Wringing It Out Hurts

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And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

Have you ever found yourself hating how much it hurts to wring something out that doesn’t belong inside of you? I’m talking about all the stuff that comes at us and then “fills” us in ways that make us feel polluted, tainted, and just plain…changed.

Yes, it’s the stuff that comes from the outside in, but tries to fake us out ~ trick us into believing it is what we are really made of. It takes up residence inside of us and makes us feel it is who we really are inside. It wants to become us. It declares dictatorship and “convert or die.” It’s gotten in – on the inside – and it seems to be taking over. It makes itself comfortable, and creates a panic of sorts about the prospect of the wringing it would take to eradicate it completely.

But this is all a lie.

I’ve experienced this in many ways and on many levels, friends. I’m sure you have too. Every time it happens, I find myself buying in somewhat to the false truth it portends. I find myself thinking “this is what makes me up as a person” or “this is just who I am, I guess” even though I know that it is false. I find myself fearing the wringing process that will be necessary if I wish to continue to fight – to live in truth and love, and all of the discomfort that entails.

  • Sickness or poor health ravaging our bodies – taking over and wreaking havoc from what seems to be the inside out.
  • Sin – bitterness, lack of love, self-reliance, idols – filling up the crevices of our hearts and minds and threatening to spread and take over. Sneaking in – stealing – enveloping and overtaking.
  • The Busy ~ the movement through this life, all the errands, responsibilities, things to check off our list (even when done so under the guise of good intentions and motivations). The busy which threatens to make up the whole, or the majority of our existence.  Severing time to soak up grace, love, time spent with Jesus and others – our loved ones – our dears – becoming us instead of being an outpouring of what God has laid in front of us this day and this day alone.
  • Weariness- the constant uphill battle it seems to be in order to just “make it” through the hardship parts this life involves.

Getting inside. Taking up space. Making its best effort to define us, to own us. From the inside out. And it breeds when  left alone. It breeds.

There’s no room for that, friends. There’s no room to allow darkness to take up residence and take over. This is because Jesus lives there.  Jesus lives inside. Jesus fills us with His light, His love, His truth, His compassion, grace, and mercy. He is the inside. And sometimes, He must wring out the darkness and the ugly and the evil.

Yes, wringing hurts, but it’s necessary at times. Even with the divine molding and twisting that our Savior lovingly performs in our lives (when we move out of the way and brace ourselves for the pain that is good for us), some residue of dark can still remain – especially if it’s due to sickness. But the more wringing we allow Him to do, the more we are reminded that He is what defines us. He is cleaning the crevices for us on a daily basis if we come to Him and ask Him to do His work inside.

He defines us on the inside, even when what’s coming from the outside threatens us. He reigns, friends. He reigns!

Moving the ugly to the outside – daily – well, it hurts. But it’s necessary as long as we walk in these fleshly bodies.  It’s necessary as long as the enemy tries to sabotage us.  It’s necessary if we wish to grow, be pruned, yield fruit. The cup of ugly and pain may not be removed from us, but there is triumph there, nonetheless, if we live and walk in the light of Christ Jesus. HE IS OUR KING!

Wringing: It’s a necessary grace that’s painful to receive, but rewarding beyond what we could ever imagine.

I want to be a beautiful vine filled with lush and lovely fruit that screams Jesus! I’m all-too-aware that doesn’t come easy, friends. The worms try to come inside. The toxins try to pollute. But I always have to remind myself: They are coming from the outside in. And they will meet a formidable enemy upon entry. The light and endless and glorious power of the Lord Jesus Christ!

  • He says: “She is mine.”
  • He says: “You don’t belong here and you will not be keeping her.”
  • He says: “She knows the truth, and I am that truth – not you.”
  • He declares: “Your “power” is temporary, and just an illusion – I will make certain she knows this without question.”

