In previous posts entitled, “Faith Story” I share details of my life, and my late uncle. Here is one of my favorite parts of our story. I have gathered my journals from what would really be his last days of life. Here is my journal entry from the morning of March 18, 2015
What awaits me today O Lord? May I trust that ALL is in your hands. May the words spoken today during the care meeting be filled with grace and may the words spoken be received well by my uncle. The progression of his symptoms and continued weight gain from edema mark the external signs of a failing internal system. He is weak Lord, but YOU are strong. Your love endures forever. May my uncle not pass until his eternal address is secure with you.
On this day I would be using Batterson’s Draw the Circle as a daily devotional for the second time around. Here is what I wrote,
‘Write down the revelation’ -Habakkuk 2:2 Batterson says journaling is one of the most overlooked undervalued spiritual disciplines. The shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory. It is a way to look back and remember what God has done. Thank you Lord that I tapped into this discipline and have seen its power in my spiritual life. I don’t ever want to go back to the way I was before.
On March 20, two days after the care meeting in which my uncle was on pending:denial medicaid for medical necessity. I was caught off guard a bit. Here is where I share my journal entry,
We were all on a conference call in this meeting with the state of Texas authorities when the nursing home LVN promptly used these words, “The family (referring to me) will appeal if denied.” What? I don’t know what that looks like, but I pray that you Lord would approve him before we have to fight another confusing red tape battle. Your glory and your good provisions have been at work all along these many months, and there is no stopping now. Amen!
Knowing that and trusting in you brings a smile to my face. I must continue to remember what you’ve brought me through in order to keep a positive outlook on difficult circumstances…You will provide. You Lord have proven yourself trustworthy. May I be able to show my strength and faith in you by sharing with others as my testimony of your righteousness. Lord, I know that you provide for all who love you. You bless us beyond our comprehension. You control the Earth’s rotation, orbit, placement, the birds of the air, down to each heartbeat and breath of all of your children. Thank you for my uncle. Thank you for letting me love on him as he once was (by my grandmother who has been gone for more than 20 years). May he feel it, and receive. Finally, Luke 11:8 is worth noting here because it says ‘yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.’
You met our needs all along the way. March 22, 2015 I would write these words in a brand new journal.
The first page of a new journal. Oh Lord, how I hope that in between these pages I listen to you and obey your still small voice. Reveal more of yourself to me and expand my mind to accept your righteous wisdom. Let my time with you each morning keep my armor in tip-top inspection ready shape, and reading and studying your word sharpen my sword; my only weapon of offense…I would end this day with Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.”
March 23, 2015 early morning excerpt
…I’m running out of umpf with my uncle. Please revive my servanthood. I know he is depressed and wants nothing more than to go back home.
Later that day, I would get a call with my uncle sounding unsettled and an urgency in his voice. I was there asap, especially since his nursing home was only two miles from my home. By the end of a long, hard, and scary day, I would be meeting with hospice people and he would be signing his own Palliative Care forms. That day he would tell me of his favorite verse that was in a poster of photos and scripture I had made for his room. In his words, “even with faith being as small as a mustard seed, you can do all things.” I would write in my journal on March 24 the following:
My uncle told me I was comforting to him, and he told me he loved me. I prayed over him thanking you Lord for the extra time that allowed Paul and I to get to have a relationship and restore family. I pray that our story will be seen and heard by others and do nothing, but touch others and bring glory unto you.
I had been with my uncle all day, and was blessed to have a friend to pick up my children and care for them. I stayed. I was exactly where I was supposed to be: holding his hand, comforting him. I left only after a hospice nurse arrived to keep 24 hour care and watch. I received a call a few hours later and at 11:07pm on March 24th he left this earth. I arrived so fast, he was still warm to the touch. I was shocked, and caught off guard by the next steps. I had to arrange for a funeral home to come get him. I had to mourn with another sleeping residence on the other side of a curtain, as well as a uniformed police officer to keep guard until the funeral home arrived. That right there is harsh; before this night, I had no clue. I was totally 100% unprepared for the reality of death. Only with God’s help did I survive this night. I also know my Lord and Savior was with me and cared deeply for me. After a sleepless night, I would experience the best and only “good” conversation with my mother (my uncle’s sister) for a couple years before this time, and never since. I would sit down at my normal time to begin my day with quiet time, with my Bible, my prayer journal, and my current study or devotional. Here is what I would write and discover in its entirety.
Through puffy, teary eyes with little to no sleep I praise you Lord. My uncle is with you. He is no longer struggling. I have visions of him running and jumping and testing out his new body. I see him reunited with his mom, and the most awesome thought is that he has seen Jesus and is worshipping you face to face!
Today will be filled and days to come with planning, paperwork, etc. Please Lord guide my steps. Be with me each decision and appointment as they come. Thank you Lord for a good conversation with my mom. You allowed my uncle to open up and share and be honest and vulnerable with me. I take great pleasure in my heart knowing he saw and felt the good in me. He loved me. He and my kids got to know each other and create memories. Yesterday he told me that his time here he has collected some of the best, and more good memories than years combined back at his home. (hours away)
As my usual, I then open up my study. This day I was continuing in a prayer devotional. As I opened to the page marked, I look down to find a great sign from above. The tears flowed as I see the title
Sow a Seed – Matthew 17:20 “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed…” This is my uncle’s favorite verse that I had written out, and prayed over him dated November 19th. Just yesterday he said it was his favorite out of so many. You God are faithful and you add to my faith everyday. Thank you Lord for caring for me and loving me.
God provided. He did not have to, but he did. He gave me a gift that is priceless. A certain sign that my uncle was indeed with him in paradise. I know that God has, is, and will continue to bless me beyond my circumstances that at times seem to be pressing in on all sides. My faith will not be shaken. Jesus is my hope and my future! He is my rock and my fortress. I will trust him until my very last breath. He gives life, and he is love!