Posted by: prayer0617 | March 15, 2012

Sara Jayne VanRiper a story of Hope Fulfilled


My mom Sara Jayne VanRiper went to heaven on March 13, 2012 at 3:00 am following her most recent battle with cancer to her lungs and her brain. When someone leaves this earth, I often search the stories and obituaries for any sign of our Creator in thier lives.  You often hear of worldy accomplishments but very little about that person’s relationship if any with our Lord, Jesus. This article is about her amazing salvation.   Her life was a battlefield,filled with many battles.  But in the end the Lord won the war for her.  He manifested His work on the cross 2000 years ago now, even this very year.

My mom was the type of person that people liked to compare their own lives to and look down on her. She made some really bad choices, and some good ones.  When she became pregnant at 16 she got married to my dad and I was born.  They had a home in the country and I am sure her and my dad had so many dreams.  She graduated from high school by going to night school.  She loved to plant flowers like her father, who tragically died of heart disease shortly after he retired and when I was less than three.  She made dinners at night and took up homemaking – she loved my dad and had such high hopes to make a good home.  Tragically, though, my dad who was older and already addicted to alchol was loyal to that lifestyle.  Without detail it is good to say she had to leave him and go back to her mom’s house with two little girls when I was 6 and my sister 3.  My mom continued to love my dad and we did too until his death in 1974. With the hurt and woundedness and the lure of the 70s she drifted further and further into the world; the bars, looking for acceptance.  Her panic at providing for two children barely able to make much money.  College was an option she could see.  The cursed lifestyle is a cruel and hard one.  When something looks like it could be good, it is taken away from you.  She spent most of her life tourmented.  When she was sober and free she was kind and soft spoken, and still liked to cook and plant flowers. 

When she became ill at the end she was bedridden.  There was no more running from our Creator in her shame and doubt that He would ever accept her.  After all she had spent all those years trying to make it right on her own and it her own without Him.  She could only look at her life and how she had been destroyed and destroyed herself ….hurt people eventually and surely hurt people in return if wounds are left unhealed.  But then her night ended and dawn was on the horizon.

She thought her lasting legacy on this earth would be the research  being done on her body at MSU because she had LEMS disease.  When she had lung cancer in the 90s Dow Chemcial had treated her and her body was failing as a result of the treatments. She had blood poisoning – and they were studying the effects the treatments had on her body back then.  She had hoped that if anything good would come from her life that would be her contribution so save any suffering from anyone else. 

During her last time in the hospital my brother and his mom were in the hospital praying and praying for her.  The news was not good, she never went back to another hospital but rather into hospice care.  Hospice was a tool that God used to show His Mercy and Providence and Love.  She could rest in hospice care. She had nothing but good things to say about hospice.

I called her one Sunday night and she told me I was on the list of people she wanted to call. She called many people that day to say her “goodbyes”.  She had recently told me she felt the presence of “other worldly beings’ .  She could feel God’s mercy and His drawing her.  She had definately been in His Presence and it was the most beautiful salvation I  had ever experienced.  She and I was crying and she was telling me that He was forgiving her for everything,  We cried and she told me about being reconciled back to God and how she knew Jesus was waiting for her.  She went on to tell me how wonderful heaven is and  how people she thought were gone are not gone, but yet they exist.  When I asked her how she is going to feel seeing her family she told me that relationships in heaven are without any evil in them so she could look forward to seeing her family. She tearfully agreed with me that there is no greater joy on this earth than being reconciled back to God.  It was something she never expected would happen and yet His Mercy and Love for her overwhelmed her and warmed her.  She could see His blessing in her life as people brought her things and cared for her.  Things she could not get before because she didnt have enough money.  Simple things like Ensure, baked goods just an overflow of good things in her life.   Over the next few weeks even though her body was perishing I had no doubt she was being prepared for Heaven.Cancer may have ensnared her body but for the first time in her life she was truly free inside.  She was free.   She slept alot. I tried to just let her speak to me about what she was experiencing and what she wanted to say.  She was happy that my sister has a good life and she was content with my life.  She loved my sister very much and was happy that we loved her. She spoke with my husband Paul, my son Brett and my daughter Courtney,  That meant so much to her to hear her grandchildren’s voices.  She left earth knowing that we loved her and she loved us.  My mom’s story is one of hope fulfilled.  Proof that for those who seek to know God no matter how late in life, He will be there for them.  He is the One hope that was not shattered and broken into pieces, but the One hope fulfilled.   


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