And when the worms and the poison threaten to take up residence permanently, our Jesus will wring us out in His own divine and all-knowing way. One day He will decide it’s the time that we go home to live with Him forever – outside of this cocoon that has become polluted. It will be the day that the wringing has become enough. It will be the day that HE decides it is time  for us to break out…truly break out of the cocoon that we have struggled to protect and wring out – struggled to make last for so very long.

That day ~ it will be the day that our Savior deems to be the day of all days for us ~ the day in which it is finally time to fly. It is the day that this vessel has been deemed to no longer be fit for a King.

Oh what a day! But until then, the wringing – the glorious and pain-filled wringing – it must continue.

There is a beauty I can’t even put into words to be found in the grace that Jesus bestows upon us as He wrings out the ugly trying to come inside and define us. There is a mercy that is severe and seemingly twisted, yet a gift to be treasured all at the same time. He knows our plight – He knows our suffering. And He will make all things work together (truly, He will) for our GOOD.

Thanks be to HIM. The hurt is well worth it.

In this I trust. Completely.

Romans 12:2   Allow God to transform you. He will mold you and renew your mind as He changes your way of thinking. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Then you will always be able to decide what God’s will for you which is good, pleasing, and perfect.

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Fibromyalgia: Accepting while still Fighting

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How does a person accept something that is beyond difficult to live with without just giving up all at the same time? How does one walk right up to the line that spells acceptance, without dipping their toe over or crossing completely to the other side of that line? The other side of that line, to me, is resignation. That spells giving up in my little mind. And quite frankly folks, I’m having trouble wrapping that puny mind of mine around that idea.

To clarify, I will quote Michael J. Fox here:

“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.”

I’m having trouble with where my toes should be planted – firmly. I don’t yet know how to accept, yet still fight. Will I ever understand this? Maybe that’s part of the whole thing. I’m asking God to show me. He’s revealed many things to me, yet I feel there’s something I am not seeing or hearing yet. I need to be a better listener.

For months and months now, I have been pretty certain that what is ravaging my body is Fibromyalgia, but we had to be sure and rule other things out before concluding that (the doctors and me). Now we are quite certain that I do have this F Beast along with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and, like so many other things in my life over the past several  years, I am struggling with the line mentioned above (again).

I have a black and white mind when it comes to fight or flight…and that may be yet another reason Fibromyalgia has been able to run a marathon within my body. Make no mistake, there are clear cut physiological reasons why this happens to people, but working on the mind, stress, and a multitude of other things will only serve to help people who suffer from it.

Working at something usually spells “fight” to me, not “flight.”

Sometimes though, I think I am wrong about that. In fact, I’m sure I am often wrong about it. Sometimes, you gotta just let go. I have always equated that to giving up, but surrender is a form of fighting/battling all its own, it seems.

I seem to need a very good lesson in that arena.

Here’s the kicker: This Fibro/Fatigue stuff is not clear-cut… as in, you figure it out and how to manage it and you’re all good as long as you stay on track. Fibromyalgia is a BEAST of an illness to live with, manage, or even just merely endure. And this girl doesn’t want to simply cope, either. I could write a book or a volume of them about this illness, and maybe I will one day, but for now, it’s about that stupid line thing I mentioned earlier. (have I told you I hate the line yet?)

So….I have come to the conclusion that I need to accept this “diagnosis”, this illness. Let’s just call it what it is: ILLNESS. Ug.

And I am bummed out tonight friends, because I just don’t know how. I truly mean it when I say that I am certain I just have to pray for it ~ this acceptance. Acceptance of this illness that has no cure. Acceptance that there are more bad days than good ones. Acceptance that I have a butt load of work in store for myself just to be able to manage. Acceptance that I will probably never be the same again. Acceptance of day to day, and minute by minute change. (Have I told you I hate change unless I choose it for myself?)

Acceptance, acceptance, acceptance of things that my entire being screams against and wants to conquer, crush, obliterate, and fight to the end over!

But I know it’s key…this acceptance thing. I just know it. Somehow, fighting (not giving up) is a key player too. But I have to tell you a secret about that: They don’t get along. They don’t like to be on the same team. At least, not in this chick’s head.

