Thanks to Easter!


Another Easter week end has arrived. This will be the fourth Easter since my husband went home to be with the Lord.  Just over the last couple weeks, I was rather melancholy as I thought about that last Easter he was with me. I came across a picture of us on his last Easter and was amazed at how good he looked. I’m sure he had had a few treatments that had his tumors at bay for that time. Then I saw pictures of him the following month at my granddaughter’s birthday party. Again, he looked good. However, I remembered that he said he wasn’t feeling well as we left that day. The next month he was home with the Lord. The pictures of my husband that last month do not look like him. They look like an old man and just a skeleton of one at best.

All the pictures and memories have given me mixed feelings. They make me sad and make me miss him more than ever; yet, they remind me of God’s great love. I had asked God to take Phil quickly if He was not going to heal him. I didn’t want to see him suffer. That’s exactly what God did. It felt like a hurricane blew through that house and took Phil him with it. When I remember that, I think of how gracious and loving our Heavenly Father is. The pictures I have of Phil are the evidence of just that. Our Lord didn’t allow him to suffer for long. From when the doctor said Phil would have only a few months, it was three weeks.

I continue to think about God and His goodness during this week-end. Without Easter, I would have no hope. As Christ died on that cross, bearing my sins for me, He made a way for me to have that hope. As a teen-ager  At the age of 16, I realized that even though I believed in Jesus and that He died for me and rose from the grave the third day, I had never taken that fact from my head and trusted Him with my heart. Since that day, He has been with me in Spirit. I know I will spend eternity in Heaven.

I can remember many times that He prevented me from falling during all those years and held my hand through many trials. When our son was killed along with his girlfriend, even though I grieved, it was not as one without hope. I knew they both had allowed Christ into their hearts, as well, which meant that one day I would be reunited with them again in Heaven.  I knew they were safe and in His presence. I knew God had just taken two of His own.

Last evening as I sat through a special Easter service in church, commemorating Christ’s crucifixion, I realized just how much that meant to me. When I became a widow, I was not alone. I had Christ to talk to any- time day or night. I had His hand of protection, and I had His constant companionship.

Did I grieve and weep over the loss of my son and husband? Of course, I did. The Bible tells us that even our Lord wept. But I wept not as one without hope. I wept over losing my other half while I remain here on earth. I wept over the loss of my life as a wife. However, I’m not at a loss as those who don’t have the Lord.  They have no one to call out to, in their loneliness and fear. I can’t imagine living my life without knowing that He’s there by my side at all times. He even promises to be “as a husband to me.”  In Isaiah 54:4 it reads, “…For your maker is your husband…”.

The service last night commemorated Christ’s death and burial. The services tomorrow, Easter Sunday, will celebrate His resurrection! It’s because He arose and stands at the right hand of the Father that I can praise Him! That’s why I can say thanks to Easter, and I can face tomorrow!

Happy Easter!

I pray if you don’t have Christ as your Savior, this Easter season will be the time of your new birth! Ask Him to come into your heart and save you! Thank Him for dying for you!

May God bless you,

Kathy

Advertisements

Happy 4th Anniversary Sweetheart!


Today marks the 4th year anniversary of your home-going. For you it’s another day of eternal bliss. For me, it is the 4th year of living as a widow. God has been so good to me. Remember how I told you that God could only do good? We knew for you to be allowed to go home with Him would be good, but we also knew that, somehow, He promised to work things out for good for me also. That didn’t mean it was a good thing for me if God took you with Him, but I have learned that once again, I could trust in His promises. (Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God….”)

I know there were times during that first and even second year that I wondered if I would ever be able to move on with my life. I remember sobbing until I was sick many nights. However, I also remember that those times became less and less. The wonderful daughters you gave me would sometimes help me figure out how to move past those days. I can even remember telling God once that I wanted my life back like it was. But you know that I would never really want to bring you back down to this fallen world. I have always been happy for both Matthew and now you, that you were released from here to the presence of our Lord and in fullness of all joy.

By your third year in Heaven I was started to function better. November of that year I started back to work part-time. I still carried a continual sadness within me and I hoped that I wouldn’t always have to feel that way. But God had been drying my tears and healing my heart. I have to tell you, though, that it was still a lot harder that year than I had expected.

We now have reached your 4th- year mark. I am relieved to be able to say that I have made it through. I still think of you daily and miss you. I still wish I had you by my side. I still sometimes feel sadness, but I can control it instead of it controlling me. I still shed a few tears, but they are fewer and farther apart. Our daughters and family have been super to me. They are always there for me; however, it isn’t the same as having you. We were one. That’s what has taken me the longest to learn; to live life as one, not as a

couple. I have tried to learn to make right decisions without your guidance. Of course, that is not always easy, nor do I always get it right. I can feel good about life again now. I have been seeking what God’s new will and purpose for my life is.

