Astonished!

12 11 2013

In September I went to the coast for a mini-retreat. I had one word that I needed to discuss with the Lord. It was this:

“Robbed”

That’s how I felt concerning my mom. She and I had plans to spend every day together without distraction during the recovery period following her heart surgery.

Instead, there were complications – one after the other – and her last month on earth was spent moving from ICU to the med ward and back to ICU.

That month was a nightmare and I was torn between being home with my youngest sons – and at the hospital where her medical attendants seemed to be the most inept people on the planet. They could either keep her hydrated, or her pain managed…but not both at the same time.

Due to a blood infection she contracted in the hospital, her body began to fill up with clots. They put her on medication to dissolve them. When new clots began to develop,ย I contacted some family members to let them know that she was not going to make it.

She told her doctor and us that she wanted to be taken off the drug on Saturday if it wasn’t working. Yes, she knew that meant she could die. Yes, she was ready to go.

The next day, I read to her from the Bible, bade her good-bye, and went home. When I returned at 6 p.m., she was comatose…having suffered a massive stroke.

On Saturday, she moved to Heaven.

Eight years later, I still held a grudge against God. Things weren’t supposed to end that way. She and I were supposed to have six weeks to spend together…a rare thing because she was a very busy woman, and was raising her great-granddaughter as well.

I felt robbed – more so because I was helping my friend care for her elderly mother at home…like I should have been allowed to do for mine.

(This despite the fact that He was closer to me during that nightmare than I’d ever experienced before. He showed Himself in many, many ways and put little “touches” on each day to give comfort and strength. I treasure the memory of each one.)

Because of my experience with my mom, however, I was well-equipped to travel through the Valley of the Shadow with my friend and her mom. I knew where some of the pitfalls were, and how to navigate around them.

Because my emotional investment was not as intense, I was able to see issues more clearly.ย Problems that I’d missed in the earlier episode – either due to a lack of knowledge, or mostly because I didn’t want to see what was taking place – were quickly identified and handled well.

God taught me patience, kindness, and gentleness through my mom’s passing that I was able to employ with my friend and her mom.

The days I spent with my little lady are ones that I will hold dear, for they were exactly what I had hoped to have with my mom. It simply could not have gone the way I wanted because of relationship issues and her circumstances. It was a dream, but impossible in reality.

The Lord, who loves us more than we can imagine, honored me with an invitation to walk with this gentle saint through her last days. In a way, I did for her what I would have done for my own dear mother.

Last week I thanked the Lord for this assignment. To my astonishment, I heard Him whisper,

“So, am I forgiven?”

His tenderness and humility in asking such a thing cut my heart to the quick. He’d known all along that this stood between us – and this mattered to Him!

He understood what I was saying when I shelved my Bible and refused to open it for many months after Mom went Home. He heard the hurt and bitterness every time I spoke of this season of my life. He knew my “word” long before I was aware of it.

He loved me enough to minister to my wound…and heal it.

He had done nothing wrong. People live and die. It’s part of living in a fallen world. No one lives forever on earth. Death eventually separates everyone…for a while.

Yet, His relationship with me matters to Him – enough that He would humbly ask if I could finally forgive Him.

One thing I’ve learned in these last few years is that when we study the Bible in order to “learn the rules”, we are missing the point.

There is not one command given that does not reflect His nature and character.

Not one.

Love your neighbor…God is love.

Do not steal, do not envy, do not covet…every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights.

Do not commit adultery…God is faithful.

Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord…

…this is my latest lesson…

…because God is humble.

He loves us with an everlasting love; therefore He has drawn us with lovingkindness.

I am astonished by His great love for us!

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19 responses

13 11 2013
Pure Glory

The amazing love shown by God to us is precious! Thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

13 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

Isn’t it, though. This memory melts my heart every time it comes to mind. A good thing, too. I hadn’t realized how much it has been affecting my relationship with Abba.

\o/

12 11 2013
Susan Irene Fox

Love this perspective on the commandments. I think we often forget that we can hurt our Father this way because we are so focused on self. Thanks, Tami, as always for your love for God that both high and deep. Bless you.

12 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

I just want to know Him more. After all, Jesus defined eternal life as this: “That they would know You, the One true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

That’s a bit different from being given a gift of living forever. Everyone will live forever. Destination is the key element!

Bless you! ๐Ÿ™‚

\o/

12 11 2013
shoutingthemessage

What a beautiful story of your relationship with your Heavenly Father! It is so real! Thank you for being open with your heart and sharing it with us.

12 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

“Whosoever will may come!” This is what He offers to every one of us.

\o/

12 11 2013
Prodigal Daughter

I am reminded of the sermon/devotional I heard days ago. God “derails” our plans, and let us go through the difficulty of it because that is His way of preparing us to become ministers to people who might be in the same situation down the path. Consider yourself blessed and loved. And a gret heavenly reunion is something to look forward too. You’re a blessing. Hugs.

12 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

Yeah – it’s always MY plans that get derailed…never His!

Thanks for taking time to read. ๐Ÿ™‚

\o/

12 11 2013
nopew

I take your experiences to show again that Jesus is real, not a doctrine! I pray that others who stay mad at God may just be softened by this and get back to “Jesus loves me, this I know…”.
I affirm you in your honesty, for God has little honour in fake, chocolate-coated tales.
Peace

12 11 2013
platinumdonmccoy

You just voiced out my exact same sentiments.

As a growing Christian, I’m encouraged by the lifestyles of contemporary Christians who have a real and genuine walk with God, very similar to that of the heroes of faith found in the very pages of the Bible.

Tami is one of these select Christians. Sometimes, after reading a post here, I’m tempted to visualize a Book of Tami, just between Job and Psalms in the Old Testament!

Keep the good w(ork/alk) going, ma’am. And keep on being a source of encouragement to as many that you come across.

More grace to you.

12 11 2013
nopew

I’m not sure I would agree with expanding the canon of Scripture ( ๐Ÿ™‚ ), but we are of like mind to the testimony, witness and example Tami offers.
Peace

12 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

I appreciate your kind words, but if I ever leave you focused on me instead of the Lord, I’ve been a miserable failure.

What I have with Jesus is what anyone else can have. I merely want to be a window in the candy shop giving a glimpse of what awaits within His loving arms for any who would enter into a real relationship with Him!

One place I DO want to find my name is in Hebrews 11 after the other, “By faith so-and-so…”

We can ALL become a late addition to that chapter…

“By faith (your name here) did…” Now THAT would be awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

\o/

12 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

His patience…eight years while I had my private little “snits” with Him from time to time…How He loves us!

\o/

12 11 2013
Kathleen

Thank you for sharing so transparently- I say with lump in throat and tears in eyes. Exactly what I needed to hear this morning.

12 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

I’m glad He is ministering to you today.

\o/

12 11 2013
Michael

Thank you for sharing this part of your life. Also, you’ve pointed us toward some real truths.

12 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

I love how deeply He cares for each of us.

\o/

12 11 2013
Timothy Murray

I know this feeling. All at once, every moment, any moment . . . even one, last moment is gone to be able to spend with them in this life. Of course, the great hope in Christ is that, it shall not always be so!

12 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

I ordered art work for my heavenly home from my sweet little lady! We discussed the colors of heaven…living color and not the reflected stuff we have in our “shades of gray” world.

One day there will be no more good-byes. No more tears to shed over our loss, no more sadness of any sort. Mmm. Maranatha!

\o/

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