A Gift of Waiting

 

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Her name was Patricia, and with the sweetest Ukranian accent, she answered my simple question about her cute little dog. The day was cold with a hint of the Christmas Season upon us, so I wished her a Merry Christmas then.

It was her honest and sad answer that stopped me in my tracks as I walked my new neighborhood 15 years ago.

“Oh, no, it won’t be a Merry Christmas for me this year. My husband just died a few months ago, and there will be no celebrating for me.”

My heart went out to this sweet woman, who openly shared her heart with me, and I knew that God was calling me to listen. I had no idea how that simple act of listening would bring such deep heart blessings to me. Patricia would become a Second-Mom to me, and a “Babba” (Ukranian Grandma) to all of my kids, and I would become a listening ear that she so desperately needed. But on that cold wintery day, neither one of us knew the path that God had chosen for us.

 

She lived through unimaginable horrors that I could never begin to comprehend. Her Mother had died when she was only 3 years old, and little Patricia almost died herself over the trauma that was inflicted at losing her Mother to an awful cancer. But God intervened, and Patricia got up and walked after a year in bed when a traveling “Priest” prayed over her.

The Russians invaded their homeland a few years later and brought the horrors of Communism to a village of farmers. Because her father could speak several languages, the family found favor, and her father became a trusted liaison between the village and the Russians.

A few years later, the Nazis invaded and marched the entire village from Ukraine into Germany. When Patricia’s father refused to remove a picture of Jesus from their home, he almost lost his life. But once again, God intervened and gave their family safety in a land of so many horrors.

When Patricia married, she didn’t realize that her husband had fought in the underground resistance and would suffer from outbursts of violent PTSD for the rest of his life, long before Counselors were able to offer the help that is so readily available today. Life was always hard for my dear friend. And yet, she loved to laugh and keep everyone happy with her pranks. She shared a love of nature’s beauty with me and with anyone who would pause to see.

 

It was only as God asked me to wait with her, and to listen to her stories, that she began to unburden her heart about the deep trials in her life. And in that waiting, God began to open my heart to the beauty of listening.

 

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We are a people who would rather rush to the meetings, read all the books, and find our self-help issues fixed by 10am tomorrow, please. But God made us for fellowship. For relationship. For healing.

Ever since we left that first Garden, we have been a people in need of healing.

Some days as I walk this Chronic Illness path, I complain about the need for healing that began 5 years ago with my first diagnosis.

But my need for healing began at birth.

And my God is the One who waits and listens in that healing process.

 

It was 10 years ago that my own Mother died, and Patricia began to call me her 2nd Momma, a phrase that I gladly accepted. As her diabetes intensified, I drove her to places when she had to stop driving. I didn’t realize that God was healing my own fear of driving, as I listened to Patricia’s heartaches and watched God heal her broken heart.

In the waiting, in the listening to hard stories of brokenness, God brought my dear Sweet 2nd Momma into the place of seeing that it had been Jesus who had carried her all along.

 

He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

 

Her journey of brokenness ended on Sunday, as her Dear Jesus carried her into Heaven. My heart was broken with the grief that I felt at telling her good-bye. But as I wept, a vision flowed into my heart. The halls of Heaven were ringing with laughter. The God who had carried Patricia all through her life was laughing with the Angels over the sheer joy of a heart that He had created to laugh in the midst of heartache.

Only God could bring such beauty in the waiting.

 

As my own path is filled with what looks like endless waiting: all of the medications have been resisted by my body. The new Rheumatologist has said that I cannot take any of the standard treatments now while my body continues to manifest multiple side effects. The daily dose of Prednisone is not healthy for me either, and so I must begin the long process of decreasing that, all while hoping that my body will not fall into endless flares. The call to rest and to wait has been spoken into my life once again.

But that call has taken on a different hue now. How can I go back to the old way of complaining about waiting?

It has become a Gift.

The Gift to wait with someone I love.

Jesus is that someone. How can I refuse?

 

Lord, I wait for you;
    you will answer, Lord my God. Psalm 38:15 NIV

 

 

Thank you to Ruth Campos, over at Planted by Living Waters, for writing to me and pointing me in the direction of the beautiful teaching of Dallas Holm called God’s Rests and God’s Tests. You can find the DVD by clicking here. Dallas sang this precious song at the end of the teaching.

