everyday jesus: hearing him in the encouragement from a friend

 

Did you love my friend, Pat’s, everyday jesus story on Thursday, or what? Wow, did Jesus ever protect her! He is always present in our days and lives. Always.

 

 

You folks are mighty quiet out there. I had hoped many of you would share your stories of how you see Jesus at work in your daily life. What an encouragement those stories would be to men and women who are just trying to make it through another day. Loosen up those typing fingers, friends, and send me your everyday jesus story via email at pointministries@gmail.com.

 

Ok, now to my everyday jesus story for this week. My story is probably one of the most emotional Jesus moments in several weeks. I’m going to try to get through it without an ugly cry, but if I have to stop, wipe away a few tears, and blow my nose, please don’t leave me. I’ll be right back.

 

Week before last was a tough, tough week on a couple of fronts. I, along with some other women with whom I collaborate on a weekly link-up, went through a very difficult, very emotional time for several days that week. I felt like I had been wrung out like a dishrag as we moved through the turmoil. Then, on top of that, my mind and heart were taken with my Mother. 

If you have been journeying with me for at least 3 or 4 months, you know that my Mother passed away in late November after an almost year long struggle with multi-infarct dementia. The dementia came on suddenly, and progressed fast and furiously. Because I am a pharmacist by training, the responsibility for making medical decisions for Mom fell to me. Although I talked every decision through with my sister, she left the final medical decisions to me. And true to my nature, I powered through the decisions with the help of the Lord, and Mother’s physicians. I never considered the full weight of the responsibility all that decision making placed on me. Until last week….

That is when I began having flashbacks of my sweet little Mother….her face looking up at me from her chair, her trusting eyes, her unquestioning heart. Suddenly, the heaviness of the responsibility of all those medical decisions fell on me like a winter blizzard. Had I made the right decisions for my Mother? Had I done the very best for her? I wept several times. It was almost too much for my heart to bear, to think that I might have failed her in some way. I didn’t tell a soul what I was feeling, because I could hardly put it into words.

On Sunday, our Sunday school class went out to lunch after church. Greg and I arrived early, as did our teacher, Steve, and his wife, Kathy who we have known since high school. As we sat at the table chatting and waiting on the others to come from church, Kathy looked me and said, “Leah, how are you?” I’m not sure she knew what she was asking!

That was all it took. Like a swollen river, my pain burst forth. Brushing back tears, I told Kathy what I had been feeling. In those moments, Jesus ministered to me so tenderly through Kathy. She said, “Leah, you know you made the right decisions for your Mom. You did the best for her that you could. You were so strong through all of this, but you have to eventually grieve, and this is part of the grieving process. Let yourself grieve the loss of your Mom.”

Kathy helped me realize that all of my ‘what ifs’ are pointless. Mother is with Jesus (may I admit to being a bit jealous?), and I did make the very best decisions possible for her at a time when she could not make them because of the dementia. What sweet relief and peace flooded my heart in those moments! Kathy was, quite literally, the voice of Jesus to me in the middle of my pain. What a blessing she was! Thank you, Jesus, for dealing with me tenderly.

 

There, I made it through without crying! That’s my everyday jesus story. I hope you will be encouraged by it, and send me your story.

 

Are you walking through a difficult time in your life? Here is a link to a book that rocked my word and encouraged my faith in amazing ways in 2002 when we were told my Daddy had metastatic colon cancer. I have returned to this book time and again over the years.


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Satisfaction Through Christ

 

Dear friends, today’s post provides me the perfect time to tell you that I have decided to step back from being a hostess at the Grace & Truth link-up on Fridays. I have been so blessed to be a hostess at Grace & Truth. However, I am finding that working through the grief associated with my Mom’s death, plus work, ministry, and home responsibilities are really more than I can say grace over, physically and emotionally, right now. I want to be a good steward of my time and energy, using them to accomplish the tasks God has assigned to me, but also carving out time to heal from Mother’s passing and all that surrounded it.

So, if you normally link up to Grace & Truth through my blog, I hope you will visit one of my friends (click on the links below) and link up via their site. I will still be linking up each Friday at Grace & Truth, I just won’t be a host site for the link-up.

Arabah Joy

Rebekah Hallberg

Jen Stults

Linking up this week at Grace & Truth,

Satisfaction Through Christ

 

and Purposeful Faith.

purposefulfaith.com

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  • Anita

    My dear friend! I’m so glad I stopped by today. I’ve been thinking about you and praying for you–and I’ll continue to do so. Caregiver after stress is real. It takes time to heal. I’m so glad that you had a friend there to comfort you in your moment of need. May the Holy Spirit continue to send you who you need at each moment of your journey.

  • Anita, thank you for your thoughts and encouraging words. So glad you stopped by. I would love for you to submit an everyday jesus story, if you would like! Have a blessed day. I’ll see you back at Five Minute Friday this week.

  • kelly balarie

    Sweet Leah, you have me in tears. God was the one who called your mom home, not you. He loves her so much and was delighted to hold her in his arms – finally. I can only imagine it is so hard to lose a mom. I can only imagine how you heart aches. You are an amazing daughter to step up as you did. She was blessed by your love. Thank you for opening your heart and letting us in – and thank you for joining the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith. You never stop blessing me.

