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Friday, August 15, 2008

Within His View

In high school I was a bit of a wild child and began to hang out with 2 girls I had known since elementary. Girls that were not wild. One of the girls, Jen, was very blunt and would tell me how her mom did not care for me.



So you can imagine how uncomfortable it was a few years after high school when Jen announced her engagement and asked me to be one of her brides maids. Of course she had to tell me that she really wanted me in her wedding party even though her mom didn't. At this point in life I was a single mom and was still a bit of a wild child.



Over the years Jen and I became distant, but would talk a few times a year and send Christmas cards to each other. Soon we both had kids, mortgages and mini-vans. The wild child in me had finally been put to sleep.



Over time as I chose to get closer to God, for some reason Jen's mom would come to my mind. I wanted to have my friend take me to her parents' home so I could have show and tell with her mom Patsy. I wanted to show her I was changed and tell her how I was living my life for Christ, but I never did.



One year during our annual catch up phone calls, Jen shared with me how her mom was in remission for cancer. Then a few years ago she told me that her mom's cancer had returned with a vengeance leaving her with little time left. Jen is an RN and said that the family had accepted her mom's lack of time left on earth and were all doing their part so that she could die at home. Along with her Dad and her sister they were all taking care of Patsy.



I called a few days later to see how my friend was doing and the confident caretaker I had spoken to only days earlier was a crying mess. Her mom had taken a sudden turn that no matter how much nursing you do you're never prepared when the patient is your loved one.



I told her that if they needed rest to call me since I had done hospice care for over 15 years and I offered to spend the night too. Much to my surprise, she accepted my offer and that night I stayed at her parents home.


Her dad welcomed me and expressed how blessed he felt to have help and get some needed rest. Jen's sister showed me where everything was and went home to sleep in her own bed. So there I was, just me and Patsy. The woman who I knew hated me based on what my friend had told me over the years.


I remember thinking, Did they tell her I was coming? What if they didn't, is she going to ask me to leave? What am I doing here?


I nervously sat in a chair next to her bed trying to read a book. I kept glancing at her out of the corner of my eye watching for her to wake up. Her breathing was very labored though so I wasn't sure if she would make it to see the break of dawn.


Then she woke up. No heavy breathing, but instead completely alert and awake.

Hi Patsy. It's Lea (the name I was called as a kid).


Yes, I know. Jennie told me you were coming tonight. How are you?

Good.


Are you married?


Yes, his name is Gene. He's wonderful.


Kids?


Yes, three. Alyssa is 15, Aaron is 11 and Alivia is 4.


I asked her if she wanted anything to drink and she did.

Then, suddenly, the Holy Spirit put something so strong on my heart that instantly tears filled my eyes.


I took Patsy's hand and said, "For all these years I thought you hated me, but right at this moment God let me know it was never me that you hated, it was my actions."


She nodded and tears began to fall down her face too. The years of unspoken tension between us was completely gone within a moment. Although she lay dying from cancer, we both experienced healing that night. It was so awesome. We even exchanged I love you's. We laughed, cried and talked until she went back to sleep. That would be the last time we'd ever talk or see eachother here on earth. A few days later Patsy went to sleep and woke up to see Jesus' face up close. What a beautiful awakening she must have had.



I realized that November night just how much Jesus loves His children. He knew if I would have received the phone call from Jen telling me of her mother's death I would've regretted never contacting her. I don't know why, but it was something that God knew bothered me over the years. It wasn't something that constantly rolled over in my mind, but when it surfaced it just bugged me. I had told Gene about it before, but only God could arrange for me to be one of Patsy's caretakers on her death bed. Only God. What a hug He gave me that night.




I was given the gift of sweet time to share with Patsy how I am now living for Christ. She was thrilled. Maybe the things she had said about me to her daughter was not handled the right way, but as a mother I know the desire to want your child around people that are Godly and I was far from that at that time in my life. It was a night of understanding. I understood mother to mother what Patsy was thinking, but greater than that I understood that God was paying attention to me. One of many of His children.


I don't know if you've ever felt like just a face in the crowd, but you're not. God knows you better than you know yourself. Why wouldn't He though? He planned you out, created you and adores you.

