Lent Devotion – Going Home

Published March 21, 2024 by Gail Musgrove

My mother served the Lord faithfully for almost 90 years. She was a dedicated servant and teacher and lived her life for God. It was in her final months that I witnessed and shared in her deepest longing…to be HOME with her Savior. At age 96, she had a medical episode that landed her in the hospital, and she made it quite clear that she wanted to go HOME. However, after the hospital stay came a stay in a local rehab facility, and still, with every passing day, she begged to go HOME. After much soul-searching and prayer, but against rehab plans, I decided to take her HOME. All I could provide was her earthly home where she and my Daddy had lived for over 50 years. I thought that would help and make her feel somewhat better, happy. At home we were able to watch “her” birds outside the bedroom window. We spent hours listening to (and singing with) her favorite albums on the vintage stereo. We heard Anita Bryant, Jim Nabors, and George Beverly Shea, to name a few. We worshiped in that room together. But soon it became evident that Mother would not be getting better and that her life was coming to its end.

​Mother wasn’t Mother anymore. The episode had taken parts of her mind and most of her ability to hear. She had great difficulty finding joy in her days. She’d lived life so fully and had kept busy going and doing. As I opened the curtains each morning, and she became aware of the new day, she would look around and say “Dadgummit! I’m still here, why won’t He take me HOME? I’m ready to go!” Daily she lamented that she felt useless and couldn’t do anything, so why was she still here? Her longtime neighbor, a Lutheran minister, came to visit, and she asked him that question. His reply will always stay with me. He told her that as long as she had breath, there was something she could do. She looked at him with weary eyes as he said “Dorothy, as long as you have breath you can pray.” Amen, Pastor Black! Amen. As long as we all have breath, we can pray. We can make our way to the cross serving, loving, and praying until our final breath. 

​Mother died in my arms a few days later as Gordan, Mel, and I sang “Beyond the Sunset” – her favorite hymn. She was finally HOME and in the arms of Jesus, right where she wanted to be.

​“Beyond the sunset, A hand will guide me,
To God the Father whom I adore;
His glorious presence, His words of welcome,
Will be my portion on that fair shore.”