only one that is worthy to receive awards. Thank you my sister in Christ for kind words you left on the Narrow Path. I will return for more visits. Please know you and your family are in prayers.
In God's Grace,

Adeye said...

Hello friend,

Just thinking about you and wondering how you are? I take it you are back at home? Please update us on how you are when you have a minute. I would love to hear how your precious Grandma's memorial service went.

Love and hugs

RCUBEs said...

The song "dancing with my Father God in the fields of grace" was in my mind as I read your post. I just want to thank you for visiting me. Nice to meet you, too and I'm glad you chose to rejoice despite losing your precious grandma, because we know that death is only the portal to an eternal life with our Lord jesus. To Him be the glory! I pray that He will continue to cover you and your family with His love and comfort and many wonderful blessings. I'll visit you again. God bless.

Just Be Real said...

Dear one, what a wonderful post tribute to a wonderful lady, your grandmother. Thank you for sharing and much blessings to you and yours.

Lori said...

My Grandma passed away in March and your post brought me right back. How special that you were with her at her homegoing! Hope you all are splashing around in the fun memories of your time with her. :)