On our way to the airport early Friday morning, my husband and I prayed for traveling mercies. But mostly, we prayed for Bill’s mom, Mary Lee Higgs.
Since her lung cancer diagnosis last summer, my sweet mother-in-law had been on a steady decline. Losing weight, losing strength, losing touch with this world. Her pain was relentless; her confusion, heartbreaking to watch.
We prayed for healing, but we also prayed for mercy. Please, Lord.
When we landed in Charlotte an hour later, an unexpected voice mail was waiting for us: Mary Lee had stepped into the arms of her Savior at 6:45am, while we’d been boarding the plane.
Tears pooled in my eyes. Was it really true? Could she possibly be gone? My emotions were all over the place. Sadness. Relief. Denial. Acceptance. Sorrow. Joy. And a deep sense of loss. Have you been there?
One thing is certain: God is faithful. He answered our prayers in the way He deemed best, and welcomed home our dear Mary Lee. Now, He is faithfully walking us through some very difficult days.
Like today, beloved.
My heart is heavy, and all my words seem stuck inside me. Thank the Lord for His Word and for your words, describing what His faithfulness means.
“You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you” (Psalm 89:8). So visual. We can imagine Him wrapped in faithfulness, like a king in his royal robes, “compassed about” (JUB), such that we can’t look at Him and not see His faithfulness.
The Hebrew word emunah means “firmness, steadfastness, fidelity.” It’s “an essential part” (AMP) of Him, the One who is “powerful and faithful from every angle” (MSG). If you belong to Him, He will always guide you, always guard you, and always guarantee your place in heaven.
Listen to Sam Robson’s amazing acapella version of Great Is Thy Faithfulness on YouTube, while you consider the ways these Facebook sisters have experienced His faithfulness:
- “No matter what I’ve been through, He comes through.”—Esther
- “He is always there to comfort me, love me, uphold me.”—Cheryl
- “You cannot name a situation where He is not available!”—Maxine
- “Many times I’ve felt hurt and lonely, but God has always been there.”—Carey
- “I cling to His faithfulness like a lifeline.”—Donnalee
- “When others abandon me—when I abandon myself—He remains.”—Kristi
- “What He says, He will do. He cannot lie.”—Emily
- “He is the only one I can truly believe 100%.”—Cyndi
- “I fail Him every day, and yet He is still with me and for me!”—Sally
- “Everything about Him is Always.”—Sharon
Sister wisdom, tenfold.
King David praised Him with these words: “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies” (Psalm 36:5). Again, so visual, and we know right where to look. Up above the cares of this world. Far beyond the sin that entangles us. Way past the limits of our understanding. Even then, we can’t begin to touch the outer reaches of His great faithfulness.
Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayers, meeting our needs, strengthening our hearts. You are not simply faithful: You are Faithfulness itself. Comfort my sisters this week, Lord, as You have comforted our family: with love, with mercy, and with the certain hope of eternity.
The above photos and others await you on Pinterest. And you’ll find a link below to Share Your Thoughts about God’s faithfulness. I’m always blessed to read your comments, and even more grateful when you encourage one another. Thanks so much!
Your sister, Liz
@LizCurtisHiggs on Twitter
He is so faithful – through the shock, the pain – the indescribable pain , the overwhelming sense of loss, the ‘I can’t talk to you’ pain…over and over this past year since my sweet husband went home to his Jesus – but the Lord, He is so faithful. Faithful to love, to carry, to encourage – His Word is amazing – so insightful, so fitting to the moment…I have passed the one year mark. God is so good.
I am so sorry that you are going through this and I am thankful that you are hanging onto God during this time. May the Lord wrap you and your honey in His tender, compassionate arms and hold you up in His righteous right hand.
Im always humbled by how God is our all..
I am so sorry for the loss of your precious mother in law. God IS always faithful and may He wrap his arms around you as you grieve. It is so hard to lose a parent, no matter the circumstances. Sincerely, Kathy Tucker
My prayers are with you and your family today, Liz. I’m so sorry for your loss. But I’m so glad to see how you are able to see His faithfulness in the midst of all this! Thank you for this post – I needed to remember today how faithful the God I serve truly is. He is good, always so, so good, but it helps to be reminded of that.
