Growing up, Mom had a saying I heard often. "You'd better believe it!" She'd say this if I doubted her, disregarded her advice, or if she wanted to emphasize an opinion.
Years later, when I married and had children, my mother and my mother-in-law developed a close bond. They enjoyed each other's company at many family gatherings, and spoiled the girls with love as Grandmothers often do. My mother shared stories of her faith, and my mother-in-law likewise conveyed her beliefs. They were good support and encouragement for each other.
As time passed, my mother-in-law became ill, and found out she would need surgery on two heart valves. Because of other co-existing health issues, the surgeon indicated the operation could pose risks, and it did. The surgery became complicated, and her condition in ICU was guarded.
One night, exhausted from a full day at the hospital, I collapsed into a sound sleep. At 3a.m., I awoke suddenly, and felt as if my mother-in-law was speaking to me. We often talked on the phone, so in a way, it didn't seem so unusual, except this message was delivered to my heart--there was no telephone. The message came quickly, and seemed to speed by in seconds:
"This is your dear Mum. You know how much I love you all. I am getting ready to go up to see God the Father. Take care of my dear son and the girls..."
A few other words of endearment came through so quickly, that I didn't catch on to them, as the message faded.
I shook my head. Was this real or was I dreaming? I wasn't sure, but if I was dreaming, why couldn't I get the message out of my head?
I lay awake for some time, thinking about this, and dozed off about the time my husband got home to rest. A few hours later, just after 8a.m., we awoke to the phone ringing. I picked up the phone. It was the soft voice of the ICU nurse. She hesitated, her voice cracking as she gave the difficult news.
"I'm so sorry," she said. "We just lost your mother-in-law. She had a sudden, massive heart attack."
She was gone! I looked up at my husband and shook my head. I put the phone down, as we tearfully embraced.
Amid the tragic news, I felt a sense of calm. I asked the nurse if anything unusual had happened during the night. "She had a drop in blood pressure at 3a.m.," the nurse responded.
I gasped. That was the same time I awoke to the "message." It wasn't a dream. If only I had realized that earlier!
I relayed the sad news to my mother, and she felt as heartbroken as we did. I told her I was glad they both had faith in God. Perhaps you can surmise her answer. "You'd better believe it," she said.
Mom's favorite saying had become my mother-in-law's declaration, and those words later served as inspiration for me.
If I could talk to my mom and mother-in-law again, I would want to tell them how grateful I am for all they taught me about faith. It started simply by saying, I believe...
You'd better believe it!
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16