Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dear Pam

My dearest Pammy,

You died today.  Those are three of the most difficult words for me to type, because with it, it brings finality to that dash that lives between the moment you were born and the moment you died.

Your husband said you died peacefully, as well you should have, because in our many talks, I wanted to make absolutely certain you knew Jesus as your savior.  So I know that all of heaven rejoiced the moment you arrived, fully healed, fully whole, and I'm sure you were overwhelmed as Jesus enveloped you with a bear hug like only He can give, and you felt His love and joy permeate your spirit.  In that vivid picture in my mind, I can totally rejoice and feel great excitement for you because I know you're healed.  I wouldn't be surprised if you told me He had chocolate ice cream ready and waiting for you.

But back to that dash called your life.  What you did with it, as I reflect on it, I am grateful to be a small part of it.  I say small because you were a lot larger than life.  I don't think you even realized the countless lives you've touched.  But I quickly saw it, as I watched the messages pour into your Facebook page.  I saw it when I walked into your hospice room, your mom snuggled up with you in bed, fiercely loving and protecting her daughter, tenderly stroking your face.  I saw it as I watched your husband wrap his arms around you as you talked about needing to go to bed.  I saw it as you wrapped your arms around his neck and peace poured over you.  I saw it in every moment we were able to hang out.  In those moments that I wanted to bless you, and you instead blessed me.  I saw it in your Facebook posts, encouraging others that sat in the chemo room at the hospital.  Even your team of doctors knew it.

You carried a light inside you that was God's gift for the world.  There was always just that something about you that a stranger on the street could spend five minutes with you and that person would walk away feeling like they were loved and that they mattered.  Words of affirmation, totally your love language.  Quality time, totally your love language.  Still to this day, my daughters love your nail salon.  If mom was going to Miss Pam's, everyone wanted to come. 

You touched my life in such a way that your death is hitting me hard.  Nothing more so than just because I'm going to miss your very presence.  No more talking at 2:00 a.m. because neither one of us could sleep.  No more time spent on  We really did spend a crazy amount of time on there, trying to find us a house.  No more talking about matters of the heart.  No more talking about your chicken pot pie recipe or any other recipes.  No more sitting there chatting, drinking our HEB Texas Pecan coffee from your Keurig, watching our kids run around together, playing or napping on the floor.  No more trips to the NASA Space Center together, and no more Mexican food green sauce at Moreno's.  It's the littlest things I will miss that were really big things.

Neither of us wanted your life to end because of cancer, especially not you.  Yes, it's a reminder as women that we need to make sure we get yearly mammograms.  But even more so, it's a reminder to make sure we all know who Jesus Christ is, and that we've accepted His free gift called salvation.  You were young.  Perhaps it's easier to deal with death when you know the person is old, and they've lived a full life.  But then again, you lived a full life in all of your 29 years.  I know I don't need to worry about Tanner, Jacob, and Aubree.  I know God's got them, and they're going to be okay.  I know you're a part of their great cloud of witnesses, cheering them on as they run their races. 

And now, you're a part of mine.  Thinking about that makes me smile.  And I hope you've met my dad by now, because he's quite ornery and fun to be around.  As I wonder what you thought about your mansion in heaven, I can't help but smile at what your reaction must have been.  I smile at the thought of you being introduced to colors you've never imagined here on this earth, wondering how you can get a nail polish in that color. 

We're going to celebrate that dash soon as we lay your earthly body to rest.  I'm going to smile, and I'm going to probably cry.  I'm going to listen as others share stories about how you've so profoundly impacted their lives.  You are so worth celebrating. 

I love you, girl.  And I just miss you. 

See you again soon :)


Monday, November 17, 2014

It's being made new...

Over the past week, I've felt this void in my heart that some wives have felt before. You know the one.

Does my husband love me?

So I've turned to my Daddy God to fill this need. He awoke me with songs in my head like, "Arise, my Love" and "You're Beautiful." I know how much He loves me all the way to my inner being.

This void, though, this ache, this longing still filled my heart.

Does my husband love me?

"Yes," he says. "With every bone in my body and ounce of my blood."

Good answer, Superman. :)

Still heart aching.

And then, my husband stopped to pray over me yesterday, which is one of the ways he makes me feel loved and cherished.

All the people in the world can love me, but there is nothing like my husband's love being shown to me. There's nothing like God loving me through my husband.

And today, I know my husband loves me.

The Promise Keeper

Good night KISS from Heaven:

I hear His whisper...