My condolences to you and your family during this difficult time. My mother in law also passed from cancer. She had been diagnosed right before I met my husband and went home to the Lord right before our son was born. As we watched her decline, she gave us strength. She was so happy even at her sickest. Not once did we walk into her home and not hear her singing hymns and worship songs. She had such faith and joy and love. She knew her earthly pain was not going to last. She was eager to go home. Rox showed Pat and I what faith in the Lord looks like. She taught us so much in the few short months I knew her. At the time, we wondered why God didn’t wait just three weeks to call her home so she could meet her grandson. As our own faith has grown, we no longer question Him. We may not understand the Lord and we may not agree with His timing, but He is always right. He is faithful to His Word, He keeps His promises, and He loves us. Liz, thank you for sharing this difficult moment with us. Lord, thank you for your grace, mercy, faithfulness, and love.
I have struggled for years with mental health issues yet God in His goodness has held my hand the entire time even carrying me through dark days. In His faithfulness He has taken me to the right doctor and the right medicine and I finally feel free to be who God created me to be! Praise Him for His faithfulness! Love Him so…
I’m so sorry for you loss, Lizzie. I’m praying for you and Bill and your family. What a beautiful blog post of hope through tears. Thank you.
I can testify that the Lord is faithful because in every situation I have asked the Lord to heal me of the hurt of someone elses words to me He has brought to my mind a scripture to encourage and lift me. So thankful for this.
Lifting up your family in prayer..so sorry for your loss. Blessed assurance of the Lord’s faithfulness, not only in our pain but in each moment of our lives. Thankful for that reminder today. You are so loved Liz !
LIZ, I’m praying for you so sorry to here about your loss of your mother in law.
I just want to say I’m so grateful for this post as it is just what I needed this reminder to look at how faithful God has been to me this last week. Rather then be angry at God, because he took my mom home to be with him a week ago Saturday.
Dear Sweet Liz,
He is so faithful to you and your husband and all our prayers for life’s needs. May He comfort you and your family as only He can. I met you several years ago and will treasure that time for a lifetime. God has blessed you with words of encouragement. May you now receive many words back in return.
Praying for you and your family. It is such a tough thing to go through, but is comforting to know your mom-in-law is with Jesus now. No more pain for her, and He can ease our loneliness. xo
Your precious mother-in-law is with Jesus. As hard as it is to say goodbye, we know it isn’t forever. Our great comfort. I must tell you a short story that shows God’s faithfulness. My beloved dad was killed in a car accident in Denver where he had worked as a lineman for Ma Bell for thirty years. He was fifty-one. I was twenty-three. The afternoon he died my mom told me he was in Hell. My mom was a vicious, mentally-unbalanced person who claimed to be a Christian but sowed hurt and despair where ever she went. I didn’t believe her, but I had this nagging fear always with me that he might indeed be in Hell. My dad drank beer. He didn’t go to church. But he had accepted Jesus at a Billy Graham Crusade long ago and everyone who knew him loved him. When I was in high school I did something that was underhanded and hurt and bewildered him a great deal. I knew I had hurt him and it was at my mom’s urging that I did what I did. I felt terrible about it for years but not long ago I was thinking about this terrible thing I had done that had hurt my dad and I thought, “I wish he could know how sorry I am.” Just like that the Holy Spirit whispered to me “He knows.” Just two words, but I KNOW my wonderful dad is in Heaven and that he has long ago forgiven me for what I did. “He knows”. Praise the Lord!!! How faithful was that?!
Liz and Bill,
Praying for all of you in your sorrow. Know that so many will be praying for you for strength in the midst of this storm of grief. There is joy along with sadness, as you said-knowing that she is walking the streets of gold with her Savior. Love you so much. May God’s blessing flow over all who will be missing this sweet lady.
Liz, what struck me first was the fact that you were speaking about your Mother-in-law. Too many unkind jokes about M-I-L. Your words were kind and heartfelt. What a blessing you are to your husband as well.
