I love it when I know that God specifically had me in the right place at the right time and can see why He had me there! Many times we are at that place, but don't see what He's up to, but today was a different story.
I found out yesterday that a daughter of a dear, precious friend, had gone to be with Jesus. Arielle had struggled with a Parkinson's like disease for more than 10 years, and at the age of 21, God said....enough......come home. I am so thankful she is in no more pain....I am so thankful she is with our Father - running, laughing, giggling, smiling, and praising Him. We all know it was a blessing for her to be rid of that broken body she had been dealing with for these past years.
But.....my heart hurt for my friend, Mr. Bob. He is my "little brother" and I love him dearly. I can't imagine the pain Bob, his wife Sheryl, and their two sons, Chris and Collin, are experiencing. Yes, God had been very present with them through all of this. Yes, they believed the Healer could heal Arielle at anytime. And yes, they knew it was right when He said it was time to take her home to be with Him. But to lose a daughter....even though you have that hope deep inside knowing you'll be with her again in eternity.......but she's not here on earth anymore. I can only imagine.
But here's how God showed me how much He loves this family - and me for that matter. My relationship with Bob was children's pastor's business. Our churches had gone to Kids' Kamp together for years. He was our camp pastor. I was the camp director and worship leader. We became fast and furious friends and soon family. He truly was and is my brother. I would fight to the death for him. Even though we'd see each other several months out of the year while planning camp, we just knew that if either one of us needed someone, we would be there for each other.
We probably did 10 years of camps together and every time we had Nurse Susan with us. Susan was Bob's sister and she went to camp with us and made sure all "our babies" took their medicine, she mended boo-boos, and made sure we drank lots of water while out in the hot Texas summer sun. She was precious - special - I just loved her.
So, the day I had been dreading came. Bob called me and told me he needed to step down as children's pastor of Glenview Baptist to take care of Arielle. Of course, I understood - even agreed - but was so disappointed. I so hoped that didn't mean the end of seeing my friend and his sister. Over the years, we have managed to keep in contact. He'd kept me informed about Arielle and how he and Sheryl were doing. But I lost contact with Susan.
I knew Arielle's time of earth was growing to a close unless God did a miracle. And then word came....Arielle was in the presence of the Most Holy God. This happened late Friday night, April 26, 2010. Again, there was sadness and joy.
But here's the point to my story. Here's my God moment. Wes had scheduled a routine colonoscopy for this morning (Tuesday, 3/30) around a month ago. We walked into Baylor Surgicare this morning at 7 am and guess who was his nurse????? SUSAN!!! Are you kidding me????? And she had only been working there for 3 weeks. I can't tell you how many times I had thought of her over the past few days. I had been in touch with Sheryl and Bob, but I didn't know how to contact Susan. I had been wondering how she was doing.
We looked at each other, ran to each other, hugged and cried! What a God moment! She so desperately needed someone to hold her and tell her things were going to be alright. She knew everything was fine....she knew God was in control...but she needed Him to show her. And I got to be the one to do that! I was in such awe that God would allow me to do something so intimate for this family that I love so deeply.
As we left the surgicare today, we all knew that Wes' colonoscopy was not the real reason for us to be there. We knew God had orchestrated every step so we could be there to love and comfort a dear friend. All 3 of us were in awe of God's great love for us. What great lengths He would go to show us how much He loves us and to let us know that He understands our grieving and our pain. And He is there....oh, He was there and He is there.
I never want to forget this day.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
There's been so much talk about
"global warming" these past few years. Because we have created a hole in the ozone, the earth is getting hotter and hotter. Before you know it, (I think the "experts" say in a million years or so) the earth will be too hot to maintain life of any kind.
This is quite facinating to me for you see, we've had one of the coldest winters since they began keeping weather records back in the 1800's. We've had a record amounts of snow and then this happens: the first day of spring....it snows...in Texas! If we're in the midst of "global warming", how could we possibly be having the snow and cold we've experienced this winter?
I love how God puts things back into perspective. He says, "Really? Global Warming? Watch this!" I love it when He shows off. Snow.....on the first day of spring.....in Texas.....perfect.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
We had the opportunity to celebrate Austin's birthday last night. Even though his birthday was really 3 days ago, this was pretty amazing that the Neelys could get together this quickly to celebrate. You see, it seems we never celebrate a holiday or birthday on the real date. We always have to make sure Wes is home and with him flying 3 - 5 days a week....well, let's just say that we can celebrate a holiday anytime. However, this has taught my guys to be very flexible! We've learned that a holiday isn't a date on the calendar - it's when a family can get together and celebrate!
It's hard to believe Austin is already 27 years old...I mean, he is my "baby"! But as we spent time together last night, it was amazing to look at my youngest son, his precious wife, and the most adorable little girl in the whole wide world and realize that not only is his a blessed man, but Wes and I are a blessed mom and dad.
Austin, we are so very proud of you. You bring honor to the Neely name and your dad and I love you so much. Happy birthday, son!
A wise son brings joy to his father.......Proverbs 10:1