I have started my own widow’s group this year. It has been a little rocky getting started, but I feel God will bless it. I experienced serving God on my first mission’s trip, and I know He is asking me to keep on serving in that capacity. You see, God has been “making all things good” for me. By this time next year I am hoping to have my own silent retreats started. That is still in the beginning stages. So you see, God did not forget me, and He has kept His hand on me. He has taken my crooked pathway and made it straight again. (Isaiah 45:2 “I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight…”)

You would be very proud of all of our family. We have precious grandchildren and I wish you could see them and watch them grow. One day you will greet them on that glorious shore. All have accepted our Lord and Savior except, of course, our little two-year-old grandson.

Well, I just wanted to wish you a Happy Anniversary. I love you with all my heart.

Kathy

The Meeting


I have been following a blog of which the author calls herself  “God’s Sparrow.”  The title of her blog is Sparrow’s Scrolls. Today with her permission I am sharing with one of my favorite  writings of hers.  Her blog has blessed me greatly and I am sure it will you also.

As I read “The Meeting,”  it helped me to be aware once again that when we lose a loved one, God does not forget to include us in His plan as well. He lovingly lays a pathway before us and guides us along that pathway.

The Meeting

Date: October 18, 2010

Time: 4:30 am

Where: Heaven

Present: God

Angels

Good Morning. I have called you all together at this early hour to tell you that my Sparrow’s beloved has just suffered a stroke.  This has come as no surprise to me. It has, however, shaken her immensely.  It is not in My plan to heal him, for his time to come home to me is drawing near.

The upcoming months will be most difficult for her and she will find her faith tested almost beyond measure. I, however, know she will remain faithful throughout the days ahead.

I set a plan in place several months ago to have her assigned to a position in the school directly across the street from the hospital. She will find herself working for a group of teachers who will be incredibly supportive, tolerating her ringing cell phone, last minute absences and her sometimes “foggy” days.

And, when it is time for him to leave the hospital after six weeks, I have arranged for there to be a room available at the best care center in the area. There, too, she will find a supportive and caring staff.

Although she will be greatly upset that he will need to be in a care center, it is My plan for him. There are many who will benefit from his presence there and his strong faith in Me. He will tell many about Me. In addition, I wish to have this time apart with him in order to prepare him to come home to Me.

Now for your assignments: Her safety while in her vehicle is crucial. There will be many late night and early morning trips. She will also be driving while in tears and in harsh winter weather to visit him each day. Her health is also very important. Stress will be her greatest enemy during this time.

Help will be needed to navigate through the mounds of government and insurance paperwork. Make the way easy for her when she shops for special clothing and shoes for him. I don’t want her going endlessly from store to store. Protect her house from winter’s storms and keep everything in proper working order. When a repair is necessary get it done quickly at minimal expense. There is a younger couple I have positioned in the house up the street who will be a great support to her, Keep an eye on them as well and let them know when it is time to check on her.  As the months go on and she is becoming increasingly weary I will lead her to online friends. At various times these friends will need a “nudge” to send her a message with a butterfly. These beautiful creatures of Mine have always been her favorite and I want her to receive many of them. I will also arrange for the butterflies to appear in her life in many different forms – on shirts of strangers and flying across the hood of her car one particularly hard day.

Shortly after the second anniversary of her beloved’s passing she will hit a very low point. She will find herself in a very dark place not understanding how she got there or why, This too is in My plan.  At the urging of her physician and with My permission she will start medication to alleviate this darkness. In time she will come to see the light again and I will return her “words” to her.

That day will be October 18, 2013. On that day, three years into the future, she will sit at her keyboard and once again feel the joy and honor of sharing My words.

She will still not know what her future holds. But I know – and it is only good, as I have promised. For, as she relays how I have worked in her past, she will be reassured of how I will work in her future.

Ok, meeting dismissed. Now you know your assignments – get to work My angel armies!

And this, my friends is what this verse means to me now: Psalm 91:11 For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.

God’s Umbrella of Love and Protection


As I hear the thumping of my grandchildren’s feet running down the hill and across my back yard or I hear the back yard gate slam shut, I am reminded of God’s love and protection for me.

Often circumstances that look bleak or unfortunate to us are really God working out His gracious plan for us. When circumstances forced my daughter, son-in-law, and children to move from Arizona to Pennsylvania, all we could see was the rough- knotted side of the tapestry. We had no idea that on the other side of the tapestry, the side that God sees, a beautiful pattern was being formed.