I'll never forget that night Lord. The night You let me know that this face in the crowd captures the attention of the Son of God. Seen, heard and deeply cared for by what Peter called the Chief Shepherd. You really know everything about your sheep and you tend to us like no other.


Know that He is so aware of you inside and out and He is proud to call you His. When the world can make you feel like nothing, believe that the Almighty One sees you and is intently paying close attention to your every breath.


~Many Blessings~
Lelia

31 comments:

Runner Mom said...

Oh, sweet friend, what a wonderful post! I am so glad that you and Patsy had that moment to share. God blessed you both then, and He is blessing us now as we read about it. I am so glad that He is my Shepherd and loves me unconditionally.

Love ya,
Susan

Laura said...

What an amazing story, Lelia! God is so good. I love that image, Him standing there at the fair--so proud of you--showing you off! You are His masterpiece! And you always bless me with your words.
Love to you,
Laura

Luanne said...

What a beautiful story Lelia.
I admire your work with Hospice.
God works thru you and for you in some pretty amazing ways. Maybe because you Glorify his name when He does.
Thanks for sharing your story.

Luanne

StitchinByTheLake said...

Such a heart touching story Lelia. I'm glad that our loving Father gave you that healing and at such a perfect time. He who knows every single thing about us loves us beyond anything we can even dream. Amazing, isn't it! blessings, marlene

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

This was precious Lelia. Thank you for sharing. Our God'stiming is so amazing isn't it?

You are such a blessing to me. I wish we lived closer to each other...

In His Graces~Pamela

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I did not know you worked hospice for 15 years. How did I miss that? Did I just forget it, or have you never mentioned it? Lelia, this is a lovely, lovely story. Thank you for sharing.

Rachelle said...

Wow!! That truly was a great reminder of how our Father takes care of everything!

Mari said...

Thank you Lelia. It really reminds me how I need to pray for the salvation and true walk with God for my girls' "undesirable" friends.

I praise God for His attention to you. I praise Him that He finally wooed you! You've turned out just lovely!

Cheryl said...

Lelia,

Thank you for sharing this! It really has me pondering on more than one level.

Glad you joined TT ~ It helps when Thursday rolls around, to take time to think about all that there is to be thankful for, especially when not feeling so thankful. Once you start listing, it changes the way you can look at things!

That little grand-girl is getting so big and she is precious!

Have a great weekend!

Cheryl

Naomi said...

Dear Lelia! This is such a wonderful, comforting story - the message is so very important - Him, our God, knowing us inside-out, 'cause He made us, and because we are oh-so precious to Him. We know it, but we still need reminders about it, stories like this, to encourage us to be 'still' in Him, aware of His guidance in our lives. Thank you, Darling Girl, for this tender piece...

HisPrincess said...

Thankyou for sharing Lelia. I really needed to hear this today.

It is such a blessing that the Lord knows when I need encouragement, and he sends me to the right place!

Thankyou for letting Him work through you to help me.

Rhonda said...

Lelia, what a beautiful story. God certainly wove that together better than you could have imagined. What peace He brought to both of you.

Bless you!

Susan said...

Oh Lelia,

You did it again. A heart-warming tender story of hope and so filled with God's presence.

Oh, He does love us indeed.

Thanks for this wonderful reminder♥

Amanda B. said...

Hey,

I just found out about your blog from LynnSC and I have to tell you this was awesome. Thank you for sharing. I just experienced the exact same kind of healing with my alcoholic father two weeks ago. God is so good!! I know exactly what that was like for you and I am so glad that you were obedient to lay your self down and go to her!

I'll definitely be back and I would like to add you to my blogroll, if you don't mind.

Blessings,

Amanda Bowers

Amanda B. said...

P.S.

I just love the Beth Moore quote on your sidebar. I've never heard it, but I have definitely been experiencing it lately!! I feel God moving me closer and closer to my calling and I also feel Satan fighting me harder and harder!!

I'd like to put it on my blog, if you don't mind me stealing it from you.

Amanda B.

Joyfulsister said...

What a beautiful and touching testimony, My sisters still have alot issues they need to get right with my mom, I always tell them the Lord gives us chances to make things right, once that person is gone there will be no more chances. If you had not taken that step you would have never known it was not you personally she rejected but your actions. I pray oneday my sisters can allow my mom to explain and that they will listen and hear what my mom has to say..they would really be surprised to hear what my mom has to tell them. but the choice is theirs. Thank you for this beautiful post I will let them read it maybe it will stir their hearts.