And that’s gotta change.

So back to my question: How does one accept something, yet fight (which you HAVE to do with this illness if you want to have any quality of life at all) at the same time? If you have the answer, oh please, dear one….please share.

I know people who had or have cancer or other illnesses- received their diagnoses, course of treatment, and fought the good fight. They had to accept they had cancer, MS, RA, Lupus. They had the choice to fight or not to fight. They had the choice (hard one, as it was or is) to accept or become bitter and stubborn. Some were cured, and some weren’t, but all that I know personally fought. ALL.

So why do I feel so badly when there is honestly a part of me that doesn’t want to fight? I know that part of the answer is that somehow, I feel guilty because my illness isn’t “as bad” as some of the other ones out there, yet I want to give up.

I think also, that some of my own struggle is that there’s nothing that seems concrete to fight this thing with – one has to approach it holistically and hope for the best. But I guess that’s pretty much how it is with anything of this nature, isn’t it? Fibromyalgia may be more obtuse than other things, but it’s apparently not going to take my life.

Or is it?

See, you don’t die from Fibromyalgia. But it does eat away at your body, your mind and your soul. Chronic pain wears you down, yo. It’s literally a full time job to manage it. Just manage it. I already have a full time job, and a family to support. How can I keep this up? It’s wearing me down and I must admit, I just want to go to bed sometimes and not have to get up and keep going.

And I find myself still hoping – still hoping I will somehow come out the other side of this thing even though pretty much the one thing that IS conclusive about it, is that there is no cure.

God can do anything and I know it. But I’m just not of those kids who tells their Father to give them everything they want. I believe He will heal me fully if it is His will. He knows I believe it. And yes I do pray about it. But mostly, I pray that unless or until he does remove this from me, He show me more of Himself while teaching me how to live in the process and the part of this story I’m in right now.

So in a way, that part I have accepted ~ and that’s big. I have accepted that God’s will is going to be done, no matter what I do or don’t do.

It’s the physical limitations I am struggling with badly. And the full time job(s).

See, when you have this problem, no one tells you:

  • Hey, you can do exactly this much and you’ll be better (or able to cope)
  • You can walk but not run.
  • You can do situps but not weights.
  • You can eat only veggies or you can be overall healthy with your diet.

It’s all just a mushy mixed bag of “try this, try that” and maybe it will or won’t help you.

The whole thing is so confusing it can drive you nuts, which then puts the sympathetic nerves into even more overdrive, if that’s possible. And if you have the F Beast,  it’s probably possible, believe me.

I don’t know the answers, but I do know there are positive things about this too. I have mentioned them in previous blog posts, but I have more empathy for others than I had before. I have a greater understanding of chronic pain now. I just don’t get to do a lot about it, because I don’t have the energy – ha ha. (Is that funny? I don’t know – kinda a half joke, I guess).

So is it really just about learning about that stupid line of M Fox’s….the line between acceptance and resignation? The line upon which I stand and accept something crappy, yet decide daily to fight according to what lies right in front of me. Some days it’s about fighting really hard, and other days, the fight shows up in resting, surrender, and doing nothing – just coping. I guess that will have to be “what it is” for now.

But I know the answer to that ~ it’s not about just that line, friends. That line does not define me or offer a magic answer that if only I find it, will solve all of my problems. Only God can do that.

Lines can be erased. But God is my Rock.

There is someone who knows even more about suffering than all of us put together – who knows everything about it, really. Someone who understands, who cares, and who has the answer about that dumb old line and then some! Someone who offers a far greater hope for us than figuring out this riddle and simultaneously being able to do two opposite-type things. Someone who is far greater and far more vast than any disease, limitation, sorrow or syndrome.

That someone tells us:

I AM.

I am the Bread of Life….

I am the Light of the World…

I am the Gate….

I am the Good Shepherd…

I am the Resurrection and the Life…

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life….

I am the Vine…

I am from Above…

I AM.

