Wednesday, June 20, 2012

That's Why I'm Here

There is nothing in my life that gives me more comfort than my mother's prayers. Other than the presence of my sweet Lord, knowing that my Mother is praying for me brings me my greatest source of peace and confidence. She is a woman whose life is given to prayer and considers it a privilege to intercede on behalf of others. Recent family situations have driven all of us to our knees and I think we have come to know more than ever before the necessity of prayer. Yet, it has been Mother who has continued to keep her vigil of prayer for her children and grandchildren during this time of extreme testing.


My sweet Mother. This was taken in the late 1960's, shortly after my Daddy had become a pastor


As you know from previous posts, my brother, Dan, has recently been through surgery for colon cancer. Upon receiving the news of Dan's cancer, Mother showed a faith that can only come from those who know God intimately. As she watched her son go through the initial surgery and then, due to post-op complications, a second one , her faith never wavered. Every day she and Daddy made the trip to the hospital to be at my brother's side. She sat by his bed and prayed with him. She walked with him in the hallways and prayed with him. She watched him sleep and prayed with him. Every single day, my brother was bathed in the prayers of our Godly Mother. He is now home and recovering well. I know he believes that the prayers of our Mother had much to do with his recovery.

Just recently, I have been enduring my own difficult time. Uncertain of how to handle my circumstances, uncertain of even how to pray about them, I called Mother and asked her to pray for me. As I began to share with her the details of the situation, she listened quietly. When I could speak no more for the tears and the despair of my heart, Mother said to me, "I will pray for you and God will move. He will help you in this situation. I believe in my heart that everything will be alright.". Oh, the love I felt for her at that moment. Oh, the gratitude that flooded my heart cannot be expressed in words. I said to her, "Mother, it gives me such peace to know you are praying for me. What will I do when you are gone and there is no one to pray for me?". I heard that familiar little chuckle of hers as, without missing a beat she said, "That's why I'm here.".


This photo of my Mother was taken shortly before her 80th birthday. My beautiful, Godly Mother.


My Mother is 81 years old. She is an active little lady although she has become a little more frail in recent months. She still travels with Daddy to their various ministerial functions and still maintains her home without outside help. Her life's mission, however, has been to be the intercessor---to be the prayer warrior---to be the one who stands in the gap for those she loves. She does it well and without complaint. She is, quite frankly, a remarkable woman. I so long to be like her.

I know that there will be a day when my dear, precious Mother will no longer be with me. The voice that I have heard pray for me all my life will be silenced. I pray that when that time comes, I can continue on in the role she has begun. I pray to be the prayer warrior and guardian of my family. I pray to be strong in faith and to be able to continually devote myself to praying for those I know and love. It is my desire to be able to repeat the words of my Mother and to tell those I keep in prayer, "That's why I'm here.".

In Grace,
Marie

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Home At Last



As most of you know, my brother, Dan, recently had surgery for colon cancer. Shortly after his initial surgery, he developed a bowel obstruction requiring a second surgery. He told me later that there were times when he wasn't sure he would make it through the ordeal. Praise be to God, Dan is now home and recovering well.

As I spoke with Dan on the phone a few nights ago, I could hear in his voice how relieved he was to be home. My mind went back to the many times I have journeyed home to see my family and the sense of anticipation that I had as I traveled. I thought about the peace I always feel when I lay down to rest in my parent's home. Mother and Daddy have always given us, their children and grandchildren, a place of refuge from life's adversities---a place of joy and laughter---and, above all, a place where love is freely given. To my brothers and to me, home is where you go when life becomes too much to handle.

I know there are those who have not had such a loving environment in their childhood. I am aware that many children grow up without loving parents and siblings. I do, indeed, realize how blessed I have been to have treasured memories of such a home. Yet, as wonderful as the home was that my parents provided for me, there is a home far greater that awaits me. I am speaking of the eternal home that God has prepared for me when my earthly life is over. A place where sorrow never enters, where heartache is never known. It is a place where sickness never comes and where death never enters. It is a perfect place.

I will be traveling home soon to spend some much needed time with my family, especially my brother. I will be making the trip with much joy and anticipation. Yet, always in the back of my mind, there is the knowledge that my eternal home is waiting. As I look forward to my Daddy's strong embrace and my Mother's gentle voice, as I eagerly await time with my brothers and my son, as I make plans to see my friends and elderly saints of God, I wait patiently for the time when I will lay down this earthly mantle and enter my Heavenly home. It is my desire, my hope, to live my life in such a way that I will hear my precious Savior say, "Well done, my child. Enter in to the joys of the Lord.". It is then that I will know I am truly home. Only then will I know for certain that I am home at last.

In Grace,
Marie