How Anne Graham Lotz found 'rest' after dad Billy Graham passed away

Members of Billy Graham's family at his funeral.

Dealing with death is painful and tiring, and Anne Graham Lotz, founder of AnGel Ministries, felt this when her father, Billy Graham, passed away last February.

Even as she dealt with the heavy blow of death, Lotz felt Jesus taking care of her. When John the Baptist passed away, Jesus knew His disciples needed rest. He knew it would be hard to disciple others when their own hearts were breaking, so Jesus took them away to get some rest.

"I, too, have heard the Lord whisper that same invitation to me in a unique way following my father's move to heaven and the swirl of events that were triggered by it," Lotz revealed on her website.

After she received the call about her father's death on February 21, Lotz recalled everything went by like a blur. She and her son immediately drove to The Cove in western North Carolina, and once there, they rode a motorcade to escort Graham to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte.

"We traveled by motorcade to the nation's Capitol, where Daddy was laid in honor in the Rotunda. Following a brief, meaningful ceremony, I stood for over 90 minutes greeting Cabinet officials, senators and congressmen who came to show their respect and offer their condolences," she recalled.

That afternoon, Lotz stood for three hours as people paid their respects to her father. Her tears flowed "freely" during that ceremony, but she had to soldier on that evening to the White House as the guest of the President and First Lady. The activities did not end there. There was another motorcade to the Capitol the following day, and Graham made his last flight and returned to Charlotte.

"That night, I attended a dinner for about 200 extended family members and also sat in on a program briefing for the funeral service. Early the next morning, I found myself once again in a motorcade that took me to the library to await the beginning of the noon-time service. Following the service, I stood in line to speak to people until no one else was left to greet in the tent," she said. "At 3:30 p.m., a processional was formed, and we walked with Daddy to the gravesite where, after a brief service, he was finally laid to rest. I returned to the hotel, and the next morning, drove the three hours back home."

Lotz admitted she was left feeling physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually exhausted. The Lord knew she needed rest, but she wouldn't take it unless forced to do so. So on Sunday, Lotz fell ill with the flu. She was confined to her home for eight days with nothing to do but rest.

"I know the Lord who is my Shepherd is the One who has made me lie down," she said. "In my fevered state, I have only been able to process a small portion of what I've experienced. Yet some things are clear. I do know that my father's life - and death - promoted the gospel, exalted Jesus Christ and glorified God."

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