I woke up on November 1st thankful for the extra hours sleep. Shortly after I woke I got a call from the nursing home in Washington were Phil’s mom has been. She was having a difficult time breathing and was put on oxygen. As soon as I got off the phone I checked to see how soon I could get a flight from Savannah to Seattle. The cheapest flight I could find was $600 so I thought maybe I could combine mileage and cash. I called Delta Airlines to check and after talking with the agent she said, “OK we can get you there by 9:30 tonight your cost is $30”. Obviously shocked I said, “really, I have enough miles” and she said “yes, we can get you a flight for 12,000 miles”. This alone was the Lords favor. The fact that it was only 12,000 miles the day of the flight in itself was a shock. The Lord provided everything I needed right from the beginning. Unfortunately when I got off my first flight and called the nursing home to check on mom I found out she had passed away while I was in the air. I called Pastor Mark Webster for help with who to call regarding her body and he took care of everything while I was on my next flight.
I was blessed to stay with Mark & Marjorie Maire who not only opened their home and gave me a vehicle to use but gave me a covering of prayer and support as did Holly Huges & Pat Hutchenson.
After four long days of paperwork, phone calls and arrangements to take care of mom’s earthly body and clearing out her room. I was exhausted but knew I had to check on the belongings we still had at the home Christopher had been renting with his friend in Monroe Washington before he went to Florida. We had not been able to connect with his roommate for a few months in my spirit I felt something was not right.
I was not prepared for what I found. No one was home so I looked in the house and it was totally empty not one thing inside. I decided to walk back down the long driveway to the tack room and open stalls which the guys used as their music room. As I was walking in the distance I could see things on tables and put out in the stalls as I got closer I realized it was all of our stuff toys, household items, decorations, clothes, books, games, TV, tools the list is too long. All the things that we had packed and keep there along with all of Christopher’s life which were destroyed I don’t know what God has for that child but I know it’s got to be amazing because he has been through the fire and is still there. They were all out in the elements pick through, mildewed a big pile that at first looked like trash but it was the valuable things to us, pictures, papers, journals, documents. They were soaked through stuck together worms and bugs crawling in it.
As I stood there in shock looking at all of our stuff the realization that most all of the earthly tangible things I had with Phil were gone. His mother that whole side of our family was gone I can’t even explain the feeling that came over me as I stood there in shock not knowing what to do, what to feel, just numb once again. I spent the next few days going through all that was left and looking for anything salvageable. Doing dump runs and goodwill with things that could still be worth something to somebody.
The second day as I arrived Chris’s roommate and friend was at the house and I did find out that he still had Phil’s piano and picture and Mom’s grandfather clock the bigger things that were very important to me and the boys. As I was digging through everything I kept thinking about mom’s memorial service and thinking how I didn’t bring anything with me. I don’t have any pictures of her life. As I was bagging the trash I came across pictures most of them not salvageable but I did find one plastic bag that had baby pictures of my kids and grandkids, school memorabilia, my wedding album and the picture of mom and dad in a frame along with a picture of Phil, his Mom, Christopher and Isabella four generations. I know God had protected these and placed them right there for me so I had them for her memorial service.
Wow, God is so good to me in the midst of the heap of trash He had kept these pictures safe, and brought me there at that specific time.
As I was filling trash bags and throwing them in the back of the dumpster I just kept repeating Lord give me the strength Lord only through your strength can I do this – He did give me strength.
I flew to Milwaukee met with the funeral home, cemetery and church where Phil grew up and His parents had invested their lives. Poplar Creek Church was such an example of what the body of Christ is all about. Moms lifelong friends, Pastor John Davis and staff helped me put together a service honoring this women that spent her life serving God and giving her talents to the church. I must say that it was the Lord that pulled that service together and I know it was Him. It honestly was one of the nicest the most beautiful memorial services I’ve ever been at the music was perfect, we had Phil’s CD playing then during the service we played tapes of Mom and Dad singing duets and Christopher sang. Everything was perfect Mom’s friends fixed a beautiful reception. The boys and Deb had flown in Friday afternoon the Service was Saturday at 11am. Sunday was my birthday and I woke up to my boys and breakfast fixed by my beautiful daughter-in-law the perfect gift I could not have had a more perfect birthday then being with my children.
All I keep thinking is how amazing God was and is how much he did/does for me. One of the days in Washington while driving this song came on the words are so true – Your love never fails, never gives up, Never runs out on me – as I sang the words saturated my soul giving me just what I needed.
As I was thinking about Chris’s roommate and what might of driven him to destroy our stuff. The Lord spoke these words to me –
You never know what others are going through or have gone through the hurts that have not yet been healed. I can work through my children to heal the brokenhearted but only if you live in my UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
Love heals, His love will outshine the darkness others are living under. I take this from the Lord and I pray that I can be that light and not judge others but see them through God’s eyes. We all go through the fire in different ways and learn different ways but for me having the presence of God in my life is life. I know that my life hinges on the presence of God being with me in the fire and everyday because he is refining me for His work.
One thing I recently learned is, when a refiner is purifying gold he keeps making the fire hotter and hotter and hotter until it hits that perfect point when the gold hits the perfect temperature and is purified to the purest extent the refiner knows because at that point he can see his reflection in the gold. How amazing is that!
I pray that God will see his reflection in me every day of my life I am so thankful on this Thanksgiving holiday for a God that loves me so much, for my family but most of all I Am Thankful for all the friends and prayer worriers He has placed in my life. I could feel that peace that passes all understanding when I was going through the rubble. I could feel the Lord with me. Thank you!!
May you all have a very very Blessed Thanksgiving and may we all praise the Lord for who we are in Him. I know I praise Him for each of you!