My prayer that those sweet memories of her will comfort the whole family. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you and yours. Elaine
just wanted to let you know that I have been there when my dear mother-in-law, mama lena, went to be with the Lord many years ago now. we were very close, she was a second mama to me. I look at my darling grandchildren and know she would have loved to meet them this side of Heaven; and they, her. she loved her God and family with her whole heart and we loved her!! still miss her almost 30 years later. treasure the memories and be thankful she is no longer suffering. one day you will hug her again!! wish I could reach out and hug you, but you have your family to give each other hugs!! I love you!! God bless you and your family!! sherry
So Sorry for your loss of your beloved Mrs. Higgs.
May the many years of love, friendship, togetherness envelop your heart and remind you of the joy and laughter you all shared.
God Bless you and your family as you walk through the shadow of death, knowing it is only a shadow; The Light of the world is walking with you and will chase the darkness away. He will be Faithful to you and your family.
My mom ‘crossed over’ quickly 8 months ago, and quickly was an answer to her prayers. She had a stroke and I was at her side as a tear rolled down her cheek and with a faint smile and a peace that passing all understanding, she took her last breath here on this earth. I know the emotions Liz. Glad, sad, relief, acceptance, denial and a enormous sense of loss. During these past months, I my heart aches to share a fun story with her, hear her report the family and her friends latest news, talk with her about her favorite sports team and especially have her in our home for the Christmas season. (she lived in FL and I live in TX) BUT, God meets me at every single point of grief and when I take His thoughts, I become truly grateful for our Lord Jesus’ death and resurrection so that I can be totally joyful in the fact that she is celebrating with her Savior and that someday, we all be together again. WOW! What and amazing God we serve! May you and your family find strength, peace, comfort and joy in the promises of our forever faithful God.
Praying for you, Bill, and family. So sorry for your loss.
May you feel God’s comfort.
Praying for you, Bill, and your family. I can see by reading your words here, that He already has been faithful during this very hard time.
I am so sorry for your loss. My precious mother in law went home to the Lord about 3 yrs ago. I am so thankful for our savior and His grace. Also grateful for Christians who encourage us as we go through times like this. Know you are being prayed for and are cared for.
Dearest Liz, You once again remind us that we CAN trust our God, no matter what! If you can do that when your heart is torn, you give me confidence that no matter what, I , too, can trust Him every day! I will NOT live “under the circumstances” but joyfully celebrate that “He raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”(Eph 2:6-7). I pray for your family as you grieve.
I had only one sibling, a brother 7 years older than me. I looked up to him, but he beat me every chance he could. I suffered in silence because he many times was my babysitter. As adults, I visited his wife, kids and him out of state, which turned to a nightmare after in a drunken rage, he nearly beat me to death on a rural highway in rural MT. I never blamed God, but could never figure out why he needed to hurt me so badly. I began a long process of forgiveness, at times I know I must have felt hate. His life was destroyed by alcohol and anger, but I strived to love him. In 2008, he became very ill with gastric cancer. A day before he fell unconscious, I held his shrunken face in my hands and told him, “do you know how much I love you and have always loved you? I ‘m going to miss you so much.” He had found his way back to Jesus and died two days later. It is what I needed him to know, and now I know I WILL see him again. Because of my Savior, in every situation I have His love and His Hope.
I am sorry for your loss but rest in our Heavenly Father’s care. In the last three years I have had to depend on the Father’s care due to the loss of my sister-in-law, mother-in-law and my husband just last May. God has been and will continue to be a very present help in this time of grief. His love never fails and never gives up!
God will bless you in surprising ways
Wait on him
be of courage and wait
I, too, had a loving and wonderful mother-in-law, and it was hard to say good bye to her. You and Bill and your kids will have precious memories of your years with her. Blessings to you all.
Dear Mrs. Liz,
You have encouraged many women, and now it is our turn. First, I am so sorry for the loss of your dear mother-in-law. From your sweet words about her, it is a deep loss to you, and of course to your dear husband. I pray the Lord comfort you both, and the family, and show himself to you in ways you have never experienced. I pray her loved ones and family will remain close, supportive, and encouraging to one another during and many years afterward. And I pray that the family will experience great joy during this time, remembering her, and experiencing God’s great love during this hard time. We all love y Mrs. Liz, and will be praying for you during these hard days.
