The first morning Jerry was in ICU, Eyes of Agony were my thoughts for both of us. I could only record my thoughts, not his. When I saw him that afternoon, he acknowledged he was dying (his heart was losing its beat). He already had his share of suffering and did not want any help to remain here.
The second morning’s thought was completely different. “Everything New” seemed so strange in light of what was happening. What could this mean except the Holy Spirit’s insight for me to know that for Jerry everything would be new for him in heaven?
What about me?
I sensed an assurance that in the Lord’s timing, he would make all things new for me, too. I have to continually remember those thoughts.
The first month I had to settle a lot of things, transfer data to my accounts, and other things ~ social security, etc. There was no time to think of what had happened that week in the ER, ICU, and Hospice.
Last month I began taking care of things here in the home.
Sorrow came in spurts as if my heart was being sucked out of my chest. I felt I had died with Jerry.
A week ago and through my first birthday without him in 59 years, I was in a dark tunnel.
These feelings have been uncontrollable, making me know the truth of God’s Word from Lamentations 3:26 “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”
After days in the tunnel, I found myself on a deserted island. It was time for me to face the reality of being alone ~ but at least there was fresh air, blue skies, and vegetation. (The Glad Rule)I knew there had been others on the same island when I fell into a pit. It was shallow enough that I could have climbed out, but the small space was just right for my pitifulness.
Days later, I experienced what seemed a tidal wave so strong as to wash me out of the pit, off the island, and into the ocean ~ a sea of uncertainty.
I thought, “I have to walk on water or drown.” Instead, I sensed a lifting and holding and later the ability to float. This has to be the result of many prayers for me.
At times I thought I would see land.
There is none in sight, yet. I am waiting, still dealing with the sorrow ~ but even in tears, to replace these thoughts with the promises of my heavenly Father and everything new He has planned.
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’” Isaiah 41:10
“For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.” Isaiah 54:5
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Dear Father, I believe Your Word is true and powerful to accomplish all you say you will do. I praise you for your promises and wait for you. Fill me with your Spirit and move me as you desire to accomplish all your holy will for me. Let me continue to be a witness of your grace, goodness, and glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
“It is good that a man should both hope
and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”
As I am still in hope, waiting for the Lord’s guidance for each step, I share the following message ~ all our hope is in Him.
Much love and blessings, Fran
Jerry was taken to ER on May 26 where the medical staff did not see a possibility of his surviving. I paced and prayed outside while Lee was with her dad. Then, seemingly better, after I was with him, he was taken to ICU.
As we waited at home, overnight, to hear results from tests and an ultrasound of his heart, my most excruciating thoughts turned to the stark probability of losing the man with whom I had spent the last fifty-nine years.
I agonized, seeing what seemed inevitable ~imagining what my life would be without him.
Then, came the vision of how I would have to let go of what I held dear and precious, the man I loved, especially the last thirteen years as Jerry’s caregiver.
As I agonized over what I faced, I was reminded of the agony of my Lord and Savior.
First, in the garden of Gethsemane, he saw the vision of His cross, sweating drops of blood as He prayed. What awaited Him was the fierce reality of separation from His Father as He would suffer for the sins of His people.
Then, he knew that in order to save us, He would have to let go of His own will and life. He gave way to the will of the Father and gave all to Him for our salvation.
“NOT MY WILL”
“Not my will, but thine be done” is only possible in our lives through the humble, sacrifice Jesus made for us.
As I write this, three weeks after Jerry’s death, June 1, the words, “Not my will” are late in coming. But I must give all to Him, submitting to the will of the Father even as He did. Jesus’ death and resurrection are the means for me to live without Jerry until He brings me to glory with them.
As He leads, I must walk hand-in-hand and heart-to-heart with Him through this valley of tears and agony, keeping my eyes on the hope that is set before me ~ the hope He secured for me on Calvary.
By His grace, Andy, our son, Lee, and I were blessed to be with Jerry the second night in ICU and the last four days in Hospice. It was during those days He was preparing us to see the Father’s will and to hope in His will for our future.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down
at the right hand of the throne of God.”
“Keep yourselves in the love of God,
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
unto eternal life.”
Dear Father in heaven, by the precious gift of eternal life through Jesus, your Son, you have made it possible for us to endure the pain and sorrows of this world. Thank you for the love, mercy, and hope you bestow on us as your children. Let me remember you are my Maker and my Husband and you have made me to be a bride of Christ. Continue to prepare me to share your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Paul’s last voyage was not a pleasant one. From Caesarea he was being sent to Rome as a prisoner to be tried before Caesar. The storm encountered was causing the ship to break apart as it ran upon the rocks near the beach of Malta.
