Gerry & Julie Gutierrez' Update
Two years ago today, my mom died of cancer. It was a difficult time for us, her family, to witness her struggling through her last days on earth. If was not that my mom was a stranger to pain and suffering for she was not. In her lifetime she has had more surgeries than I have fingers to count with and has overcome Hepatitis, Poliomyelitis, and other illnesses including Breast Cancer. She was one who knew physical and emotional pain all too well. Yet, she was not one to wear her feelings on her sleeves. She persevered through the difficult times with the understanding that it was God who was allowing these events to happen and that through them He would be glorified and that she was being molded into the His image. God Himself had endured suffering for those whom He loved, because He loved them. Even through His suffering God never stopped loving His own, even when it was them who caused His pain.
My mom reminds me a lot of Jesus. In her ministry, she worked with some very difficult and stubborn people who were in a constant need of redirection towards the cross of Jesus. I know many of the people, myself included, that might have long given up on what might appear to be lost causes. Yet, despite being ill my mom didn’t give up on them. It was easier for her to be more concerned about needs of others rather than her own needs for she loved people and her concern was for their souls.
My mom was a strong woman, but she was not strong on her own. It was her God who gave her strength. He was at her side till death and beyond. When my mother died, she died with a smile on her face. I would like to believe that it was because in last moments she saw her Savior calling her home.
It’s been two years and I miss her. I miss her a lot. I wish she could have met my little boy. I wish she could see the happiness in his eyes and what a sweet and amazing boy he is. I wish she knew of all the exciting changes happening in my family’s life. I wish I could hear her tell of her fun and interesting stories that she would tell again and again. I miss her humor. She loved to do little pranks, whether it was at a formal banquet with ambassadors and politicians or at missionary conference with friends. She would always think of something. Also, because she was such a sweet woman, no one ever suspected it was her. She was always fun to be around. The humor in our family came from her. Dad tries to make jokes… he “tries.” Mom was a one and only of her kind.
Despite my heart’s selfish desires, I know she is happy. She is happier than any fragile mind could comprehend. She is with her God and Savior and her pain is no more. She is free.
I write this as a small testimony of my mother’s life that has impacted my life. She did complain about her circumstances or indulge in self-pity. I believe she really understood John 16:33 when Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you “will” have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” It was evident that this time of suffering was but a temporary stage and that she had to make the most of. We cannot allow ourselves to be torn down by circumstances, but must believe in the promises of God. True belief results in action. We cannot say, “I believe God will sustain me,” and then live as if it were not true, consequently, worrying about everything. If God said, “Do not worry,” there is only one other voice that tells you to worry. Peter became distracted by the waves of doubt and began to sink. Even through Peter’s wavering faith Jesus still took ahold of him. Worrying will only bring us down.
Believe in God’s promises and it’ll remind you that our suffering is but temporary and that we will be able to preserve because He has overcome the world.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Caleb M. Gutierrez