A Spring Never Failing

 

 

spring 10.20.19

(photo taken at Como Park Conservatory, St. Paul, MN, 2014)

 

The therapist pushed gently on my back and at the same time rested her hand above my heart.  And I heard the Lord ask me to give Him my heart.  Like Peter, I was hurt by the question. “Lord, you know I have given you my heart!”

But His answer cut to the deep places as I realized that what He said was true:

“You have given Me your spiritual heart, but I want your physical heart and soul too. You have been trying to guard your physical heart on your own. But you can’t do that any longer. It’s too hard for you. You guard it best by letting Me hold you and guard you as only I can.”

 

Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 NIV

 

The past few weeks had been hard. Harder than I wanted to take the time to admit: another medication failure that had left me reeling from violent nightmares and hallucinations; more Doctor’s questions pointing to possible new diagnoses; and finally an allergic reaction to the cleansing preparation used for the occipital nerve block. No wonder the therapist felt such tightness as she held her hand over my heart.

But my memories weren’t resting on just these past few weeks, no they had drifted all the way back to 1965, and the kindergarten class with my favorite teacher: Mrs. McManus . . .

 

~~~~~~

 

Bettie with Alice 65

 

The young girl eagerly walked the hallways of her new school. She had thought she could never leave her mother’s side, but another affection had slipped in to woo her to the classroom: the pretty young teacher who read aloud in the book corner every day.

Oh, if someday the girl could be like her teacher, what a wonderful thing that would be! She moved through the classroom so gracefully and called the students to embrace new things. Learning could be fun!

Until the day the movie projector was set up. What could possibly go wrong with a special cartoon movie? It was meant to help the young girl know how to care for her teeth. No one in the 1960s could realize the horror that a young child might take upon herself when the little “guard soldier” fell asleep on the job because his “master boy” had forgotten to brush his teeth.  No one could see the sobs beginning to form as that young girl witnessed the scary germs attacking “master boy’s” teeth and mouth.

No one that is, except the beautiful young teacher. She scooped up the girl and let her sit on her lap as she sobbed out her fears. She held her while the other students looked on in shock. How could it be that bad?

That little girl’s mother had already faced many scary attacks from her own illnesses. When the little girl’s class was mistakenly shown the very same movie the next day, by a substitute teacher, the little girl made a choice deep within her heart. NEVER would she fall asleep on the job like that little “master boy” had done. She would set a guard over her care, she would help her mother in any way she could.

And the course of responsibility was set in motion . . .

 

~~~~~~

 

But the cares and responsibilities for these illnesses, these germs, that have attacked my own systems have heaped up and heaped up beyond the point of my care. All the years of being responsible could not stop the rush of those diseases from invading my body. Try as I might, I could no longer guard my own health, only feel shame at the neglect I felt I had somehow fallen into.

 

Have you fallen into those same places of shame?

Is the responsibility more than you can bear?

 

Listen with me as the Lord would call us to offer our hearts and fears to Him.

Come with me as He invites us onto HIS lap, in the same way that my favorite teacher scooped me up, and laid such a precious foundation in my heart.

 

The fears and the guarding are too heavy for us.

But Jesus invites us to be held by Him, to give over the guarding to Him.

 

Just so that I would not be able to “tuck away” this story, and hide it for another day, Jesus sent an incredible confirmation to me the very morning after this memory was stirred in my heart.  When I checked in to Facebook, my hometown’s memory page had shared a post written by my kindergarten teacher. My heart did a double-take, as I wondered if I was dreaming again.

Mrs. McManus answered my reply, that it was indeed her, and the tears burst forth again like they had more than 50 years ago.  God knew that His lesson would be confirmed in my heart, as He reminded me of His gift from so long ago.

 

He always makes a way to redeem those wounds and to restore those beautiful moments in our lives.

And His timing is always the best.

 

Would you join me in prayer today?

 

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for keeping Your compassion and purpose alive in our hearts. Thank You for holding us through every weight of fear and confusion that settles over our lives. Please forgive us for trying to guard our hearts by ourselves. Show us how to offer back to You every part–body, soul, and spirit–as one to You.  We are stunned by the lengths You will go to show us how deeply You care for us. Thank You for the promise of life-giving water flowing from Your heart to ours.  We love You our dear Gentle Shepherd.

In Your name, we pray,

Amen.