After we heard the words, “He will have months,” referring to my husband’s prognosis, it was comforting to hear the pounding of hammers and other construction noises coming from a new home being built in field behind our house. While God was transitioning my husband closer to heaven, he was also planting my daughter’s family right next door.  Someone would always be close by to look out for me.

Many times I feel like God has put an umbrella of love and protection over me when I sit in my living room and know that in a matter of minutes family members someone would be at my door if I needed them. Friends often say, “Isn’t it amazing how we can look back and see how God had all of that planned?”

Yes, thank you, God, for always looking after me.

Heaven’s Clothes


DSCN1328As I was reading 2 Corinthians 4:1-4, I had to stop and ponder what these verses really mean to us. Verses 2 and 3 say, “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.” Today what we wear seems to be very important importance us.  For example, if we are going to a wedding, we dress differently than we do when we go to watch a football game.  When we are joining a crowd, we tend to dress ourselves in the manner that we feel the others at that particular event will be dressed. Some events require certain attire. However, not everyone feels like complying with the norm. It is not unusual to see someone in the mall dressed in their pajamas!

We also see many different ways that people choose to dress their loved ones for their funerals. Some have suits on their husbands, and others like to see them in the type of clothing they always wore. This is of course, a personal preference of the bereaved or perhaps the wishes of the loved one that has passed away.

My husband had a tendency to like to be different. Usually, he was in conformity to the norm, but on occasion I would have to say he “stood out”. Maybe he would be one of the few in the crowd with his wide brimmed “western” hat on.

Phil had suffered and fought his cancer for two years. At one particular time during his battle it didn’t look like he was going to live much longer. My husband had been trying to use his illness as a witness to others. I knew that a suit was not his favorite attire, and thinking about how he liked to be a witness to others I decided to design him a T-shirt. One thing I kept in mind was also the fact the he and his close friends always seemed to be in competition for one sport or another.  I came up with the saying “I beat you to the celestial shore!” I showed it to him before ordering it and he was very happy with its design. God spared his life at that particular time, but since I had ordered it in two sizes, knowing how his weight changed with each relapse and remission, he was able to wear it when God did decide to take him home. Needless to say the shirt did give some laughs to his friends. He had had the last say and beat them at one thing for sure.

In 2 Corinthians the Bible tells us that at the believer’s death he will be “clothed  upon” with a “house from heaven.” This house from heaven is something to be desired. We “groan” to leave this cumbersome body. Our body that is now the tabernacle of God desires to be released and clothed with our house from heaven.

We can rejoice for our loved ones in heaven that they are no longer clothed with this earthly body, a body that continues to fall apart, decline, and fail.  Praise God they are clothed with their house while they await for a new, resurrected body!

Celestial Shore


Think of stepping on shore and finding it Heaven!

Of taking hold of a hand and finding it God’s,Reminds us of heaven

Of breathing new air, and finding it celestial air,

Of feeling invigorated, and finding it immortality,

Of passing from storm and tempest to an unbroken calm,

Of waking up, and finding it Home!

Anonymous

The words above were sung at my son’s funeral. They were such a comfort to me. Just imagine it! You reach out to a hand and realize it is the Lord’s! You go from this life that is full of trouble to absolute continuous peace and calm. Home forever! I Peter 1:17 says that we are just traveling through this world. Our stay here in this world is temporary. We are just passing through while we await our turn to go to our real home, the celestial shore.  What comfort and joy this can give us! Our loved ones just travel on a little sooner than us. One day if we have Christ as our Lord and Savior we will travel on also and rejoin them. There will be no more separation, pain or sorrow. No loneliness.

My son’s death was sudden. One minute he was driving and the next he was breathing celestial air. One minute he was clutching the steering wheel, and in the next instant he was holding God’s hand. There is no way to describe  the joy he had to feel.

As my husband was dying, he opened his eyes three times to look up and over at someone waiting for him on “the other side.” Just a few minutes after he shut his eyes the last time, he was gone from his earthly body and opened them the final time to see the face  of  Jesus. He too, stepped onto the celestial shore, and I believe he was embraced by our son whom he missed so much.

As we await our reunion with our beloved husbands, it is a comfort to us if we picture them as they stepped on that heavenly shore. We can look with anticipation for our own  time of “passing from the storm and tempest to an unbroken calm.”  Until that time we need to continue to follow Jesus one step at a time.  He will lead us on the right pathway if we allow Him.  May God bless you.

Kathy