Thursday, June 07, 2007

Off To Be With Jesus

Off To Be With Jesus, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Yesterday at 1:10PM, my mom left her body on this earth, and went to be with Jesus. My brother had spent the night in her room with her, and called the rest of us to come down because she wasn’t being real responsive.

We came down and sat with her from about 9AM on. We prayed with her and talked with her, and told her how much we will love and miss her. We shared memories with her as she lay there before us. One by one, aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends gathered by my mom’s side and spoke words of love to her. She was sent off with prayers and words of love from so many people. (As I tried to recount this to you, I started weeping because it was such a beautiful experience, and I can’t fully convey to you in this brief blog exactly what was happening in my mom’s presence.)

Her room was packed. People were trailing out the hallway. She was loved by so many people. We’re all going to miss her, but we were all mixing tears of sadness with tears of joy in that room as we spoke to my mom. My mom is with Jesus right now. She doesn’t have cancer, or arthritis, or any number of other ailments that were afflicting her. She has joy unlike any we’ve ever experienced.

Watching my mom pass out of this world and into the presence of God, I am so thankful that we are a people of hope. The gospel allows us to persevere in hope for a day when there are no more tears, no more hunger, and all of the injustice in the world we see will be made right.

My mom is gone, but she has left a wonderful legacy and challenge to us as a family as we attempt to imitate her faith, hope, and love—and to tell others of the joy she, and we, have found in joyful surrender to King Jesus.

I’ve had a great deal of technical difficulty communicating with people over the last day, but I figured I might be able to use this blog as a starting point. Even as early as yesterday afternoon, I started receiving emails, txts, AIM’s, and voicemails of encouragement from many wonderful people. It has been unfortunate that I haven’t been able to respond to everyone’s encouraging words, but I am so thankful for your kindness, your prayers, and your support in this difficult time. It’s beautiful to see how the Church rallies at times like this to love and care for those in need and to bear one another’s burdens.

I know some are wondering about arrangements, and I would like to communicate that through this blog. The details of her obituary can be found by following this link and clicking on Patricia Ann Williams (that's Mom!). You can even sign an “online guestbook” through the funeral home.

I’m tremendously grateful again for the grace God has shown my family throughout my mom’s battle with cancer. As she told a fellow believer when they were both diagnosed—“No matter what happens, we win!!!” Indeed we are more than conquerors!

Thanks for continuing in support and prayers for me and my family. Please forgive me for an apparent lack of response, but I truly do appreciate your comments, emails, AIMs, txts, and voicemails. They are a blessing to both me and my entire family.


Pam Swope said...

I love this photo of your mom. It is as she is now...with our Lord. She is without pain and suffering. She is at peace in a beautiful place. Perfect photo! Isn't the passing of a loved one...especially one who is a believer...quite a beautiful experience. It is as powerful and humbling as a birth experience. Billy, I love you man! My heart is with you and your family. Get some rest and praise God for giving you such an awesome mom and family. You are blessed.

Eric Asp said...

My condolences, Billy... Indeed your picture and the story of your mom's final hours are incredibly beautiful -- and it's beautiful to realize that she's in the presence of God... Still, it's sad for you to lose the opportunity for day-to-day interaction with your mom. So I celebrate with you, and I grieve with you. God bless.

cameron king said...

Billy, thank you for your example of strength and trust in God. You know I love you man. I'm really sorry that Sarah and I can't be there today or tomorrow with you and your family; we're helping with Matt Showalter's wedding and it's 4 hours away in Pennsylvania. We'll be thinking of and praying for you as we travel.

John Hancox said...


It was such a blessing to meet your mother. I am overjoyed that she is with the Lord. I will miss the service, but I will pray for peace and celebration for your family. Thanks for allowing me to be with your family on are your family are a blessing!


G said...

Hey Billy, I love your mom. She touched my life also. I truely am glad she is in the unsuffering presence of Jesus. It's awesome that the Lord gave her a vision to share with everyone before she left. I look forward to seeing her again. I spent some time last night praying for you, your family, and tibal community. I love you Billy. My heart and prayers are with you and yours. Greg Phillips

Jennifer Cogar said...

My heart grieves and yet is also comforted along with yours. You have shown such a wonderful tribute to your Mother and her faith through your life and this very blog. She is so proud, I know. We do have hope. I am thanking God for your Mom's life and the legacy she leaves in you. I wish I could be with you now. Today is our due date or we would be. I look forward to spending time with you soon.
Much love,

Lauren said...

Hey Billy,

Daryl and I love you and are praying for you. I certainly agree that it is awesome to be a people of hope and for the assurance of new life - and better life for those who have placed their faith in Christ's atoning work for them.

Praise God also that because of us Christ we are never alone - He is constantly with us.

May His Spirit bring you peace and joy.