 

 

And the Lord will guide you continually
    and satisfy your desire in scorched places
    and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water,
    whose waters do not fail.
12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
    you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
    the restorer of streets to dwell in. Isaiah 58:11-12 ESV

(Thank you to two dear friends, who don’t know each other, and they didn’t know I was working on this post, but God prompted them both to send these beautiful Scriptures.)

 

 

 

**This post is written in tribute to my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Joan McManus Bardsley. Thank you for planting a seed of caring and being held. God is causing that seed to bear fruit in my life during this season of weakness.  Thank you for showing such love to one little girl, amongst all the hundreds of other children you have cared for.**

 

 

I am linking this week with:

#LMMLinkup

#TellHisStory

#TeaAndWord

 

35 thoughts on “A Spring Never Failing

  1. Bettie, So sorry you have had such a time with medications. And nightmares. That is terrible.
    But how awesome to reconnect with a special teacher. love and prayers, my friend

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mandy, Thank you so much for your prayers, they mean so much to me! And yes, it was an incredible gift to connect with my kindergarten teacher after more than 50 years. God knows exactly how to keep our heart fixed on Him! Blessings, love, and prayers to you also, dear friend!

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  2. Oh Bettie, my heart breaks for you……….I know those deep seeded feelings that somehow we have failed ourselves but it is not true………we live in a fallen world and things happen beyond our control. I so wish I could sit with you, talk with you and just let you know how much you are loved by our Heavenly Father (which I know you know ) but also all of us here that visit you. Sending of prayers for healing………in Christ there is ALWAYS hope!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear Wendi,
      Oh, thank you for your precious encouragement. The hope of our Lord is indeed such a beautiful gift for us, every day. I pray that the Lord would open my eyes to see more and more of the love that He bears for us. You have been such a blessing through your prayers and thoughts, dear friend! May you be blessed and held so close tonight too! Love you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bettie, it is such a pleasure to pray for you! I am so thankful that I am that we have “met” here on WP and able to encourage each other through our trials. If you have specific prayer requests please let me know…..fyi – i am going to head to your contact page to see if i can send you an email……

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh thank you so much dear friend. Yes, I am so glad that the Lord led us to connect here also. His ways are so amazing to me. I am very grateful we can pray for each other!! And I will watch for your email. xoxo

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lisa,
      Oh, that Scripture is such a beautiful confirmation from the Lord. He continues to speak through Song of Solomon verses! Thank you dear friend! May you feel His arms supporting you today and this week in all that you have scheduled too.

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  3. Dear Bettie,
    Thank you so much for not tucking this story away, but sharing it with your readers here. What a beautiful confirmation of God’s love and care! And to reconnect with your teacher from so long ago – what a blessing! Little did she know at that time how God would use her act of kindness. So thank you are sharing your journey here. You have been through so much, and I pray God would continue to comfort and strengthen as you rely on Him. Much love and many blessings to you, my dear sweet sister/poet/friend! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Gayl,
      Thank you for all of your prayers and encouragement to keep writing and sharing. Your friendship means so much! And yes, I am still overwhelmed at the precious gift of connection with my old teacher. Her kindness and love were such a gift for me. And God knew just the right time to bring His words home to me through it all. I pray that we would keep listening to His words in our heart. Much love, blessings, and hugs to you too, my dear poet/sister/friend! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sitting in my kitchen floor, waiting for dinner to cook and I am in tears as I read this. I am struggling so bad this exhaustion and weak legs and trembling muscles and no one has answers other than thyroid and hormones and I don’t know which way to turn. I feel that same shame – that I somehow didn’t take good enough care of what God gave me and now my body is falling apart. Just before I read this I was praying about it all, claiming healing like I have before and wondering why it never seems to work and here is your post – reminding me to let Jesus take over the battle for my health. I’m praying things work out with your medicine soon. Thank you for your posts. They are so beautifully written. You really need to put them in a book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Dear Lisa, I am crying also, reading how the Lord touched you at just the right time. He is so amazing to bring us Himself, isn’t He? We think we need answers to satisfy us, but the answer is always Him, and listening for His guarding and guiding. Thank you so much for your precious prayers for me also. I am so thankful we can lift each other to Him. May He cover you with His grace tonight, and pour His strength into every weak area. And may we both keep letting Him lift away drop of shame. His beauty is such a precious gift for us. Blessings, love, and gentle hugs for you dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry for all the pain, difficulties, and failed medications, Bettie. What a blessing that God confirmed His love and care for you by bringing to mind that caring seed from so long ago. Thank you for sharing what God speaks to you. It comforts my heart. How true it is that “The fears and the guarding are too heavy for us. But Jesus invites us to be held by Him, to give over the guarding to Him.” May we allow Him to hold us and guard us as only He can! Love and blessings of strength for each moment!

