Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reflecting on life

I shared this story with my online prayer fellowship but its a testimony of God's faithfulness in extreme unexpected situations, sadness and of His direction and comfort
This year my birthday was particularly poignant for me as it was also the 10th anniversary of my dad's Homegoing.
God had really put it upon mine and oldest son Joshua's hearts to go see my dad (Joshua was in Houston ,we were in Sulphur, La and my parents were in NE Georgia). I drove to Houston two hours west to get car-less Joshua so we could drive together for the 12+ hour trip from Houston.........GOD KNEW exactly why we were so moved. HE had moved our hearts by His tender Hand. It was the last time Joshua got to see his Pop alive.With my aunt out of state, and my only brother who lived close to my parents out of state at that time as well.............my mom would have been physically alone for probably the hardest night and day of her life. We spent two days with my dad , who was in the hospital for tratment of a non-life-threatening, not- terminal neurological disorder which had gone somehow awry. We kidded that all those years earlier, he, mom and I had also spent the 19th of February in a hospital together, but he was the one not in the bed. Late the night of the 18th, my dad's systems just started to shut down, one by one, and he was put on a vent to help relieve some of the breathing difficulties from the extreme edema accumulating around his heart and lungs. He seemed to be resting, but still shutting down even as we were praying and knowing that that God would heal him either on earth or eternally. I called family members to let them know what was going on, met with some strange responses, emotions, and accusations that I was being overly dramatic, and some of "yes of course we will be praying!" as well. In the wee hours my mom came and woke me from the waiting room couch to tell me that Daddy was failing. My waking thought, strangely, was that he was going to die on my birthday. Several hours later, with my mom out of the room counseling with a wonderful hospital chaplain, I prayed with my Daddy, sang "On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand" for him and he went to be with Jesus. When I called my dad's older brother to tell him, he asked what time the doctor had let us know that Daddy was failing beyond return because he had stayed up praying for his brother all night and at about 3 AM God had told him to rest, stop praying and go to sleep. It was at about 3 that the doctor had said that to us! Certainly not what we were planning but God is SO faithful. My mom was beyond understanding the events of that night; I was so thankful that God had brought us those 1000 miles!! God gave me the strength to give my daddy's eulogy at the funeral three days later, made it possible for Charlie to drive up with all the other kids, gave my other relatives time to get in town............. My dad , who had hoped to be well enough to be in his church for their annual Missions conference,hoped to see the parade of flags representing the many countries with missionaries in them sharing the Gospel of Jesus, countries, peoples and missionaries we had prayed for all of my life, had his memorial service beneath all those flags as they hung from the walls and rafters of the auditorium of the church. I think that he was watching from Heaven; I bet when we sang "Victory In Jesus" he was playing along on a new trumpet, with new lungslike those of a 20 year old. One of his goals after he got sick was to be well enough to play his trumpet in church , maybe one more time, maybe at Easter..................
Seems so long ago and yetsometimes like no more than a year or two. How can that be when those 10 years have included my mom having major heart surgery and a heart attack while in that very surgery only 6 months after my dad had died, my last two miscarriages, adding 6, now almost 8 adopted children to the family, moving: a whole new life start- over in a whole new state, kids growing up and marrying and having babies of their own..............my mom having a massive stroke which changed life for all of us when disabled by the stroke she needed to be moved from her beloved Georgia to Oklahoma, where she sid she hoped she'd NEVER have to live.........all those tours of duty for my other menfolk.............that is a lot of family living for a mere 10 years!
I am reminded of a song sung at his memorial service called "Stepping On Shore".... "I'm breathing the air, and finding it celestial, I 'm stepping on shore and finding it Home" Funny, when I found out I was pregnant several months after Daddy died I remember saying it was sad that he would not get to know his latest grand baby. When I miscarried, I realized he was the FIRST one to meet his latest grandbaby! Wonder what these last 10 years of life have felt like , have been like, in Heaven??????????????????????? I wonder, is he, are all those in heaven now, that "Great cloud of witnesses" Paul talks about when he talks about running the race set before us?????

1 comment:

Blessed Mom of 8 said...

Now that is an interesting thought - now I wonder with you!

Love you precious friend!
xoxo Jill