Our Mom's Victory
Eulogy for Malonie Trembllay (Smith)
By her son, Jerry Bouey, and daughter, Lori McCoy
It was at the graveside of His friend Lazarus. While the Saviour observed the grief of His friends, He identified fully with that grief, was moved with compassion for their loss, and He groaned in His spirit and was troubled. Then...
Who would have thought this - the shortest verse in the whole Bible - could offer comfort to those who would be reading it hundreds or even thousands of years later? It means that God Himself knows what we are going through - even now - and can identify with our pain, and offer complete comfort to those who will lean on Him.
Yes, our Mom is not here. She has gone on to the Father's house, gone home to Heaven, and has left her loved ones behind. Even in this time of grief and trouble of soul, the Lord offers you His comfort.
Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha, and together the three of them were some of Jesus' closest friends. God the Father had a purpose in Lazarus dying, and in Jesus being at that graveside - Jesus had come to raise Lazarus from the dead. He knew what He was going to do in just a matter of moments, and yet He still had compassion on His friends and shared in their grief.
He said, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha understood this, but she was thinking of some future day when those believers who have died will come forth from the grave, at the first resurrection - but Jesus had something more in mind right then.
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I Am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Then He proceeded to raise Lazarus from the dead. What tremendous comfort and joy to his friends that witnessed this miracle. There is coming a day when Jesus will come back from Heaven, and all those true believers - who have put their faith in Him and have since gone to be with Jesus in Heaven - are coming back with Him, and those of us which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Then the Bible goes on to say that we are to comfort one another with these words. (See 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) In an age when many want to question or explain away the Bible, we can still find true comfort, assurance, and hope within its pages.
The apostle Paul wrote the following statement in the book of Philippians: For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. He said that he had a desire to depart, and to be with Christ. There was no uncertainty or doubt in his mind - he knew what he believed, and he knew whom he believed in: the Lord Jesus Christ. (See Philippians 1:21-23)
Our Mom had this same assurance - there came a point in time several years back when she realized that Jesus paid the whole penalty for her sins and that salvation was by grace... through faith - it is the gift of God. Not a result of her works. There was nothing she could do to save herself, but simply trust solely in the Saviour who died to save her. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Believing in this passage of the Bible resulted in the Lord giving her eternal life through personal faith in Christ. Eternal life - life without end, forever and ever - starting from the moment she placed her faith in Jesus.
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
As our Mom grew in her faith, her walk drew her closer to the Lord - especially as her health declined more and more. I believe I can say that as her pain grew worse, the more she longed to be healed and be rid of this body that was failing her.
As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5: For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle (our temporary, earthly bodies) were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from Heaven (our immortal, eternal bodies)... For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life... Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
As the pain grew worse and as her body began to fail her more and more, our Mom had to learn to lean on the Lord day by day. Unfortunately, it wasn't the Lord's will to heal her, but as she clung tightly to her Heavenly Father's hand, He held her up and filled her with His love. In this last year or two, she was NOT the same person she was before. God had made her a new creature - and though her outward body was perishing, inwardly she had God's peace. She was trusting in her Saviour - and you can't fake that on your deathbed! Her faith was real - and as the storms raged around her on the outside, there was a spiritual calm inside her.
I remember this past February, when she took a serious turn for the worse and was hospitalized again. In my mind, I believe this was the first time we realized that she could be going home soon. I remember asking her how she was coping. And her response was so amazing! She said she was trusting in Jesus, and He had so filled her heart with His love that she was trying to encourage the nurses who were saddened by her loss of health. When it looked like all was going downhill for her fast, she was rising upwards by her faith. The Lord had drawn her so close to Himself that it was evident to those around her. Truly, I look back at that conversation with her and praise God for the way He can transform a life - EVEN IN THE MIDST OF A TRAGEDY!
Deuteronomy 33:27 says, The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Oh, it was so evident that the Lord was holding her safely in those arms at that time - and every single moment since then!
Rising In The Arms Of Love
Oh, my friend, she is sinking so very fast!
No, she is only rising in the arms of Love!
But I thought that she would remain at last...
No, she is destined for greater things above!
But why would God completely take away her peace?
No, her Saviour has given her a more lasting kind!
Real joy isn't when all toil and troubles cease -
For when Jesus draws close, peace fills this heart of mine!