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    1. Dear Trudy, Thank you so much for all of your support and encouragement through the years here. I was reading some of my old posts, looking for something specific, and I was so blessed to read all of your comments and the ways that you have shared the blessing of God with me. He truly lets us know how faithful and secure His guarding is! And, yes, may we allow Him to hold us every day! Blessings, love, and strength for you this week also. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Bettie, I’ve been out of the loop again. I’m so sorry your pain has not be alleviated, but I’m always excited to read that God makes Himself known in amazing ways and guides you through your trails. You are such a witness to all of us. Life is just hard. Jesus warned us, but aren’t we thankful He has overcome the world? Praying for your strength and wisdom for your doctor, and your continued joy in HIM, when the world is so broken. Love you dearly!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Debbie,
      I’m so grateful for all of your prayers and support! And oh, how thankful I am that He told us to take HEART, that He has overcome the world. What a precious thought, as He is asking me to let Him guard my heart–it is HIS heart that we cling to, knowing that He has overcome for us. Thank you for sharing here today, and for all of your encouragement. Blessings, love and hugs to you my dear friend! xoxo

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  7. Wow! Why do enjoy making your big brother cry like a blubbering baby? Today’s word will be helpful to Joyce! I got better news thought heart getting worse but echo confirms about same operating about half. So half a heart better than no heart! Praying for you! Big Bro

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, it’s only fair that if I am blubbering, then you should too! It runs in the family I guess. 🙂 I am so thankful that your heart is operating at half! You are a true miracle! I am so thankful that God keeps us praying for each other. Love you Big Bro!

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  8. Oh, wow! That is amazing how you reconnected with the very teacher you were thinking and writing about! I am so thankful the Lord orchestrated that for you, dear friend. May He bless and give you relief. Praying for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, our Lord is just so amazing, isn’t He? He keeps that wonder alive in our hearts when we look up to Him. I appreciate your prayers so much Dear Friend. May I let Him guard my heart more & more every day. Love & Prayers for you too!

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    1. Dear Lynn, I am so thankful that the Lord met you with His encouragement today. Yes, His timing is always just what we need. It might not be in my own timing, but His is so much better. Thank you for encouraging me today also, dear friend. Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Bettie, I think this is my all time favorite post from you. Oh how we attempt to guard ourselves and control every aspect of our lives thinking we can protect ourselves. What if we really did just let go and fall back in the arms of He who made us and loves us best. My prayers are with you always for healing in the deepest places. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lisa, thank you so much for your sweet encouragement! Oh, yes, what if we did indeed just let go and fall back into Him. He created us and He has His own good purposes still in mind for us. May I keep listening to His call. I appreciate your prayers so much dear friend. May the Lord bless and keep you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you are right! It really did feel like direct mail right to me when I saw that post on Facebook. God’s timing is always so much better than anything I could try to strum up on my own. Love and blessings to you! xo

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  10. Oh Bettie, I am overcome at how the Lord worked this all together for you! Wow! What a mighty God we serve! That He would bring back that memory from so long ago, remind you of deep fears, like those we all carry from childhood in one form or another, and then bring you wave after wave of comfort. The therapist’s hand, Jesus’ gentle reminder to let Him carry all of you, the kindergarten teacher and the fact that you were able to actually correspond with her. Just incredible. I am simultaneously challenged to my core and uplifted to the heavens as I read. If Jesus would ask you to give Him more of your heart, then I know He is asking me for more of the same. I pray that I will be as in tune with the promptings of His Holy Spirit, that I can experience His personal touch and care as I surrender to Him.
    I’m keeping you in prayer, dear Bettie. My heart hurts for you, to hear of all these setbacks. May His steadfast love hold you in dark of night. Blessings and love and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Dear Melissa, your prayers and love mean so much to me. And, yes, our Lord is so amazing to make sure that we will hear His promptings. I am so amazed at how He goes out of His way to bring us those reminders! Those surrenders to let Him guard my heart have continued even more deeply throughout this week. But that is His way, isn’t it? He just keeps asking for more surrender so that we can receive more of His heart for us. Your words here are such a blessing to me, dear friend. Blessings, love and prayers for you also.

      Liked by 1 person

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