"I long to be more real to you than life itself. My promises are more faithful and true than you have ever imagined. The power of My Word has sustained you through your life and holds you near My heart. Even now your heart beats because of My promise to you when you were conceived -- 'You will LIVE.'

"I call you to walk upon the water of My Word, to trust in My promises more than sight or human skill. My Word is your strength and I have never failed to keep every promise I have made to you. My Word is more tangible and real than anything you see, for all that you see has been made by My Word. All things are held together in space, on earth, and in you, because of My Word of power. I call you step into living by faith in My Word and let all that distracts you fade away.

"Believe all that I have spoken to you about your family. I will complete the beautiful work I have begun, trust in Me and rest in My promises over you and those you love. Believe all that I have promised you concerning your finances. Am I the God of Abundant Supply? Do I not provide for the birds, for the animals of the field, and for everyone of My sons and daughters? For you are the most valuable and costly part of all My creation. Sacred blood dripped from the Tree to show you My love for you. If I have given the blood of My Son to redeem you, will I not also give you everything you need as you walk with Me?

"Speak My promises over your life. Read the Words I have promised you in My Holy Book and make them real by faith. Place your hands upon My Word, for they are tangible, and trust in Me-- I will not fail you, for I am your Father and Great Shepherd. Speak My promises over your family and over every need you have this day and you will see the deliverance of your God! Believe when all around you is contrary, for then you will demonstrate the power of faith. I have rewarded everyone who comes to Me in faith. My reward is My promise completed and My presence sealed upon your life. Rise up in a new wind of faith this day and you will not be disappointed. Take the steps that I call you to take, believe as you hold My promises, and the miracles will flow into you. Faith is the victory that you need, My promises are the seeds of that victory. Overcome in faith and you will see with your eyes the Kingdom of Heaven before you."

Hebrews 3:12-14 The Passion Translation"So search your hearts every day, my brothers and sisters, and make sure that none of you has evil or unbelief hiding within you. For it will lead you astray, and make you unresponsive to the Living God! 13This is the time to encourage each other to never be stubborn or hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14For we are mingled with the Messiah, if we will continue unshaken in this confident assurance from the beginning until the end."

Friday, November 14, 2014

Knowing the Power of Sonship

This is straight from The Passion Translation's page on Facebook last night. In the midst of where I am, I am posting this right here on my blog, because it's for me. Just so I don't forget about it and can come back and read it.

Good night KISS from Heaven:
I hear His whisper...
"I will give to you a new heaven and a new earth. I am the God who makes all things new. I will renew your heart and spirit this day to know Me as the God of Heaven. My presence, My Immanuel, lives in you. Where My presence abides it is heaven. What makes the heavens full of glory is My presence, for where I am, glory is found. Living within you this moment is the heavenly glory that I given to My sons and daughters. Many look away to heaven and fail to embrace eternal life within. For everything that makes heaven real, lives in you, My child.
"The heavenly reality will be made clear to you. Soon, all that is around you will become nothing more than trinkets compared to the glory that is within you. My endless grace has opened a fountain within you, pouring satisfying streams into your thoughts, your emotions, your very soul. This grace-fountain will be the source of life, heavenly life, within you. Love, joy, peace-- is My presence in your soul. Fill your heart with My words and more of heaven will flow into you. Never say, 'I am rich and in need of nothing,' for that is the boast of the Laodecians who must come to Me and buy gold, so they can be truly rich.
"Heavenly life is My portion which I share with you today. Have I not seated you in heavenly places and enthroned you as My overcomer at My right hand? All that I am I give to you, My heaven-born child. Receive yet more and drink of the water of Life that flows from before My eternal throne. Drink deeply of the substance that pours from Me. Heaven's gift is yours this day.
"Let your mind be renewed and brought into a heavenly perspective. I have you taken your true life and it is now hidden in My realm of glory. Set your eyes and your affections on heavenly things and watch the healing of your heart be complete. I have a heavenly eye salve that will cause your eyes to open to the brightness of My glory within you. I have pure white robes to place upon your inadequacy and weakness. I bring My children into My courts as they see what I have provided for My household. As My children praise Me I open greater doors into glory. Come into My world, for I have come into yours. Seek My face, forsake your habits of passivity and stir your heart to come into the heavenly chamber. For I am the God who makes you new, strong, and courageous."
Psalm 26:6-8 The Passion Translation
When I come before You, I’ll come clean,
Approaching Your altar with songs of thanksgiving;
Singing the songs of Your mighty miracles.
Lord, I love Your Home, this place of dazzling glory,
Bathed in the splendor and light of Your presence!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Three. Little. Words.