I can accept that fully. Him ~ Jesus ~ The Great I AM.

I can and I do.

And I can fight for that fully. Him ~ Jesus….

I can and I do.

Yah….I’m moving past the line, but not into a place of resignation. The Rock just took its place instead.

They may not be pretty, but my feet feel better already.

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He Says “Come All”

(c) werner22brigitte via Pixabay

(c) werner22brigitte via Pixabay

Mama’s Story.

No:  A story of mama’s cancer.

Nuh-Uh!:  A story of mama’s cancer seen through my eyes.

Nah….we’re gonna kill that lame title.

It’s a story about God. It’s about the Almighty Creator – the Father – the Redeemer- the Savior – the Comforter. The Shepherd. The Alpha and The Omega. The Great I Am.

It’s a story. Just one of His stories.

An amazing, miraculous, enlightening, saving, eye-opening, wonderful, and awesome story.

via Pixabay

via Pixabay

There’s a pond…or a lake of some kind in this story – There’s a glacier too. My mama is there and so is a little girl she called “Christy”. There is a song called Silver Wings in this story, and a lot of other saved souls who went before us to be with Jesus there.

There’s a magnificent woman of God, her three children, her sisters, brothers, parents, caretakers, pastors, friends, co-workers and all her family in this story. There are angels, doctors, visions and medications, laughter and tears, chocolate and morphine.  There are alarm clocks, funerals, phone calls, songs, decisions, notes, letters, popcorn and movies in this story. There are lots and lots of things in this story, friends.

And then……….there is Jesus…..there is God. There is the Father, the Holy Spirit in this story.

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There is God – God is in this story.

God is this story.

It’s His story, after all…just one of them.

And it’s a true story………….

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via Pixabay

via Pixabay

  • It’s a story of redemption – a story of pain…
  • A story of triumph, and a story of gain.
  • It’s a story of grief – a story of loss….
  • A story of love, regardless of cost.
  • A story of vision – seeing God through new eyes…
  • A story of heartache, saying goodbyes.
  • It’s a story of beauty, of joy and of grace.
  • A story of my mama, who saw Jesus’ face.
  • A story she told us, it wasn’t just hers –
  • Much that she shared, were not just mere words.
  • A story of death and a story of life –
  • Of true hope renewed, through turmoil and strife.
  • It’s the story of heaven, of gates open wide –
  • Of His hand reaching out, to take her inside.
  • Yes, this story she shared, bits of it we heard –
  • Now this story I share, please pray for the words.
  • Pray for the listening –
  • Pray for the heart.
  • Pray for my small, human heart to just listen.
Photo © CreationSwap/DougEFresh

Photo © CreationSwap/DougEFresh

Friends, I have a wonderful story that the Lord has impressed upon me to share with you. It is a true story – the story of my mama going home to live with her Savior forever and ever. It’s also the story of things God revealed to me in my own life as I watched it all happen, and really, ever since. I shall share with you, this story, in segments, because it is a lot to take in and I honestly believe I need to put it down it in the way that the Lord tells me to, as He tells me to do so.

You know, God is just so very amazing – I truly am awestruck by Him anew each and every day. My mama passed from this earth three years ago, and what we saw through her entire journey as she battled cancer, and especially through the “end” was truly just the beginning. This I know.

via FreeChristianImages

via FreeChristianImages

I ask for you to pray for me as I attempt to put into words what I saw – His story He told me through my mama.

Let’s name this story after Him….using the very words that He gave to her…..the ones He told her to tell  us………..

He said, “Come All” –

Jesus says, “Come All.”

Because we’re all invited.

Are you ready??????????????????

Hans via Pixabay

Hans via Pixabay

We have a glacier to climb.

werner22briggite via Pixabay

werner22briggite via Pixabay

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

* To Be Continued by the grace and leading of the Lord – in His timing – in His wisdom – in His grace. Love, Annie B.

Copyright © 2013 – AnnieB – Feel free to share this with anyone you wish! The copyright is solely on these particular writings as they may eventually be compiled into a book for publishing.