Amanda B. said...

One more thing...and I'll leave you alone, I promise.

I've started a new award: "The Kindred Spirit" award and I wanted you to know that I give you the first one. Your post so spoke to my heart that I wanted to share your blog with my readers...so I thought this would be a great way to do so. I hope you don't mind.

God bless,
Amanda

Jill said...

Thanks for the great story. And for the wonderful reminder of the love God for us and how important we (I am) are in His eyes! Blessings on the weekend, Jill

hkudla said...

Thank you...
that last paragraph was exactly what i needed..
Love you,
Heather

Laura said...

Hey, Lelia!
We're on vacation this week and I just wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you! The seaside it my favorite place in the world to meet with God, and so, I do a lot of talking with Him while here! Just know that your name is being lifted out to sea this week...and blowing up to HIm with the sand and sun!

Tammy R said...

What a beautiful story.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

What a beautiful story of love and redemption. You are a precious soul, tender to the things of God. I love reading your heart, Lelia.

God keep you close to his heart this day and in the season to come. You are his hands and love to so many.

peace~elaine

Kristen said...

Lelia, that is such a beautiful story. I appreciate you sharing that with us.
How sweet of God to allow you to be there to comfort Patsy and so sweet that she could see Jesus in you as you served her during her illness.
Thanks for thinking of me as I get ready to travel to San Antonio.
I wish you were going to be there.
I'd just love to hug your neck!
Kristen & I leave on Thurs. Pray for us as we travel. It'll be such a great time for us to be together.
Love you and thanks again for sharing such a precious story.
Love,
Valerie

valerie said...

Lelia...
How funny....I wrote you a comment and it has my name but Kristen's picture. She just left my house and I guess she was still signed in and not me. Sorry for any confusion. ;)
Valerie

Laurie Ann said...

Leila, I'm so glad you got that precious time with Patsy! It's a special privelege to be with someone going through the final stages of a terminal illness, but the healing that took place in both your hearts is the most precious privelege of all. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration and hope your sweet message shared. You are an angel, girl!

Lisa said...

This is beautiful, beautiful, Lelia. It is a true picture of spiritual restoration and living out loud for Jesus. Not only did you remind this woman of how the power of God changes lives, but you showed Jesus how much you loved Him by making yourself available and humbled to Him.

I am motivated and touched by this post. Thank you for, once again, saying "yes" to Him by sharing this story.

Much love to you, my friend!
Lisa :)

Tracy said...

Only God, indeed could orchestrate such a beautiful meeting! What a sweet and precious second chance! Thank you for sharing such a precious story. I have chills and tears...

Hugs,
Tracy

Yolanda said...

Lelia,

God has and continues to: use YOU in a powerful way, just as He desired it to be. He knows, Sister, He knows, what is BEST!

Continue to be His vessel.


I love ya,
Yolanda

Liz said...

Lelia,
Thank you for the beautiful testimony of hope. I know just how you felt as I have felt hated by someone in my life. Even if restoration never takes place in the relationship, your story reminds me that it is not the person that is hated, but the actions. Thank God that He is the REDEEMER!

God's Girl said...

Thanks for sharing! Our God is truly amazing!

Keep loving and serving the King!

All for Jesus,
Julie

Kimberly said...

Oh, Lelia, what a beautiful post! I love how intimately He knows us! How tenderly He loves us.

I remember when I was afraid I had offended someone that I do not know well. I wrestled with what to do...praying, asking God for forgiveness, asking Him how to handle the situation. On a morning when I was practically in tears, pouring out to Him how upset I was, I got an e-mail from that very woman...letting me know I had been on her heart, that God had laid me on her heart. She was not upset with me in the least bit! It had all been one big misunderstanding, and God knew I needed that e-mail.

And I love that you worked with Hospice. We had to call in Hospice with my grandfather and then my grandmother. They were such a help and a blessing to us during those difficult days. How awesome that you have helped others in that same way!

You are wonderful! And I know that you give God all of the glory! Thank you for sharing this beautiful testimony of His great love!