True Home, by Susannah Davenport, Pittsburgh

Note from Debbie: We’re just home from Ireland, a bit jet lagged–more about that soon. While we were there, our dear “transplant friend” Carissa went to her True Home. Meanwhile, a Pittsburgh friend sent me this “But God” experience. Thank you, Susannah. We travel today to participate in Carissa’s memorial service tomorrow.

But God’s light overcomes darkness

John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

In 2015 my older sister Jessica was diagnosed with Stage IV Brain Cancer. She was 36 years old and had two daughters, aged 9 months and three years old. After her first operation to remove the biggest part of her brain tumor, my sisters and I went to visit her. In her darkened recovery room, my sister Shelley said, “Jess, you know we would all take this from you in a heartbeat.”

Jessica responded, “Oh, no. I’m glad it’s me because I couldn’t bear it if it were any of you.” She then revealed to us that she had lost her faith in God many years before, and instead of trying to find Him, she was waiting for God to find her. But if she died, which the doctors said she most likely would, she hoped He would find her before then.

Jessica’s brain cancer progressed quickly, and by Thanksgiving she was in Hospice at home. She was fading quickly, growing weak and frail. Her head was swollen and she lost sight in her left eye.

By Christmas, her cognitive functions were failing, and she could barely understand what was happening around her. She still recognized us, but time was running out. Her husband, who is Catholic, begged her to see a priest and join the Catholic church to receive communion before her death. She agreed, and on the morning of Christmas Eve a priest came to give her communion.

We gathered around Jessica’s bed, and he anointed her. The room was very dark because it was cloudy outside. She was propped up in bed, staring to the side as he tried to talk to her. Her eyes began to droop and for a moment we thought she might be falling asleep. But after the priest finished praying, she looked up suddenly. She was alert and clearly recognized us—her siblings—standing around her.

Each member of my family remembers a little differently what happened next. I saw the room fill with sunlight. My sister Shelley said Jessica’s face was glowing. Regardless, the room was no longer dark. Jess said softly in surprise, “Oh. It’s so light in here. You have no idea how dark it’s been.” She looked around at each of us with a weak smile of relief.

The priest said, “That’s the light of Christ, Jessica.”

She said, “Oh…I’m hungry. Let’s have bacon and eggs!” 

We lost Jessica less than two weeks later, on January 6th, 2016. She had multiple military honors at her funeral and was buried with the American Flag draped over her coffin.

The night before her passing Shelley and I had the same dream that a lion (much like Aslan) was guiding a dark-haired girl into the trees, her hand resting on his mane as they walked. 

Shutterstock: Sharon Vitor

I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that Jessica received the gift of eternal life and our Heavenly Father called her to her True Home.

One thought on “True Home, by Susannah Davenport, Pittsburgh

  1. Thank you for a truly wonderful story. It lifts my heart and brings tears to my eyes. Those of us who have walked with chronically ill family members, can identify deeply. Our Karis was a light wherever she went for thirty years. We deeply look forward to being with her again in the not too distant future!


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