 

I would love to pray with you, my dear friends. Even though I have never met so many of you, I feel such a beautiful connection as we sit together and listen to Jesus, even over these digital airwaves.

 

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for the gift of waiting and listening that You showered upon my dear 2nd Momma, Patricia, as she sat with You during these latter years of her life. Thank You that You allowed me to be an eye-witness of Your healing love pouring over those broken places in her life. Thank You for the beautiful love that she showered upon me and my family.  Jesus, will You carry us now, those of us who are looking upon our own seasons of waiting with confusion and brokenness. We are baffled with the pain that makes no sense to our limited vision. We want to learn to press into You and wait for Your beauty to shine forth. Help us to hold onto You, to let You press us deeper into Your healing love. You are the Lord we praise.

In Your sweet name, we pray,

Amen.

 

I am linking with:

#TellHisStory

 

35 thoughts on “A Gift of Waiting

  1. My dear sweet sister, oh how the story of your 2nd mama blessed me. It is very clear to me that in your own waiting, God is filling you with wisdom to share with our hurting world. I lost my mom at 21. There have been a couple of second mamas along the way. Perhaps I am in the waiting for the one God has chosen for me. I pray today in the name of Jesus that He usher the prednisone out of your precious body safely and with zero flares. I am asking He be in charge of that entire process. I love you, Bettie. Remember I am here with ears to listen if you need to share.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for all of your love and caring, Dear Julie. I will pray that God blesses you with those 2nd Mommas that He knows will be such a gift, for both of you. I appreciate your prayers so much too. This process of lowering the prednisone has already been hard, but I am so blessed by God’s presence even here. Thank you for the reminder that I can trust Him as He is in charge of it all. Such a comfort to pause and rest in Him.

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    1. Dear Colleen,
      Thank you for your encouragement and support too, Dear Sister. What a blessing it is to know that God has woven our lives together, and allowed us to pray for each other! God Bless you too!

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  2. I am so deeply sorry that you lost your dear friend and 2nd momma. I know she would be thrilled beyond belief to read such a lovely tribute. And God bless you for listening to her on the winter day………listening to God’s voice provided you both with a life long gift of friendship. You are a blessing Bettie.

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    1. Dear Wendi,
      Thank you for your sweet and comforting words. I do miss her so much already. And you are right, listening to God brought such a blessing for both of us. Our Jesus offers us such amazing gifts that we cannot see how deeply they will touch us. I pray that He is blessing you today also, dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am so thankful you have all the beautiful memories to reflect upon and that you know that you will see her again and when you do you will both be healthy! 🙂 A prayer sent up for your heart…….

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Melissa,
      Thank you for your loving and caring! And yes, I am so very grateful for that loving friendship that God blessed me with. He truly sees just what we all need. Hugs to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lisa,
      Yes, God really gave us such a gift in our friendship. I truly understand how hard it is to acknowledge that our lives have been changed because of the effects of chronic illness. It’s a surrender that I face so often! I will keep you in my prayers. Thank you so much for your visit here, and your open-hearted comments!

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  3. Dear, sweet friend! I was so overjoyed to see a post from you in my inbox! I have been thinking of you. Oh, how sorry I was to hear that all of the medicines have failed! And, I am SO sorry to hear of your deep loss. Patricia sounds like such a wonderful person, and I am so thankful you had her in your life. What a blessing you were to each other! Now, she waits for you on the other side with your other loved ones. May the Lord comfort you as you miss her and mourn her passing, and may He send the healing you so desperately need. I am praying for you and sending many hugs!

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    1. Dear Cheryl, Oh thank you so very much for your sweet loving and caring! I am sorry I haven’t been able to keep up with your posts recently, as I’ve been on a blog break through these medication difficulties. But I so appreciate your dear comments here. Truly Patricia was a special lady and such a dear friend from the Lord. I am so longing for all the dear hearts who are waiting in Heaven. What an amazing reunion must be going on now. I am so very blessed that God has allowed us to pray together now, over these internet pages, places where He has given us His connections! So much love and hugs to you dear friend!

