Blessed assurance. Victory In Jesus. Be Thou My Vision. It is well. These songs that ring so loudly in my ears as truth, have become more of songs of hope, and peace, and trust the past few days.
Last week, my mom abruptly woke me up to tell me that my childhood pastor was in the hospital with heart problems, and they didn’t think he was going to make it… As I slowly woke up, and realized what my mom had said to me, everything stood still for about 5 minutes.
I lay in my bed thinking about the memories…The memories that had started at the age of 3, and continued well into my college years. Pastor Paul and Joyce were my first pastors. The pastors that baptized me. Were my youth leaders. Confirmed me. Loved me. Supported me, and stood as an example, and opened so many doors for ministry opportunities for me.
My heart hurt, just thinking about the news that my mom had given me… It hurt even more to remember that Pastor Joyce is battling stage 4 breast cancer…God, what are you doing?
Well, my heart was calmed; my friends came in to support me, love me, and to remind me of the truth that I speak so fluently to them when things become too much for them.
I have spent the past few days being up and down and up and down and up and down about the situation. I know that my God is a God that can heal, save, and restore. I know my God is a good God, I know my God is hurting and weeping with the congregation of our church as they weep.
This Sunday at church we sang, It Is Well. Most were crying, as they thought about Pastor Paul and Joyce, but I was so overjoyed by the presence of God that all I could do was surrender my emotions and heartache to Christ in that every moment. Smiling from ear to ear, God’s love had taken me to another place, a resting place… It was such a beautiful thing…It’s hard to describe, but it was beautiful.
Later that afternoon, me, my parents, brother, and close family friend Connie all piled into the car and headed to the hospital… It was a pleasant car ride. It was nice to sit with Connie and talk to her and catch up on a lot.
As we walked into the hospital, I was praying. I was praying for Pastor Paul and Joyce, but I was also praying for everyone else in that hospital… I was just drawn and lead to pray for everyone and everything as we walked through the halls.
We got to the ICU, and I cannot explain how much I felt the presence of God as we entered trough those big glass doors… Never in my life, have I felt God carrying me, guiding me, supporting me, and using me in my whole life.
We sat with Pastor Joyce for a while. Catching up. Talking about Greenville, God, and so many other things…. I just enjoy sitting at her feet and learning and growing and being challenged by the things she says to me. What. A. Blessing.
When the clock turned 5, we all sanitized our hands and got read to go into Pastor Paul’s room. As we walked in, I was preparing myself for seeing a horrible picture, a sad depressing way to see someone… I wasn’t saddened, I wasn’t taken by surprise, and I was completely at peace.
We entered that room, and an over flow of God embraced me. God was and is in that room. There is no denying that. Their daughter, Paula, told us that she saw angels in the room….I believe that to be truth. The overwhelming presence of God was unbelievable.
Right before we got ready to go home, we read Oswald Chambers, and sang the doxology… I am pretty sure that was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
God is there. God is working. God is good.
Even if Pastor Paul doesn’t wake up, and they take him off the ventilator and his body rests, and he goes home to be in perfect harmony with his creator, I know it was his will. I know that God has a special place prepared for me, and I am so happy and overjoyed for me…Finally, the place where his heart has longed for, for so long, is the place where he shall be FOREVER.
It’s still hard, even if I am accepting this truth now, we don’t know. We just don’t know. God may have another plan, he may wake up tomorrow, and have many more years to share the good news with people.
I am just trusting. Praying. Seeking, and trying to remind myself it’s okay to cry, It’s okay not to be the strong one for once, God is here, ready to love me through this.
Please join me in praying for the Anders, and this time of uncertainty.