A Crown of Righteousness

This will be our first Christmas without the matriarch of my family—my Meme. So many things remind me of her. The other morning as we sang “O Come, All Ye Faithful” at work, I found myself singing the Latin words, and all I wanted to do was call and tell her how much I missed her Sunday morning Latin lessons.

Even watching my kids open their presents at my parents’ house this weekend brought me back to my own childhood, waiting impatiently on my Meme and Papaw to make their way to our house so we could open our gifts. She was always there to rejoice with us over every present.

I had tears in my eyes when my daughter opened up a sweet Cinderella dress from my dad (complete with a crown) because I knew how much my Meme would have loved it. Growing up, I had dress up parties at her house at least once a week. Nothing made her happier than a few sparkles. Or, more likely, nothing made me happier—and her happiness always seemed to mirror mine.

At her funeral in July, I read 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

This morning, as my thoughts were full of sorrow, I felt led to read over that verse again. But this time, the verse right after it caught my eye:

“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.”

In His sweet, gentle way, God reminded me that my Meme is wearing her own crown this Christmas. One of righteousness, lovingly given to her by her Father.

It was also a beautiful reminder of why I want our home to always be filled with the name of Jesus, the way my Meme’s was. I gave birth to my babies, but I’m not the one who will deliver them from death. Only Jesus has the ability to restore and redeem life.

So for anyone with an empty chair, or bed, or recliner, or cradle this Christmas, I pray that you will be filled with peace, knowing that your loved one ran their race straight into the arms of Jesus. And that the crown they are wearing now is far greater than any crown here on earth.

3 thoughts on “A Crown of Righteousness

  1. Yesterday was full of unwelcome tears for me, as one thing after another—a song, a face, a word—kept bringing back memories of people and ministries I’ve had to leave behind. Among those people are my dad, my only brother, and a dear pastor. My sweet husband came to my side last night and wept with me, then this morning I wrote a poem to reflect on those memories.

    I do thank God that my loved ones are rejoicing in heaven because they have finished their course. I thank Him for the way He once used me in His service, and for the way He is using me now. I also thank Him for how your writing has been such an encouragement. I’m glad our paths crossed. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

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