The fear, the unknown, it must be dreadful...
No, His blessed presence is so very near!
But, why did this tragedy have to happen at all?
Because He knew what I needed, and He is always here!
Why would He cause this affliction, why this trial?
He has a purpose, His ways are so much greater than mine!
I know these troubles are only for a little while,
And then I will dwell forever with Him in mansions sublime!
No, I am not sinking - I am rising -
Held gently by His arms of Love,
Sheltered safely under His wings,
Till I reach my Heavenly home above!
Rising, rising, in those arms of Love!
Poem written February 26th, 2005
by Jerry Bouey
As the months progressed, the roller coaster of emotions went up and down, the situation seemed to get better only to see her health get worse. Every setback seemed to be balanced by some further hope. The uncertainty was the worst - would God heal her down here, or would He take her home to Heaven and heal her there? Through it all, we did our best to encourage her, to help her keep her eyes on the Lord, to cling to Bible promises, and prayed for God's grace - no matter what His will was, because with His grace and strength, she would be able to cope with whatever He allowed into her life during this illness.
As Psalm 23 says, The LORD is my Shepherd. And truly, the Lord was her Shepherd, because she had placed personal faith in Him and became one of His sheep.
In John 10, Jesus said to His disciples, I Am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine... My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me... I lay down My life for the sheep.
In Revelation 3:20, Jesus said, Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup (ie. fellowship) with him, and he with Me. Our Mom heard the Shepherd's voice, and opened the door of her heart to Him - she trusted in the Good Shepherd that laid His life down for His sheep. She knew He paid the price for her sins when He shed His blood and died on the cross. She knew that He was buried in that tomb and, praise God, she believed that He resurrected from the dead, and is alive forevermore to be her Saviour. She knew that in John 14:6, Jesus said, I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. She knew that truth, she heard His voice, and she received Him as her Saviour. Now she had more than a religion, she had a relationship with her Heavenly Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. She had eternal life, and NO ONE AND NO THING - NOT EVEN THIS DISEASE - COULD SEPARATE HER FROM THE LOVE OF GOD!
Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What more assurance can you ask for than that promise in His Holy Word! His promises, by the way, He is ALWAYS faithful to keep!
2 Timothy 1:12 ...For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.
The Bible teaches that believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are not to sorrow (grieve) as those which have no hope. Hope in the Bible means a "confident expectation." Our Mom has gone to be with the Lord, according to the promises in God's Word, and one day all those who also believe in the same Saviour will see her again. We are confidently expecting to meet her in Heaven when it comes our time to go home or to meet her in the clouds when Jesus returns - how about you?
Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Through This Valley
There's a shadow looming over me, and the pain is often near;
There's a storm cloud on the horizon, and the thunder causes fear;
But in the midst of this uncertainty, MY LORD IS ALWAYS HERE!
Through this Valley, with these tears, walking onward I go,
Not running in a hurry, nor lagging behind too slow;
For there's a peace within my heart - MY LORD IS HERE - I KNOW!
The journey can't be much longer - oh, this body aches and moans;
Though just around another corner, ahead is my eternal home;
And I know within THIS Valley, I AM NOT WALKING ALONE!
There's a hand that I am holding, though the path is rough and steep;
There's a promise that I can cling to, that I know my Lord will keep -
FOR THE LORD IS STILL MY SHEPHERD, AND I AM STILL HIS SHEEP!
Oh, what is that on the horizon? A glimpse of golden streets...
My heart's so filled with wonder - as face to face we meet -
Now with joy I can see Jesus - and I worship at His feet;
THROUGH THIS VALLEY, TO THE SAVIOUR, and my journey is complete.
Poem written September 19th/05
By Jerry Bouey
Psalms 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
That is where she is right now - in the house of the Lord, forever dwelling in the presence of God. Yes, we miss our Mom - and we grieve during this time of temporary separation from her, but we know she is in a much better place, a place where:
...The tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 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. (Revelation 21:3-4)
Written September 23rd/2005
Jerry Bouey and Lori McCoy
The poems quoted in this testimony can be viewed with lovely backgrounds:
Rising In The Arms Of Love
Through This Valley
Through This Valley Computer Background
You can also read the poetry book I have dedicated to my Mom:
The Seasons Of Your Pilgrimage