The sound of chirping birds stirred me awake in the morning hours. The window behind my bed welcomed sunlight through my curtains and wished me a good morning. As the majority of Americans do, I rolled over and picked up my phone to see what the world had been up to during my rest.
What I found out was that heaven had called another of my angels home. My great aunt Mary Alene Davis was called home by our heavenly father not long before I woke up.
The feeling of mourning hit me, but in an unusual way. As I sat in my bed with the early morning sunlight streaked across my face, I was filled with an unusual emotion. Where death typically fills us with dread, sorrow and longing, I was instead filled with wonder.
I know for a fact that my Aunt Alene wasn’t suffering through the struggles of a mortal body but instead was in the presence of Jesus with her beloved husband, my Great Uncle Ed Davis, and dancing in the golden rays of sunlight.
Rather than wishing her back, I knew she was, and is, basking in the glory of the Lord. She’s also been reunited with her sister, my sweet Mawmaw Louise Coppola and my Pawpaw Eugene Coppola.
The concept of death wrecks human’s emotions for obvious reasons. A loved one, someone we are used to seeing and speaking with, is taken away from us. We’re faced with a new reality and a disruption in our normal lives.
As I said a couple of weeks ago, humans are creatures of habit. Anything that disrupts our routines, or known lifestyle, shakes our emotions. We also are shaken because we long to have that loved one with us.
When God created Adam and Eve, he never intended for us to die. It wasn’t until the fall, or Adam and Eve’s sin, that humans were punished with death.
Genesis 3:19 shows God punishing man with death, it reads, “In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
God refers to Adam as dust, because during creation God created Adam from dust. This is explained in Genesis 2:7, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
I’m unafraid of death and the thought of death doesn’t rattle me as it may others. I know what happens after death and I know that my soul will ascend to the heavenly realm, as I’ve given my soul to the Lord. In this same way, I know that my Aunt Alene lives on, just not on earth.
As a Christian, I know that this world can never compare to the happiness of heaven. The Bible describes heaven and how unimaginable it is to us. Having never experienced heaven, we have no basis for how truly magnificent it is.
In Revelation 21:4, John writes about heaven and says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
My Aunt Alene lived a life fully devoted to the Lord and I know that she is receiving her reward. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords has welcomed my aunt with open arms and given her the keys to her heavenly mansion.
John 14:2-3 reads, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Not only did she live a life for Christ but she also exuded peace. My Aunt Alene was soft-spoken and matter of fact. She had spent her life studying God’s word and growing in God’s glory.
My Aunt Alene stood as the perfect example of what it means to be a Godly woman. Both she and her husband, Uncle Ed, amazed me with their patience and wisdom. Though they were both short people they stood like giants in my mind, and they still do.
I can only hope to be half the woman that my Aunt Alene was. While I am mourning her death, I know that I will see her again, next time in the presence of the Savior.
Before you mourn the death of a Christian, rejoice in their life, and rejoice in them entering the kingdom of heaven. I promise that they’re in a much better place than we are.
Emily D. Coppola is a reporter at the Daily Telegraph, Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, Follow her at @BDTCoppola