I knew my mother was in heaven. Although I missed her terribly, what I missed most were her prayers.
For several weeks I'd felt mounting tension and nervousness in my stomach as Mother's Day, the day I dreaded, approached. Most Sundays, I travel to churches to sing and minister, but I had asked my husband to try and avoid booking this day because I didn't want to be in front of a congregation on the first Mother's Day without Mom.
Of the 12 children my mother had, I was the baby. She was 45 years old when I was born, and we were close up until the time she died.
When my mom went home to be with the Lord, I was away at college. Although we had kept in regular contact with each other, she had suffered a heart attack and gone home suddenly, so I wasn't with her at the end. I was devastated.
The doctor reassured us by saying: "It was so quick she didn't feel anything. It was as if she went to sleep." But the gnawing ache in my chest and the queasiness in my stomach would not go away. Sometimes it wasn't so bad, but whenever thoughts of Mother's Day came to me, the unsettling feelings returned.
I guess the main reason I was so disturbed about my mom's home-going was a selfish one. Who will pray for me now? I wondered.
I knew all my family loved me and lifted me up to God. But they also had families of their own, and I was concerned that they would forget to pray for me.
Who would hold me up to the Father every day, several times during the day, in prayer? No one had prayed like Mom. And no one, other than she, would pray for me that consistently.
I am ashamed to admit this, but there have been times when I felt anger toward my mom for leaving me. After all, she wasn't there for my wedding or for the births of my daughters, Kaylee and Erica.
All my sisters had looked forward to Mom's coming to be with them for at least a week after they gave birth. That delight had been taken from me without a single warning.
I was sure that Mother's Day without her was going to be tough. But we were scheduled to minister at my husband's home church that Sunday.
Since we would be staying at my in-laws' house, I thought to myself: Everything will be OK. I love my mother-in-law, and it will be good to be around her. It was great to be in their home, but it didn't prevent the hopelessness from overwhelming me once again.
From Mourning to Joy
Earlier that week I had a phone conversation with my sister, who is a lively and vivacious person. She was trying to cheer me up by telling me about a dream of Mama she had had recently.
My sister constantly dreamed of Mama. But me? Never! I couldn't understand it. My sister's excitement about her dream only added to my feelings of sorrow and loss.
The night before Mother's Day, I excused myself early in order to spend time in prayer and prepare myself for the next day's service. Getting ready to retire, I casually said to the Lord, "You know, Father, it would be awesome if I could dream of Mama tonight," and with that, I went to bed.
You will never believe what happened next! I started dreaming and, in my dream, I woke up in heaven. I can't describe it with words except to say it was just as John had pictured it in the book of Revelation.
In the dream, I was running around all over heaven looking for Mom. Everybody knew everybody else, so when I asked: "Has anyone seen my Mom? Has anyone seen Sister Jacobs?" people would instantly answer, "Oh yes, we saw her walking down this street," or "She was over by the crystal river just a few moments ago."
One wonderfully strange thing about all this was that I recognized these people—the patriarchs and prophets of old, and renowned men and women of God. I was talking to them, asking them about my mom.
Finally—I could hardly believe my eyes—there she was. I recognized her, but she looked so different.
When my Mom was alive she often wore her gray hair up in a bun. Her face had become wrinkled, tired and frail, and her back was bent.
Now my mom was petite and absolutely the most gorgeous person I had ever seen. Could this be the same person I had known on Earth?
In my dream I began yelling at the top of my voice: "Mama, over here! It's me, Mama! Wait, Mama, come here!" To my amazement, she totally ignored me.
Then I saw that my mom wasn't alone. She was with someone, and she was laughing.
Mother's Day in Heaven
Mom always had such a contagious laugh. If you were in a mall and heard her, you would say, "That is definitely Sister Jacobs; I can hear her laughing." Everyone knew that laugh because it was so hearty and robust.
As I drew close to her I realized why she was totally ignoring me. She was walking arm-in-arm with Jesus, her Savior and Redeemer, the One she had longed to see since she was a little girl.
The look of joy and ecstasy on her face was priceless. All of a sudden, I found myself enraptured with the awe of seeing Mom and witnessing the joy she was experiencing. When my husband awakened me I was laughing aloud in my sleep.
The next morning, the joy of the Lord was still real to me. The dread and the queasiness were gone. Instead there was a peace that comes only from having been in the Father's presence.
I don't know how you will celebrate Mother's Day this year. Maybe you haven't communicated with your mother in a long time. Isn't it time to break the silence and let the healing begin?
Or maybe you're praying for your mom to be saved or delivered from some kind of addiction. Then Acts 16:31 will work for you. It reads, "'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.'"
Now when Mother's Day comes around, I feel a twinge of jealousy. Can you imagine what it would be like to walk arm-in-arm with Jesus and have Him whisper in your ear?
I think I know what they are talking about. I believe Jesus is telling her all the things He has planned for me. And I like to believe my mom is still praying for me—only now when she talks to the Lord, it's face-to-face.
Judy Jacobs is a dynamic singer and teacher who has ministered around the world in concerts and crusades. Jacobs is founder of His Song Ministries in Cleveland, Tenn.