My grandma Frances Jean McCullough died last night. She was 72. To her friends she was Jean, to us she was Mimi.
My grandma did not always have an easy life, but she had a strong faith.
She was orphaned and adopted by age 3.
She and another girl were raped at knife point by an intruder at age 9. The intruder proceeded to threaten my grandma's blind and deaf grandma to which my grandma offered to exchange her life for her grandma's. The rapist was never caught.
Her adoptive parents divorced when she was a young teen which confused her and she jumped into a relationship of her own.
She was married at 15 and had her first child at 16.
Her first husband was an abusive, alcoholic, adulterer who left her.
She had many reasons to be a hopeless person by the time that I was born, but she wasn't. Mimi was always whistling and singing hymns without skipping a verse. She understood very deeply what it meant to sing "It is Well." My grandma put her hope and trust in Jesus and found her joy there despite some of the dark circumstances of her life.
While she had reasons not to hope, she was also very blessed. She had children. She was a grandma by age 37 and my grandma by age 42. She is a great-grandma many times over. In fact, when people ask how many grandchildren and children she had it was difficult to answer. She and my grandpa did foster care and treated each child that entered their home as their own and taught us to view them as our cousins, which we gladly did. She was a proud mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I only wish that I could have given her another great-grandchild before she died.
I love my grandma very much. She was there when I was born and for a few years her house was where I was dropped off by the school bus. She was, as my brother has said, a grandPARENT.
She called me her Precious Angel my whole life.
Today some will say that Heaven has another angel, but that isn't true. God didn't take Mimi because there was an angel shortage. She is not an angel today... she's something so much better.
My grandma was an orphan at age three and was adopted by my great-grandparents, but that wasn't the most important adoption of my grandma's life. Her most important adoption was when she was adopted as a daughter of the King of Kings.
Mimi is in Heaven today not because she was good or because she went to church or because God needed another angel. No, Mimi is in Heaven because she was adopted. She is in Heaven because when God said, "my child" she replied "Abba, Father." She is in Heaven because she is with her Heavenly Father.
"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs... heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.'
'I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:15-18
Today Mimi is in glory but not as an angel but as something so much better. She is a daughter of the King in the presence of her Father enjoying the privilege and glory that goes with that.
And because of the hope in Jesus I share with Mimi, last night wasn't goodbye but see you later. I miss her but I will see my grandma again and will be with her, Jesus and all the saints for eternity.
I want you to have this hope, too. It is God's will to adopt you. It is His will to adopt us and treat us as His sons and daughters with all that comes with it. I pray that you will accept His adoption. I also ask that you would pray for my family today.