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Singing through the Sobs – Mama has to go now

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This is the longest post I have ever written, but like all my posts, it is a story, and I just cannot bear to break it up into pieces – not this one. So you may wish to save it for reading when you have some time. You may need tissues too, depending on what you have experienced in your own life. (I have gone through a box already just in writing this).

I have completed my goal to write to you, thirty stories in thirty days. The Lord really placed that upon my heart and He has been gracious to allow it to happen. I will continue to write to you, dear friends, of the wonders my Lord, my God is doing in my life. I will continue to pray that He blessses you as you press deeper into His bosom and praise His glorious and wonderful name. It is a blessing for me to be able to reach out to each of you and to share all that He is placing upon my heart.

Thank you for being a part of my continued journey in Christ. And thank you for inviting me to be a part of yours.

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People sing, even when they’re sad. And did you know that we can worship God any time? No matter how we feel, happy, or blue…Our God, we can sing to Him. And He hears us, our songs, our cries, and our praises. He hears us singing, even through the sobs.

We’re closing in on almost three years now, since my beautiful mama left this world to go home to live with her Savior. I can remember so clearly driving across Kansas to try to reach her in time.

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My brothers and I had been taking multiple trips to go out and spend time with dear mama as she slipped further and further out of our reach. We sometimes got to be there with her, all of us together, to listen to her, to talk and sit with her and read the Bible and pray. We were able to rub lotion on her hands, massage her arms, administer medication, cry, laugh, and eat chocolate. We got to talk to doctors, nurses, learn about controlled medications, and eat chocolate. And we wept with family, hosted friends and visitors, administered said medication, and ate chocolate.

Good thing that chocolate isn’t a controlled medication…..I’d be an addict AND a criminal if that were so!

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We got to also, for precious moments at a time – to, just be……… A family.

My brothers and myself, we really didn’t know exactly when mama would leave us. Honestly, the heightened awareness of the fact that it “could be any time” lasted over a period of several weeks. Every time all the hospice workers and grief counselors said, “any time now,” she would bounce back to us again. We loved the fact we got to have her with us all the longer, but that was seriously stressful! Wondering when exactly the hammer was going to drop upon our heads and the light in our hearts to momentarily be blown out. The not knowing….the not wanting to not be there when she needed us most…this aspect of it all, along with worrying about how much pain she might be in was probably the worst part for me.

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But we had jobs and families outside, (all three of us lived in different towns/states) so we unfortunately had to start taking shifts to come out to be with our dear one.

Mama battled cancer well. Not just with the most phenomenal example of grace that I have ever seen, but she was just strong as a horse physically. None of us could believe what all her poor cancer-filled little body could take. When she finally did leave us, it truly looked as though she were being ripped right out of her body….pulled up into the air, by the hand of God Himself (at least that’s what it looked like to me).

I think mama was so solid in her faith and her belief that God would always be there – waiting for her when the time was right, that she fought to stay with us, her children, as long as she possibly could. I really believe that SHE was ready to go, but she wasn’t sure if we were ready for it. She didn’t want to leave without her family. And God answered her prayer for that. He allowed her to stay until He saw fit to say that it was finished. Mama’s pain and affliction was used for OUR good and His purposes in our lives. Have you ever experienced the excruciating feeling of knowing a suffering loved one is staying around and continuing to endure unimaginable pain for YOU?

It wrenches my heart every time I think of it. Something is squeezing it very tightly right this very moment. But I know it to be true.

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God never allows pain  without a purpose in the lives of His children. He never allows Satan, nor  circumstances, nor any ill-intending person to afflict us unless He uses that  affliction for our good. God never wastes pain. He always causes it to work  together for our ultimate good, the good of conforming us more to the likeness  of His Son (see Romans 8:28-29). ~ Jerry  Bridges

I remember one day (when she could still speak a little) she kept saying that over and over….”I want ALL of my family to come with me to  heaven,” I want ALL of my family to come with me to heaven.” Once the statement started to take on a tone of distress, I told mama that the Bible says that Jesus was recognized after His resurrection. If Jesus was recognizable in His glorified body, wouldn’t we be recognizable in our own? And, we’d be right behind her – that it just wasn’t our turn yet. The passing of time in heaven is something we cannot fully understand.