Dear liz, God is good. Sometime the hardest words to say are “Your will be done. ” He has Mary Lee with Him now and she is safe. God Bless.
Dear Liz and Bill, I too am so sorry for your loss, but at the same time thankful for God’s faithfulness through your answered prayers. Thank you so much for your continued efforts for us, your sisters in Christ(even in Austalia), especially at such a very difficult time for you. I pray God’s fatherly comfort on you and your family.
Liz, grieve, because that is part of loss, but also rejoice for having known her. You can be sure our faithful God will be right there beside you through both. You are a treasure.
Much grace and peace to you and yours through our Lord Jesus Christ during this difficult time of loss!
With much love and prayers,
My passed from earth to heaven (to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord ) in 2010. She had breast cancer, never a sick a day of her life, we thought she had bronchitis – she was diagnosed in August of 2010 and passed into the arms of God December 2010. Fast and furious. It has been over 4yrs and I still have not cried like my heart would break , I cry a little at a time. God bless you Liz, remember everyone mourns different – Love you sister
So sorry for your loss. Losing a loved one is always in His time…
Liz sorry for your loss, my Mother in law went home to her Father God
some years ago. I understand your loss and pray God in his love and mercies will be close to you and your family during this time. What a wonderful and wise God we serve.
Hugs and prayers to you and all who loved Mary Lee, dear Liz. God IS faithful; He will see you through.
When my Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the end of 2010 he was not a believer. My daughter and I prayed with him one day while he was still in hospital and he was told shortly after that he had about 6 weeks to live. Dad was quite bitter that our prayers had not worked as he thought that they would but God knew better. Dad lived another 14 months and during that time God gently drew Dad back into His loving arms and we now know we will meet again. Hallelujah!!
I don’t even know what to say, but this I know: underneath are the everlasting arms (where your darling mother-in-law is resting now). We’re sorry for your loss, we know how dear she is to you and the family. God is indeed faithful, His ways are just the best, everytime.
so sorry for your family’s loss. I too have been there and experienced all the same emotions. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble….”
Wow! What testimonies of God’s faithfulness!
And, Liz, please know that you and your family are in my prayers at this time as you miss your mother-in-law. May the love of Christ be beautifully real to you all.
Liz, I want to start off by saying my condolences go out to you and your family. We as Christians know who and what God is capable of doing for us, but when these emotions hit home and we’re going through all these emotions as you described as a “True Believer” The Lord will give us comfort and peace. What filled my heart after losing my Pastor to cancer is remembering that Jesus weeped too when Lazurus died and knowing who Jesus was and what He was able to do even for his friend He weeped..Perfect Jesus so I say that to tell you that Jesus knows what you are going through at this time and he will comfort you and give you peace. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Jesus is our source of comfort and peace even in our worst times in life. I love you and there’s nothing you can do about and I will be praying for you and Your family..
Thank you Liz for those words. I was with you in little Washington Friday and Saturday. I lost my husband a bit over a year ago. It has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. BUT I have looked to the Lord daily. Even minute by minute . He has faithfully provided family and friends and His love.
Dear Liz and Family, I am so sorry for your loss, but I know she is with Him and in no more pain and suffering. I have know so much loss of friends and family in 2014, but I know the Lord is with me as He has been most of my life. When I look back over the years, I know He has been so faithful to me and beside me that I am often overwhelmed as to why me. May His love abound in your hearts. Much love, peace and joy to you and yours.
My prayers are with you and your family at this time. May the Lord meet you with his faithfulness, care and comfort in surprising and timely ways. May he encourage your hearts and lift up your burdens. Thank you for your words during this time. Somehow, knowing what you are going through makes them all the dearer. How wonderful to speak of God’s faithfulness in the midst of deep sorrow.
So sorry to hear of the loss of your precious mother-in-law. Such good news to know that she knew Jesus! My step-father came to know Jesus and passed away the very next day. He was about to turn 87. It is quite the miraculous story.
The Lord was with the rest of us through every step!
The most wonderful thing about being an older girl is that I can look back over the 60 years I’ve belonged to Jesus and see that He never let go of my hand!
