The other evening my hubby and I watched the documentary of Kara Tippetts, a woman whose blog and books I had read for inspiration. She was a young mother to four children who lost her battle with cancer, but lived each day to the fullest while she had breath. She valued the people and the moments in her life and looked for God in the ordinary moments. Most importantly she left a legacy of love and faith to those who were blessed to be in her circle.
The past few days I have been thinking about the documentary and remembering ...My Momma's last few weeks before she went to her heavenly home were a bittersweet time for me. One day as I sat talking to her, she turned to me with tears in her eyes and said, "I wish I could turn back the clock." I asked her if it was because she was afraid of dying and she nodded her head and then said, "mostly it is because I wish I had lived my life differently and wish I had been a better mother to you." If only...she asked for forgiveness and I did as well because we both needed to be forgiven for things we had said, for things we had done, and for those things we had left undone.
I worried she would not be in Heaven one day because she truly felt her life here on earth was beyond God's ability to forgive her. I assured her many times it was not and that all she needed to do was to ask Jesus to forgive her sins and to invite Him into her heart. One day our grandson Robert Michael who was about 11 at the time came to visit her. He knew his Nana did not think she would go to heaven and it pained him. He told her she needed to ask Jesus into her heart and pray for forgiveness because he wanted the assurance he would see her again one day. She told him she would think about it.
The day before she lapsed into a coma she told me the Hospice chaplain had come to see her and she had indeed asked Jesus to forgive her and to come and live in her heart. For eight days she laid in her bed unresponsive. I sat with her prayed over her and sang to her and the night she died I was holding her hand as she went to meet Jesus. I remember her opening her eyes, looking at me, and then looking up and she was gone. As I reflect on her life I am grateful she finally accepted Jesus' love and forgiveness, but I can't help but think how different her life and mine would have been had that happened earlier in her life. We both could have perhaps avoided lots of heartache.
If only...those words can be the enemy of our souls. There is no way back...we can only move forward in God's kingdom.. I don't have to live in my past hurts, my past mistakes, my past sin. All that the enemy of my soul used to inflict harm in my life can no longer hurt me. Jesus has and continues to use what the enemy meant for harm to bring about His good. None of us is too broken that He cannot redeem our lives.
The ashes of our past can become the fuel that grows our lives into all God designed them to be, but first you have to surrender the ashes. Kara's documentary depicted her faith, her love, and most of all her trust in a God she could not see. Of course, she prayed for healing, but God had a different plan, it was a plan she trusted even if. She reminded all of us who read her blog and books that God makes all things good according to His plans. We all have these moments. We all have these moments in our lives when we have seen answered prayers in ways that surpass any earthly reason, and times when we have seen what we never would have wanted to happen occur. What I have seen is that even in the darkest times of my life God has been faithful and I could take His hand and trust Him.
I lived a good part of my life under the illusion I could control certain outcomes or fix something in my estimation that had gone wrong., but the reality is I have no control over any of it. I have come to the realization that my only real control is letting go of expectations and "being in control" and just letting Jesus take the wheel. My scars and yours are proof that God carries us through the storms in life. The scars remind us of the importance of leaving behind a legacy of faith, one, and trust...always pointing to the One who has broken every chain that kept us from living in His freedom.