"Guard you heart," a wise woman recently said to me.

"What do you mean by that?" I asked in hopeful desperation.

As the conversation continued, God gave me so many answers to how I handle things His way when the enemy attacks. I know I forget so often that really, I don't fight against my husband. I fight against what the enemy is doing to attack me and the foundations of my faith in Jesus Christ. Three seemingly innocent words have given me the very key to what changed the very atmosphere of not only my home, but my marriage and my family as well.

Things like feeling myself gearing up and bracing for what was going to be a sure argument? Didn't happen. Instead, it turned into a very peaceful discussion over the next few hours. I found out so many things on my husband's heart and mind as we talked. In that moment, God even answered a prayer of my heart nearly seven years in the making in showing me what our life ministry is together, and why we're here in Houston to do it.

And setting out to honor and serve this man of mine, once my enemy in marriage and now my ally, that's opened up even more unexpected doors. I know so very soon, the freedom I've been waiting for him to experience in Jesus Christ will happen. It's not all about him. It's all about me, about the hope I have in Jesus Christ that is connecting me to God's heart and love for me. It's putting on the full armor of God and taking a stand with the shield of faith, the sword of the spirit, and that breastplate of righteousness. All three guard my heart.

But knowing that I can hand my heart to the Father and say, "Guard it!" that's where my hope is found. That's where my true rest is found. Keeping my eyes, ears, and heart open to what my Abba is saying, giving me promptings to how I can love my husband more, serve him more, and honor him more.

After all, my husband's name means kingly. Should I not honor the king of my home as we walk this life together? Superman, I love you even when you don't love yourself so much. I know that very soon, you will find true rest.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Hug Runs Through It... Part 2

God, you know me way too well. 

I got that very much needed God hug today, and you didn't even give me a choice about it, either, because you know me so well that you knew if you asked me for it, I wouldn't have the courage to go get and take it.  But I'm so glad you love me this much, that you would choose a mighty woman of God to both give me that hug today and release your word yet again over my life.

I shouldn't be surprised that you care so much about what I have carried as a burden so long, but yet, I still have that wonder of, "Why do you love me so and care so much about my seemingly insignificant life?" But I KNOW. I know that you've got those plans for me, plans way bigger than I ever dreamed you would use me for. And yet knowing, all along the way, even before I was born, that you have kept my life. I can see you woven throughout my life.

So keep leading us. I know you've called us here, but not quite sure of your plan for what we're doing here in Houston. Give me that vision so I can run with it!

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Hug Runs Through It

"You can go up there and get that hug. He's calling you, Rachael."

Those were the words my husband had just leaned over to whisper in my ear as he gave me a side hug.  We were in a room full of people, and for the second time that week, we were being offered the chance to go up front and get a hug from God through one of the leaders.

I couldn't make myself step forward, though I felt God pulling me so strong to go get that hug. I'm certain I've never felt his pull on my heart as much as I did that day. 

Even after that week that changed my life and my walk with God forever, finally having a heart knowledge of how much my Daddy God loves me, I've thought about that hug. I know I'm His princess, and that I'm his favorite, and that I am really loved by the One who created me and gave me the precious gift of life.

This year, my prayer has been for God to show me how to trust him. It took my dad going to meet Him a month ago that God revealed the very root of the trust that I can't seem to find.

I have raged at God; I have raged at my dad. His death revealed things I've suspected were going on my entire life but never knew for certain until the week after his death. Things that I thought I forgave years ago rose to the surface with a fiery fury that would now be brought to the light where my healing could begin. Buried hurt hurts even more when it gets pulled into the light like a thousand stabs in your heart from a jagged, rusty knife. But it's the root of my inability to trust.

So I'm sitting in church a few weeks ago, and the congregation is singing a song about freedom. And that's when I heard him as clear as if he were standing right next  to me.

"I'm sorry, Rachael.  I am so sorry I couldn't love you the way you needed me to, that I wasn't the father that you needed.  I couldn't love you because I wasn't able to fathom God's love for me."

Yeah, I lost it. Me, who hates crying in front of anyone, especially in a crowd of people, lost it.  And then God said to me, "And that's why you couldn't go get that hug from me, too. You saw me as you saw your earthly father, through that hurt you feel right now."

Slowly but surely, my heart is being repaired. Little by little, my Father is leading me. The best part is that now I have my earthly father in my great cloud of witnesses to cheer me on as I run my race. And if God decides to ever again offer me that chance to go get that hug from Him on this side of heaven, you can bet I'm running to him unashamed.