So sorry for your loss. She is now without the pain and with our beloved Lord. Thank you for sharing. May the Lord continue to bless and comfort you and your family.
Dear Liz, I have been there–lost my precious mother to cancer just two years ago last week–and my heart goes out to you and your family.
Was reading this morning the familiar words of Romans chapter 5, but the phrase that really stood out to me this morning was “at the right time” in verse 6. Christ died for the ungodly AT THE RIGHT TIME, and I thought how that is part of God’s character–doing things at the right time. Something for me to count on when life raises question marks in my mind…
My dear Liz – It is never easy to part with someone we love -even when we know they are in the arms of Jesus. But hang on to this fact: Our God never makes a mistake.
Liz, I pray for you and your family, your husband and his great loss. Death is such a hard thing and someday there will be nor more death. Praise God for his faithfulness.
My heart goes out to you and yours my dear friend. May the Lord comfort you today and in the days ahead. Love you!
My heart goes out to you, Liz. How wonderful that you have the comfort of knowing where your dear mother-in-law now is and that you will see her again.
My Mom (93) is struggling with emphysema, and I’m going through what you went through. I’m praying for the Lord’s will for my Mom’s life, for His grace, His peace, His mercy.
I have fibromyalgia and R.A., and my body is the first thing that goes whenever I’m under any stress. However, through this journey with my Mom, I am fine. Praise the Lord! I can feel the Lord under-girding me with His loving arms. How wonderful it is to know that He loves us both so much and that He will see us through this.
Your ministry has been a blessing to me. Thank you for caring and sharing!
Liz so sorry for your loss, I still miss my Mom .
I have been married for almost 55yrs and for the last 11 my husband has not been able to talk to me because of a stroke, so when I feel lost I try and remember the Lord will not give me more than I can handle. He is always faithful even when I am not. My God bless you and your husband at this sad time.
I am deeply sorry for you, Bill and your family’s loss. I will keep you close in my thoughts and prayers.
I pray the God of all comfort lovingly hold your broken hearts. Distance separated me from my mom and dad when they went home. I cherish the last conversation I had with them.
Holy Spirit Hugs to,you and your family May his peace surround you. His faithfulness indeed is great! May it surround you in
Great measure. Rest in it. And thank you so much for all your love poured out to us.
So sorry to hear about your lose, but I so know what you are going through.. I lost my own mother even before she was killed in a car accident when I was 11, I am now 77. My own father did not want me and he passed before I was 3 so can not say anything about him..but I lost my beloved brother in 1976, as he was murdered, shot in the face close up with a shot gun.. then the unthinkable happened about 2001 my 19 year old grandson took his own life.. I have often wondered just how long does one have to go through trials and tests.. it seems to me 77 years is long enough, but this I know NO matter how hard it gets I will never turn back again.. I walked with satan for years and he did nothing for me, and even though I feel God is not hearing or at least not answering my prayers they way I feel they need to be answered I will never never go back to living the way I used to.. I am to close to going home and I know that one day I will meet my real FATHER face to face and can tell HIM to HIS face how much I love HIM, and yes with all that I have been through HE was there even before I knew HIM… love HIM with all my heart..
Thank you for sharing your loss. I lost my mother last July and the pain is still very real. My God, our God, has been beside me as I have walked the valley of grief. He is faithful even when I could not be and knew just what was needed at just the right time. He came through. He was faithful and still is. Thank you, Lord, that you are faithfulness itself. Please know, Liz, that you are not alone in your grief. Seek His comfort as He will faithfully provide it. Praying…
Peace and comfort for all of you is what I ask God to give.
Liz, saying prayers for you, my dear sister. I thank God for His faithfulness everyday. But, today, I also thank you for your faithfulness as your email appears in our inbox routinely, no matter what is going on in your life. You are a great example and inspiration!
Brings tears knowing how sweet his love is toward us, he’s just wanting us to trust him. And when we do, it’s so amazing.
Dear, dear Liz…oh my, how heartbreaking.
I am just so sorry for you and Bill and all the family. What a profound loss. I am so touched by how you loved her. But deep love yields deep pain when those beloved ones are no longer with us.