Before running aground, where the bow stuck and the stem was being broken by the surf, the prisoners could have escaped by throwing out the anchor and letting down the lifeboat. This could have been Paul’s chance to avoid being carried to Rome. But, he knew what was happening was within God’s plans for him.
The following night, after Paul was arrested, “the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.” Acts 23:11
Then, during the storm, Paul stood to encourage all who are in the ship, “Take heart for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, Do not be afraid Paul, your must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you. So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island.” Acts 27:22-26
Paul trusted God’s plan for him; he trusted His Word, and he was obedient to the will of God. His was the example of the obedience of faith he preached in the gospel to the Roman Christians.
God’s plans for us may be that we go through the storms and waves of this world. The relationship we are in may break up, and seemingly all hope is lost, but in faith, we must stay in the ship. Our relationship with God may encounter upheavals; our fellowship with other believers may run aground, but we are called to obedience to stay in the ship and endure through the entire course, even if that means that we are heading toward the end of this life.
Paul survived his last voyage with other prisoners and soldiers. Undoubtedly, they were non-believers, not knowing the promises or power of God to save His people. Paul is the example for us, even in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation to shine as lights in the darkness.
Cutting Away the Lifeboat
“Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat and let it go.” Acts 27:32
God is able: and He promises in His Word never to leave us nor forsake us. At times He may have to cut away the ropes of anything that might help us to abandon ship.
His church is that great ship that is often run aground, but He has not forsaken her. Many leave the ship, and often have a difficult time finding it again.
Marriage and family units are vessels that have to bear the storms. Many find these relationships on the rocks, but when we rely on God’s promises, His presence and power as Paul did, we experience His working through the upheavals. He can restore these ships, sometimes to better relationships than they were before.
We may be the only one with faith, courage, and perseverance to stay with the ship, knowing the God to whom we belong and worship. We may be the only light that God chooses to save a whole family from darkness and disaster.
We accept this reality with humility, not pride. It can be a heavy burden for us, but in time it will produce the joy that He intends for us. Wherever we are is where God places us; to testify of Him.
For the past three weeks I have been processing for publication the first book I wrote twenty-two years ago. Two years before, in 1994, I had walked through the valley of the shadow of death with my father. It was this time of year, last of August and first of September, that we learned he had esophageal cancer.
“He can go at any time, and I would not count on more than a month.”
I documented in a desk-top publication for family and close friends what was evidenced as the Lord’s presence during his last three weeks. There were no computers for consumers then, so I typed what was still fresh in my mind and heart; cut and pasted every page and took the little book to a printer. It was simply titled, Daddy.
During this formatting, which our granddaughter Kourtney retyped for me a few years ago, it seems I have relived this event that was a turning point in my life; at least one of the great ones. My dad “rested in the Lord” on Labor Day, after eighty-five years of struggle for peace.
Even so, those years were fruitful as he worked hard and long hours to find his place in the world. But if he could return and recount those years, he would say that he only began to live as he was dying. I witnessed it. I was there to see how God took a helpless dying man and gave him life and peace beyond understanding. It was at his bedside that I learned how to trust the only One who gives life; to live now as if living forever in the presence and power of my heavenly Father. It was there I began to learn to live my life for others. It was then that He started writing His love story on my heart and of which I continue to write. Fran
One MONTH to LIVE ~ A Father’s Last Words is available on Amazon.
“To every thing …….. a season.”
“A time to be born” ……… A time to know.
“A time to die” …….. And then to grow.
To sense the touch of the Gardener’s hand.
With His strength and love ……. to stand,
And feel the rain upon our face;
To live in the sunshine of His Grace.
Ecclesiastes 3:2; Luke 9:24 F.R. 1995
I AM is a Perfectionist. Remember those italicized words in the King James Version, those smaller words that added clarity to the sentence from the Hebrew translation? I speak here as I have learned from the Great I AM.
I AM is a holy God, a perfect Father, Creator and Redeemer. The realm of His kingdom is perfect, nothing lacking, nothing out of order, no frustration, no oppression, no war, no anxiety, no fear, violence, sickness, death, disappointment or tears. In His kingdom there is no criticism, anger, jealousy, envy, dishonesty, or falsehood. He is surrounded by righteousness, humility, peace, harmony, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and temperance.