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I told mama, that what we DO know, is that God is going to be there with her – waiting. She will be in His presence until we come to join her. And He will be with us too, here….while we wait. For we too, are his children. We too, are his sheep.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them  eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my  hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is  able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (Jesus speaking) John 10:27-29

I had prayed quite a bit and asked the Lord to give me what I should say in the event this very thing should happen. I knew mom was so very concerned about leaving us behind, her three children. Grown as we are, we are still her babies. That has to be heart-wrenching in a way I cannot fully imagine. I thank My Father in heaven for giving me the words to say. Mama really did seem to be honestly relieved by this, and other things that my brothers were able to share with her. With me, she simply nodded with what seemed like a very peaceful look on her face. She just no longer seemed sad or worried about it. God had given her His peace.  And He had given it to me as well. We have an abundantly gracious Father.

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Things started to change after that, as I recall. Mama continued to share the things she was experiencing, seeing, and hearing with us. She told us of the people she was meeting, and the fact that “He is coming.” I will be writing about that another time.

So, we now will return to this clear memory I have of driving across Kansas.
It was my turn to get to go out and be with mama and I left Colorado again to make the 8 hour drive. Being a person who works at night, I decided to stay on my normal schedule and drive out this February night instead of battling the sunshine and the traffic. (It’s a bit easier to be in the dark when you are grief-stricken).

Honestly, I do not remember if this was the last and final trip that I made before she passed away, or just another one of the many I’d take over the last few weeks before she went to be with God.

I remember……………………………………………

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This trip, this drive, is the one I remember the most though. I had been running on adrenaline for quite some time, and had gotten used to coming back to my own sweet little family, my job, and my responsibilities for a week or so, then turning around to go out to Kansas again. I knew this trek across this stretch of deserted and boring concrete like the back of my hand. Dark or no dark.
As much as I dreaded these long and boring drives, I grappled with the guilt every time I thought that to myself, as I knew that when the drives out there ceased, what that would mean for all of us. So I tried to be grateful to have a reason to get to go yet another time. Music is what kept me company. There’s not much else to look at along that long road. Especially in the dark. And honestly, I needed to drown out the mutterings in my head – they really weren’t comforting ones….just me and my little mind talking to itself.

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Although this particular trek is so clear in my mind’s eye, it, ironically, was an extremely dark and foggy and VERY snowy night. Truly, I was in the midst of a blizzard at 1am in the morning…..moving at a pace of about 5-10 mph. Absolute and complete white knuckles all the way from Hays to Topeka. Not sure if I’d make it to there….to see my dear mama. Not sure if I might die before she did…in a ditch somewhere…freezing, in the dark…muttering to myself and praying for my Savior to drown out my own voice, until my heart would just…..stop. (“Maybe that’s as it should be?”, I thought).

Snap out of it!

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“I am really starting to lose my mind,” I thought to myself, laughing out loud quite hysterically.
I had made it a habit of listening to praise and worship music on these trips. I learned certain songs by heart, and listened to the same ones over and over and over again. I sang them when I didn’t want to. I sang them through the screams. I sang them through the hysterical laughter. I sang them through the fear of driving off the road.

And I sang them through the sobs…the rib cage cracking, heart being squeezed to the point of pain, my head is going to implode any moment, sobs.

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All of those songs hold a special place in my heart now. But the one I remember the most, is the one I sang over and over during that blizzard….three of the darkest and longest hours of my life. This little song….well it’s the one that came to mind when I finally turned off the radio as I was trying to conserve the little gas I had left (for some reason, I had the insane idea that the radio was going to suck all the heat out of the heater and the gas out of the tank – go figure).