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  4. A beautiful tribute of your 2nd Mama. I’m sorry for your loss. You’ve eloquently presented her godly ways here. May we always remember that all it may take is a hello to be and bring love into our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lynn,
      Yes, we just never know how God will open up connections when we step out to say hello, and to care. I am so grateful that His love is for eternity! Thank you for your sweet love and comments here too, Lynn. Blessings and love to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a gift to have not one but two mamas…and such an impact they had! This was such a sweet tribute to Patricia. (Wouldn’t it be wonderful to leave such an impact??) I pray that your memories will fill your heart in the weeks ahead!

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    1. Thank you for such sweet thoughts, Jennifer. I truly have been blessed by the gifts of Mammas that have given such love. And how I pray that I can leave that impact of love also. I appreciate your prayers so much. Blessings to you!

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  6. This is such a touching tribute, Bettie. I’m so sorry you lost your 2nd Mama. It’s also a testimony of God’s grace in blessing connections. He supplied both of your needs through this friendship. It awes me. I’m so sorry the meds are still working against you. 😦 I love your prayer, too. Yes, may He help us to hold onto Him and to let Him press us deeper into His healing love! You remain in my thoughts and prayers! Love and blessings of strength and peace for each moment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Trudy,
      Thank you so very much for your loving encouragement! When I look back over my friendship with Patricia, I am also in awe of the ways that He did supply both of our needs. And so I want to continue in that same way of looking to Him, even when it’s so hard. I appreciate your prayers so much, and I pray that you are being met and refreshed during your summer also. Love and blessings to you Sweet Friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So beautiful, Bettie. The older I get (too fast) the more awareness God gives me that life isn’t supposed to be easy! What do we learn from “easy”? No, God is refining us by fire, and it is s process all the way to Heaven. But what Perfect Gifts He gives us along the hard journey. All to bring Glory to Him.
    The laughter you wrote of— I remember telling friends who joined my journey of grief, I almost could hear Roma laughing. And that image of his joy healed my own raw grief in his sudden absence. God is so good and merciful to us!
    Thanks for sharing! (I can finally respond from my phone.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Debbie, as I heard that laughter, I thought of your Dear Roma, and the laughter that flowed through him also! God truly is so good to give us His gifts scattered along these hard paths. Thank you so much for sharing those gifts and your stories with me, Sweet Friend! xoxo

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  8. You’re welcome! 😊
    Thank you for the shout out and for sharing this beautiful story! I especially like your mention of your vision of Patricia laughing for joy with God and the angels in heaven! As the old hymn says, “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus. Life’s trials seem so small when we see Christ. One glimpse at His dear face all sorrow will erase. So bravely run the race till we see Christ.” words and music by Esther Kerr Rusthoi 1979

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    1. Oh I love that hymn, “It will be worth it all.” Truly, my dear friend Patricia has found that out, as all of her trials have faded away in the beauty of Jesus there. I am so thankful that He is preparing that same place of beauty for us as well. Blessings to you!

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  9. Dear Bettie,
    After some gap, I’m back again into my blog and its nice to read your post too.When you wrote about your 2nd Momma, my mind dragged into my memories about my grandma. I don’t knew how much I loved her…no still loving.But now she is away from all the pains and troubles, even though she lived with other faith and beliefs, we had a great love with each other…
    Your writings always helps to think me something deeper and also it drags me into my memories and stages of life.

    In the meanwhile, let me know about you too..How are you Bettie!

    Blessings to you!

    With LoVe……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Dear Athira, I have missed you too! I have prayed for you, asking God to send you His encouragement! And thank you for your encouragement to me. I am leaning and pressing into Jesus thru the hard days. And He is so good to me! I am thankful for the love God gave you thru your grandmother. He blesses us with so much love!

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  10. Thank you for this sweet story of friendship. God is so good to give us a friend just when we need one. I love how you both learned so much from each other. I’m sorry for the loss of your dear friend. I am praying for you and your family as you work through this time of grief.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary,
      Oh, yes, the Lord sent such a great blessing in my friendship with Patricia. Thank you so much for your prayers and love through these days where we miss her so much. Blessings and hugs to you dear sister.

      Liked by 1 person

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