    • Kelly, thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I am so grateful for friends through whom Jesus speaks love, encouragement and grace. I count you as one of them.

  • What a lovely everyday Jesus story, even if sad. I’m so glad your friend was there to listen and reassure you. That was Jesus, wasn’t it? May the Lord bless you and comfort you as you continue working through your grief. Dementia is hard. Next week, my sweet father, who lost his wife in December, will be visiting us. She suffered terrible dementia before her death, which made things so hard for my dad. I’m looking forward to having him here.

    • Oh Betsy, I hope you have a wonderful visit with your Dad. May God give you sweet conversation and precious time together. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Hi Leah! How nice to meet you through the RaRa Link-up!
    Actually, the post I connected to the link-up describes a Jesus Moment. And thanks be to God that you found yours with your Sunday School teacher. All we need sometimes is a kind word or someone to just care, and it all flows out.
    My MIL had dementia, but nothing like your Mom. I’m a nurse, so even though I was the DIL, I was in charge of medical stuff. It’s not easy, I get it. Decisions weigh heavy. I know that God was there for you, don’t second guess yourself. She was so blessed to have you in her life.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    • Ceil, you are so right…God was very present in our lives in the past year. I look back and see so many ways He led and guided and loved on us. Thank you for stopping in.

  • Kim S

    Hi Leah! Thanks for your encouraging Everyday Jesus post and your book recommendation. Have a great day #RaRaLinkup
    Kim Stewart
    Kimstewartinspired.com

    • Thanks so much for stopping in, Kim. Grace and peace.

  • Leah, I love how the Lord places our brothers and sisters in Christ to listen, pray, encourage, uplift and minister at our times of deepest hurt. I had an experience at a church before Christmas where someone asked me how things were and I just couldn’t stop crying. Then I was surrounded by the love of believers who prayed and comforted me. Thanking God for your friendship with Kathy. You are such a blessing Leah and your heart-felt, God-breathed words touch the lives of many, including me. Thankful to have found you :) xxx

    • God is so good to us, isn’t He, Ruth? Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. You are such a blessing to me. Have a great weekend, friend.

  • Tammy Provins

    Leah, the “what if’s” can swallow us up sometimes. We begin to question ourselves and the path God has led us to. I’m so thankful that you had a friend that walked beside you and spoke truth to you heart. That is a treasure. Keep trusting in Jesus and keep sharing your story. It touched me. Tammy

    • Thank you, Tammy. I’ve been so blessed to not have lost many close to me, so grief is not something I am intimately acquainted with. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for stopping in!

  • donna

    Leah, I did not make it through reading without crying. I pray that you continue to rest in and lean on Him and that He makes His presence real to you in those needed moments. Asking God to comfort you.
    Blessings
    Donna

    • Donna, thank you for stopping by. God is blessing me with so much healing, and the comfort of friends and family. May God bless you wonderfully!

  • Cathy

    Wow, this story flooded over my soul like a river. The past two years we lived through this with my mother-in law. She was so precious and so trusting. The roles were greatly reversed which was heartbreaking. Her passing has been hard. My heart is praying for you. Grief is so raw in the beginning and deep love grieves deep. Thanks so much for sharing this hard part of your journey. I know what you mean by feeling jealous… because you miss her so.

    • Cathy, I am so sorry you are walking the road of grief. I pray that Jesus is making himself so very real and close to you. “Deep love grieves deep.” I love that so much. Have a blessed weekend.

  • What a heavy burden grief is…adding ‘what ifs’ makes it crushing. What a sweet thing it is when our Jesus meets us in those unbearable places and soothes our woundedness. Thank you for sharing your story, Leah. Grace and peace to you.

    • Rebeca, I am so thankful for the presence of Jesus in times of grief. His love is soothing and tender. Thank you for stopping by today. Grace and peace.

  • Praying for you, sweet friend.I miss the wise & motherly figure you were for Grace & Truth, but also know theres a limit to the way we expend ourselves. Something that keeps coming to mind ss I, too, grieve a few losses, is to “grieve well”. Taking the time to let God hold and strengthen me has been a huge help for me. {{Heart Hugs}}

    • Ah, Kaylene, thank you for such sweet words. It was my pleasure to be part of G&T. Perhaps at some time I will come back as a hostess, but for now, I believe I am where the Lord wants me. Thank you so much for stopping by.

  • Rebekah M. Hallberg

    Sharing some tears with you as I’m more fully understanding the weight of your grief. May God use these days, and these nights of rest, to comfort you and to heal the hurting in your soul. Loss is tragic, no matter the situation and we all need our time to grieve, to sit with our feelings, to honor the love and the bonds that now make the separation painful. But our God is faithful – you won’t always be feeling these so strongly. He will fill the hurting, lonely, empty places with more of Him. Continued prayers for you as you spend this sweet time with the Lord. He is faithful! Love you, friend! You are such a blessing to me!

    • Becky, what tender, truth-filled words you share to my heart. I know the truth of them. I still remember the waves of grief that washed over me when my Daddy went home to Jesus in 2004. There is such relief in knowing that my parents will never be touched by the evils of this world again, and that they are safe with Jesus. Thank you for your prayer, friend. You are a treasure.