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(5 miles per hour. Blizzard. Can’t see. Slower ‘ cross Kansas, poor old me.)
This little light of mine

(choking sobs-heaving chest, clinging to Jesus, He loves me the best)
Is mom still there? Are my brothers okay? Am I going to wreck? Will I see them today?)
I’m gonna let it shine.

(streaming and stinging, grief and pain, trying to see through the sleet and the snowy rain)
This little light of mine

(headlights fuzzy, dark and cold, wow this song, it’s getting old)
I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine (choke), let it shine

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(aaah….wailing cries, screaming loud, will my God ever lift this cloud?)
Won’t let Satan blow it out

(Screaming now, “I hate your guts, I hate you Satan, you’re making me nuts!)
I’m gonna let it shine

(ah, ha, ha, ha…sniff! I can’t breathe, better stop, cuz I may heave)
Won’t let Satan blow it out

(awful enemy, go back home, I can’t stand you, leave me alone!)
I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Whaaaaaa Haaaa Haaaaa AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

baby

The snow let up just as I pulled into Topeka. I had no more tears left for the time being. Oddly, I felt reenergized. There had been a couple of times before this in my life that I truly cried out to God. This time….I practically left my body doing it. I guess in a way, this was my moment for God to lift ME out of MY body and unto Him. It saved me. It helped me be able to face the day.

And then, mama left us.

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The day that mama went home to be with her Savior, we all got to be there with her, my brothers and me. She had told us in days previous to that one the wonderful things she got to see as she was waiting on the Lord. The most important thing she told us was that He says we are all invited.

“Tell EVERYONE they are invited. He says ‘Come All’.”

I guess in kind of a strange, yet glorious way, she did get to take some of us along with her to heaven – even if it was just to the edge of it and back. But the message He sent – THAT gets to stay with us forevermore. And He’s the light that won’t ever go out.

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I will hold that little mama light of mine close to my heart while I’m still here. But I won’t be needing it any longer once it’s my turn to join her and my Savior for eternity. He IS the light. And He is with me NOW. In a way, so is Mama.

Do you think He will choose for her to come with Him to the gates when it’s time to greet me? Will mama’s face be the one I see right after I get to see His?

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Mother Resting Head on Infant's Chest

I can almost hear her voice singing to me now….telling me…reminding me of what I can do in the meantime……while I wait…………………..

“You know Anne, you can worship God ANY time!”

“Yes I can, mama. Yes, I most certainly can.”

And yes………………………………..I WILL.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Girl Making Snow Angel

“Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

Light Streaming Through the Crown of a Tree

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Psalm 116: 15

Do you have someone whose little light still shines in your heart? I would love to hear about it! Please share below in the comments if you wish.

Mama Used to Come to My House

Mama used to come to my house.
This bag, inside, she’d lug…
She’d set it by the door,
And start to give the kids their hugs.

Cancer moved it to the closet –
Stored away for rainy days –
The shadow shocks arrive,
Feeling somewhat sad and dazed.

Maybe I’ll look inside –
Memories of her to be found there?
Or will that make things worse?
Don’t know if I should dare.

I smell her mama smell –
But these are just some robes…..
Deeper, digging, hoping –
I continue to search and probe.

Out comes light and beauty,
My mama’s pretty face –
Hidden down deep inside,
Of a dark corner; it’s own space.

Is this a magic bag?
One like Mary Poppins’?
Will I keep on finding things?
Is that the way these things, they happen?

Nope. This isn’t magic.
No special tricks in here…
God sends me a special message –
That He wants for me to hear.

So back to the closet it goes.
But I think it needs more light.
I’ll make it nicer in here –
I’ll make it a bit more bright.

Mama used to come to my house.
This bag, she’d always bring –
But she’s still here and with us….
In our hearts, she hums and sings.

Revelation 21:4  “He will wipe away every tear from  their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor  crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Is there someone you love who has gone home to be with the Lord who used to come and visit you at your house? Please feel free to share your story below in the comments!