Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thankful For Overflowing Hope

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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

As most of you know, our family (including extended family) is going through some difficult trials. The most difficult is watching a loved one slowly wither away and die. As I write, my sister and my 86 year old mother are holding vigil at my step-father’s (Chris) beside. Those of you who have gone through this know how difficult it is to watch a loved one slowly slip away before your eyes. It is exhausting and draining both physically and emotionally. I am so thankful that my sister has been able to clear her extremely busy schedule to be with our mother during this most difficult moment in their lives. My sister has shared that at home our mom sits in Chris’s recliner; his seat at the table and even sleeps in his empty bed at night; anything to feel close to her beloved husband of almost 31 years.
My heart aches wanting to be with them through this vigil, but I know that I will be with my mom the end of May when we travel back east to visit with her and other family members. So I am trying to wait patiently 2500 miles away, praying for my loved ones as they have begun the process of saying goodbye to a much loved man who has deeply loved and devoted his life to his wife and family. As I wait and pray I am also filled with overflowing hope, joy and peace as I trust in God’s promise that I will see Chris and other loved ones who have gone on before once again in heaven. I rejoice in knowing that the Holy Spirit has given us all such peace and hope because we know Chris will be in a much better place; free from all pain and sickness. Why do we have such peace and hope? "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord" (II Corinthians 5:8).

Though our hearts are grieving, God has given us overflowing hope, peace and joy because we know that Chris has put his faith and trust in our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So though I am 2500 miles away from his bedside, my heart rejoices that I will see my loved ones again…what a glorious reunion that will be when we all get to heaven! Praise the Lord!

Thank you heavenly Father for sending Your only Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place so that those of us who place our faith in Him, will have the peace and joy in knowing that we will be present with You in heaven when we take our final breath here on earth. Thank you dear Lord for filling us with overflowing hope that we will see our loved ones again one day! In Jesus precious name, amen!


LAURIE said...

Michelle, What a wonderful testimony of Gods strength and Courage. When we go thru the fire and trials we must lean upon His strength and I pray that you will feel Gods power today! Thanks for sharing from a grateful heart today - Laurie

Denise said...

Your precious, grateful heart shines my friend. I love you, and my prayers remain with you, and your family.

Raise Them Up said...

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, Michele.

With my own parents 12 hours away, I can relate to the vigile you keep. It's hard on them and you to be so far away at times like this. May God continue to encourage you.

Laurie Ann said...

Michele, praying for you and for Marsha and the family during this difficult time. I praise God for the salvation of your stepfather and rejoice that you have so much assurance that Jesus will be there for him and for you. Praying for your Mother especially. I'm just so sorry for what they're going through. I wish I could give you a hug.

He & Me + 3 said...

I will be praying for you and your family.

luvmy4sons said...

Oh sweet sister. I have had two bedside vigils to watch my mother and father in law slowly pass away. I am so sorry you cannot be there. What a comfort your faith is. What a peace you must have in the midst of the sorrow and grief.


We know You are with Chris. We know that You rejoice in the death of Your saints. Strengthen his loved ones who wait. Help them to see in their minds eye the glory that awaits him. Be their comfort in their grief. We ask Your special touch on the room. Let there be angels round about. May Your Spirit flow and may Your presence be felt in a very real way. I ask a special blessing upon Michele as she cannot be there. May she know that her prayers are there in the room whether she is present or not. Comfort her and give her solace, a peace that passes understanding. We know that we will all be together again when there will be no more good- byes, no more sorrow, no more suffering, no more death. Until that day, Jesus, help us to cling to the promiese that are in You. Thank You for making the way for eternal life in Your prsence! We know that Chris will be blissfully happy in Your presence and may that assurance comfort the loved ones he leaves behind. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Beth in NC said...

Michele, I am so sorry about Chris. It is horrible to watch someone you love just whither away. I'm praying the family will continue to have strength, especially your Mom.

God bless you all,

Debbie Petras said...

Michele, I know this is a hard time for your family. I'm thinking of you and praying for you. But yes, we do have hope. I'm so glad that when our loved ones are believers we know this isn't the end. But it can be painful and lonely without them. A big hug to you today.

Anonymous said...

My father is ill as well and its sol hard to watch him struggle to breathe. I pray for his comfort! I pray for you and your family! Such a blessing we have God's strength to see us through such difficult times.


bp said...

Such a hope-filled post, my friend. It is such a hard thing to say good-bye for now, but also so amazing to know the peace and hope we have at the same time. That made me sad for your Mom to read that. I wish I could hug you all.

Missy said...

That made me cry. I love that man so much and I hate to hear of him suffering.

Alleluiabelle said...


I, too, have sat by the bedside of both my mother and father during the dying process at home. It is so extremely hard to go through, but there is hope, trust and joy in the Lord who strengthens us and gives us such grace to get through such times and endurance. Yes, there is joy admidst it all in knowing that we will one day see them all again along with our Heavenly Maker.

I so love both of you, and you too Missy. I continue to pray for your mom, stepdad, and all of you.

((((Many, many hugs,))))

Unknown said...

Oh, Michele. I didn't realize how much you were dealing with. My prayers are with you, your family and your family friends. Much love, Allison