Sunday, August 1, 2010
I'm In His Loving Hands
She sat beside me for years on our familiar pew. I knew she was a widow through our conversations after church. One Sunday morning during worship I turned to glance at her; I saw living water bubbles gushing out from her like a river of glory. She praised Jesus with such passion and love.
As we were talking in the parking lot I asked," How are you?" Usually it was she who asked the question to me.
"I had a difficult week, my car broke down, I had it towed, but you know its taking me years, but now I can say my first thought is, Heavenly Father you know what I need. You've taken care of me for years and will continue do so in the future. Tell me what to do. My first thought would always be I wish Jim were here, but now my first thought is okay Dad lets walk through this together I can do all things in Jesus Christ who strengthens me."
God provided. He sent Carolyn help through her neighbor who drove her to work and a mechanic who fixed it right away even when his week was extra busy. One more reason she can say I'm blessed, God will get me through this. When the love of her life died her world was turned upside down.
This is her story, I heard as we shared lunch after church.
She had a love affair with her husband for twenty eight years. They met each other at a bank and for Jim, it was love at first sight. Her hair was long and dark and people said,
"You look like Marlo Thomas from, "That Girl."
Jim sent Carolyn red roses and begged her for a date. She finally agreed to lunch at the Italian place down the street. She felt a familiarity as she talked with him. She felt safe and secure. Their love blossomed and Jim asked her dad for Carolynn's hand in marriage.
As their love grew their faith was united for one purpose, glorifying God. They attended church at the Bronco Bowl and were active in the fellowship of believers. They prayed together whenever there was a problem.
If she had lunch with a friend he always called to ask,
"Carolyn, are you getting enough to eat? Are you having a good time?" He asked Carolyn because she was light as a feather. He was always concerned for her wellbeing and happiness.
Carolyn's mom and dad loved Jim. They got together for family dinners. He was there for Carolyn when her mother passed away January 31, 2003.
Jim's first thought was, "Carolyn I want to help you through this. I know how much you loved your mother. Let me give you a hug." It took every ounce of his strength to wrap his loving arms around her.
" If you don't mind I'm going to rest. I'm feeling a little tired." He went to lay down on the family room couch. As tears swelled in her eyes, grieving for her mom, she heard the faint coughing sound from the other room.
An alarm went off inside her thoughts,"I'm worried about you Jim? I think you should go to the doctor to get it checked out? You've been coughing a lot."
Jim was diagnosed with phase four cancer. One lung was totally eaten up by the disease.
The nurses asked Jim,
"Who are you? I've never seen anyone have so many visitors coming and going. Are you a senator? Are you someone important?" His family laughed to think the nurses thought he could be a politician, but were grateful so many people showed they cared.
"I'm just an insurance sales-man." He said with a humble voice.
He seemed to be getting better when the unthinkable happen.
"Jim your face is turning red?" cried Carolyn. She frantically ran for help. Precious minutes passed before the nurse figured out the oxygen tank was empty. He was gasping for breath. He took a turn for the worse and never recovered.
His last words were loving and kind, " Carolyn, I didn't think it would turn out like this. Just remember, no one has loved you like I have loved you. I want you to get married, you're young."
Jim went to be with the Lord March 28, 2003, just months after she buried her mother.
"I had 90 days to get my insurance licence so I could take over Jim's business." Carolyn didn't want to loose his customers that took years to build. It took me three tries to pass the test. Finally on the last try I cried out to God,
"Lord you know I need to pass this thing, please help me."
Her mind was full of so many items that needed to be taken care of. Her heart was bursting with grief over her loss. She cried each night as her hand touched the empty pillow next to her. Her heart yearned to be able to ask Jim, what do I do? But in her inmost being she knew God was there with his peace.
" Heavenly Father I need to pay my bills and his business is the best way, But I also want to carry on Jim's legacy. You know how much I loved him so. God please help me!"
Carolyn passed the test and used her insurance license to carry on the family business. She needed God's guidance to help with the financial records of the company. She needed God's wisdom as her words flowed when a customer called about information on their policy. She gained trust and respect from all who worked with her. They were amazed, 'How does she do it."
As we talked in our cars she explained, "My friend, Charolette said I wasn't sure if you were going to make it that first year after Jim died. If it wasn't for Jesus Christ my Savior, I wouldn't be here today."
Trusting in Jesus were not just mere words for Carolyn. She felt it in every cell of her being. Trusting in Jesus and feeling his presence was her survival. His peace that passes all understanding was there for her. His peace was there when she was alone at night and yearned for her husband to lay beside her again. His peace was there when she took over the insurance business and wasn't sure what to do. His peace was there during every holiday without Jim to be there to share it.
Each day she is reminded of Daddy's love for her. Carolyn wakes up each morning and praises God for being alive. Her closing words to me were;
" Life is very fragile and it can change in a blink of an eye, I've heard that expression many times and its very true. Don't take anyone or anything for granted because it can change in a heart beat. I know because I've lived it."