I am praying for you and your family and for the dear women here who wrote about their heartaches.
Fifteen years in May have I been alone since my divorce, and it has been hard on many levels, but faithful, faithful, faithful God has been to me. I am overwhelmed by his love. I’m so thankful I never have to live my life apart from Jesus.
Love and hugs to you. Praying for sweet comfort for you and yours.
Liz & Bill, my heart felt prayers. When we pray a prayer of relinquishment, God can work His plan. My husband went into heart surgery January 23, 2009; his prayer was, ” make me better to serve you better or take me home with you . . .either way I win because I will be in Your plan!” He did not survive the surgery, and even though I grieve his absence, I am comforted to know where he is and that I will be with him again. He lived a life and witness to all he encountered.
my heart, love and prayers go out to you both. In the best of situations saying “good bye” is hard. My last living maternal grandmother who lived with us for 10 years and raised our 3 boys on her lap passed away all alone. I was heart broken. This most unselfish and ever giving, godly lady made her final journey “home” alone. We received the call that she was very near the end of her life. So we rushed to dress and drive the 25 miles to be with her, but on entering the nursing home we were told she had already passed. At her funeral we rejoice that she was at peace- no more pain or sorrow, but everlasting joy,”home” with her Lord and Savior. Yet, it was heavy on my heart that no family members were there with her as she made her journey. As I mourned my loss our FAITHFUL Lord encouraged me… she was not alone, her ever loving Father, her ever Faithful Friend, her Guide, Husband, Brother, her King was right there welcoming her home! As you work through your loss I pray that my story will bring you a little comfort. Heaven is a little sweeter now 🙂
Thanks for sharing the work of Sam Robson. So thoroughly enjoyed. So glad you will be at AAB/Summit University this spring. Will see you there!!! love you
Please know that I am so sorry for the loss in your family and understand your feelings. Jesus is our lifeguard who walks on water to reach us in the storm to anchor us in His love by faith.
For those who are broken down, the Lord is near. He raises them up in hope.
How great is the Lord our God. I pray that you have a peaceful night 🙂
As I read over some of the responses, I thought how wonderful the body of Christ is. We read your blogs and books because of your great ability to teach, wise insights and the gift of encouragement God has blessed you with. During this loss of your mother-in-law who you love so deeply, your readers are turning around to reach out to you with heart-felt love and encouragement. I would like to join them in giving you a hug….put your right hand on left shoulder, put your left hand on your right….now squeeze real tight. Imagine that your hands are my hands and arms. (I just sent you a HUG!) May our faithful Lord who supplies all of our needs according to His riches in glory, provide comfort, peace and all that you & Bill and your family need today.
When my mother who had had Alzheimer’s for 10 years had been put on Hospice, I spent the whole morning with her. She had slipped into a coma, but still I talked to her and prayed out loud. Around 1:30 I had to get my Husband from work and told Mom I’d be back when I picked him up. It had been raining all day, but a few blocks from the Clinic where he worked, I looked up and the most beautiful rainbow appeared before me. In my heart, I knew, but my head hadn’t caught up. My cell phone had died, so I had to wait until we got home to get my daughter to call Mom’s nurse. “I’m so sorry!” she said. “Your mother has passed.” Even though I didn’t get to be there when Mom left us, I still had God’s promises, evidenced by His 1st visible promise to mankind: His Rainbow! His Comforter whispered in my heart, “He knows, He Loves, and He is Faithful!” My Prayers for you, your husband, and your family have been laid at the feet of our merciful and loving God. May He comfort you and keep you.
I know that it has been a few weeks since your family had to face the passing of you MIL, but I want you to know that I still pray for you and your family as you try to find the road, and the strength to do so, in which to walk the coming days without a very important person in your family. Having lost my mother to cancer way to early (54) and having lost my dad to cancer and my MIL I know that the days can become difficult to bear the pain of not having our loved ones with us any more here on earth, even though we know they are in a much better place and that they are no longer in pain, we who are left behind still have to find that road that we must walk without them.
May you continue to feel the loving arms of our savior wrapped tightly around you. May you find HIS shoulder to lean on and to cry on. And HIS strength to carry you.