Never Give Up

Today is the anniversary of my mother’s death. I felt to share this again and maybe encourage if but one …

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Eight years ago, my beautiful mother passed away. Six years ago, my wonderful brother passed away. She was eighty, he was forty-eight. She had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, he had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Neither knew the Lord when diagnosed. So I say never give up.

So many times during the course of mother’s illness, we would talk about my precious Lord. Her beliefs were scattered though and she loved anything to do with Tibet. Whenever we discussed anything to do with the Bible, she somehow managed to skirt around the topic and the subject was closed. This always happened. She was looking for something and would try anything and listen to anyone about everything. Yes, it’s important to listen to others; but not at the expense of one’s eternal life. Everything seemed like a joke. She would go to church; but was forever questioning, sometimes in the middle of a service (makes me smile now; but quite embarrassing at times).

Her illness stayed in remission for about five years. It returned. In the final couple of weeks, the questions continued. I played beautiful Christian music for her when she could no longer get out of bed. I had the Bible in audio form and jamming the repeat button, played the Psalms for her, just on low; but high enough for her too drink in God’s promises.

My Pastor’s mother visited and the questions, yes they kept coming. Still she was undecided. We showed her a plaque with “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”. Still she questioned. Oh! The questions. The Name of Jesus was highlighted for her in the Scripture verse. No other god, image, idol.

Suddenly the Light began to enter her understanding and I believe it was then, only a few short weeks before she died, that she finally began to stop fighting and accept and be loved by Jesus. He had opened her eyes. She questioned again, but she had changed. God’s love shone through her. She had us throw out a statue on her windowsill. A peace settled on her. On us.

Hospital then the nursing home awaited. Psalm 23 played on and on and on. It was also above her head on a beautifully carved, wooden wall hanging. The Shepherd Psalm filled her very being. She couldn’t escape it.

The day she passed was so sad and yet so peaceful. With her last breaths few and far between, (by now my Father and I believed she had gone), I whispered into her ear that Jesus loved her and so did we. All of a sudden she breathed a great breath. It was such a shock that I jumped back and her bed moved, which was a further shock as I didn’t realize that the brakes weren’t on. Such a beautifully painful death. Yet I witnessed her spirit leave. I sensed it. I sensed her life depart.

Praise God, she is with Him. All of those years causing friction, sadness, questioning, frustrations all accumulated into one glorious ending. Underneath are the Everlasting Arms.

So never give up. There is always hope. In every breath, there is hope.

My brother endured months of horrendous treatment and was in ICU for many weeks with only about eight months from diagnosis to final hour. He didn’t believe in God either and conversations between us became somewhat heated at times. Sadness prevailed.

In hospital I would try and once again bring Jesus into the discussions. Not interested. I would pray silently by his bedside when we were the only ones in his room.

Then came the call. I asked his wife to place the phone to his ear. She said he wouldn’t hear me. I spoke lovingly to him of the Lord and prayed desperately for him. All I could hear was laboured breathing. Finishing just as she came back onto the line, I praise God that I was able to witness to him, one last time.

He died. I left him with God. I just didn’t know.

But I never gave up. Nothing is impossible with God.

When Fear is Silent (A Testimony)

(For quite a long time now I have had ‘a silent fear’ about whether or not I had the same as my dear mother, brother or aunt because of my extreme longstanding tiredness and other symptoms – but praise God I am in the clear, the results came in this morning and even though I know that the Lord has not given me the spirit of fear; but of power, love and a sound mind 2 Timothy 1:7, there was always this ‘doubt’ (being an ex-nurse doesn’t help).  I don’t think I realized until now the intensity of watching a loved one suffer and lose their battle, or rather I did know; but even in all the pain I felt, it was suppressed and the thought that the same journey may lie ahead for me, well without the Lord’s strength, love and grace through His mercy …..

Praying for anyone reading this who has just received devastating results, or is still waiting for results. May you be blessed with love, strength and peace from the Lord’s open hands.)

When Fear is SilentWhen Fear is Silent
Underlying fear is often silent
Comes and goes as it desires
Brings with it all anguish, shed tears
Bounds and lays hold with unseen wires

Wires of worry and wires of doubt
And once again the silence flows
Can this heart harbour so much pain?
A glance, a memory, a tune – only it knows!

Brings the fear undone again
It washes in with tides of thought
Thoughts of do I, don’t I, or do I
Have to live with dreams of nought

For how can dreams survive a battle
Waging with suppressed free joy
When a fear is left unattended
Left to scar and with each breath destroy

But this story has a breakthrough
Dreams will surface and be fulfilled
Fear is now gone and fear not needed
As the truth, the Truth is anew instilled

© 2013 Liana Wendy Howarth