The LORD has established his throne
in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Through His Son, Jesus Christ, He rules in power, truth, grace, mercy and glory. From His own mind, heart and Spirit He lives and lavishes His own Being throughout His heavens. As a Perfectionist, He created the heavens and the earth, with expectation of having a perfect family bearing His image.
Did He go wrong somewhere? Then He is not a Perfectionist, and He is not able to rule and govern what He created.
Or is all still going according to His plans? Is providence the working out of His holy will?
If we were perfect, then we would understand His plans and agree that He is perfect.
If we could see the end of all things as He has planned, we would understand His perfection.
We cannot, so we must look to the Perfect One who makes all things perfect.
“The trying of your faith works patience.
But let patience have her perfect work,
that you may be perfect and entire,
Special revelation comes by the power of His Spirit in the lives of those who are His children, born of His Spirit through His Word. Within us He enables us to see beyond this world and its imperfections (the list is too long). We are brought beyond the power of sin to be occupied with God. The heavenly Father, Creator and Redeemer, whose perfect, heavenly love, humbles us, and begins the process of perfecting us by the power of HIs Son and His Holy Spirit, to share His eternal kingdom.
We give up our human perfectionism when we understand that only He can make things perfect, and His plan for perfection was not intended for this earth, but for eternity with Him. The only perfect thing here on this earth is His love. In the end, it will perfect all those who are in Christ, His Son. We are holy and acceptable in Him, now and forever (Romans 12:1)
Gracious and blessed Father, Perfect in all things, with the plan to perfect the disciples of Christ, your Son: in the power of your Holy Spirit, birth and train us according to your perfect will through your Word. Through us, by transforming our minds and hearts, make known your love to a perishing world . Fill us with your light that pierces the darkness and brings your children to a perfect love, joy and peace, as we wait for our Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Related article: The Power of God’s Holy Will
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: .
The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me:
But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
2 Corinthians 12:9
strength is made perfect in weakness.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
1 Peter 5:10
But the God of all grace…make you perfect.
1 John 2:5
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.
This question is posed to anyone who is ready to give an answer. Many can speak of a salvation experience; or of a spiritual awakening. Others may answer with what they believe about God. These are not what I am looking for. Neither do I ask for quotes from the Bible except as they support the experience of your daily and constant relationship with God. (Please do not answer if you think God has failed to live up to your expectations.)
By your own words how would you convince yourself that God is real? How has God who is Spirit and the Spirit of Christ made you to know Him? How has He revealed Himself to you through the everyday working of your life? What is the witness of Him that He has given in your heart and your personal life?
Knowing that He works within the parameters of the physical be practical in your answer, specific and concise. Take your time to think of your best answer; not your whole life story. We will be blessed to hear from you. (If you are not able to answer on this blog email at email@example.com)
Dear Father, there is more than we are able to comprehend, experience, or to witness of you. Make us to know how we should speak of you and not of ourselves. We praise you that for all of life through the good times and the bad you are present and real to us as your children. In meekness and fear let us give an answer to others that glorifies you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Related Article: Salvation, Past, Present and Future
How often have you as an adult wanted to cry aloud, but could not? Either you were too reserved, too prideful, or not desperate enough. At a certain time in our lives we pass the stage of childhood and forget what it was like to cry. We don’t know how to cry, nor to whom.
What good does crying do? Nobody wants to hear it, not on this earth anyway. It is not the proper thing for a sane person to do. If this is your thinking I pray that you will reconsider what it means to be a child of God. He knows our needs, our weaknesses, our failures, and our helplessness. He has saved us in Christ and brought us to Himself to hear from us ~ not just our praises, but also our cries.
A baby doesn’t know why he is crying. A child of God doesn’t always know why he needs to cry. We find much weeping, as well as joy, in God’s Word. This wilderness is not the happiest place in the universe; and He expects us to cry to Him in times of distress.
“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
We should not cry all the time; but in those times when we are overwhelmed He wants to hear from us. His heart is moved, and His Spirit responds to our needs, even when we don’t know what we need. He is able to lead us out of the temptation and danger.
“Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him:
God is a refuge for us.”
When we hold everything inside, or when we turn to some other source, we will not receive what He has prepared for us. Crying and calling to Him are proofs that we trust Him in all our circumstances. More than this, it is during these times of dire need that He reveals more of Himself and His blessings to us. It is through these times that He brings us to know His joy.
Heavenly Father, draw us to you today. Enable us to open our hearts to you, to cry to you, and receive what you have for us as your children. Turn our weeping to joy as you hold us and feed us with the truth of your word. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.