It is almost a year since I started this blog, and I must apologize for dropping off the blog scene. A number of unforeseen, painful events happened shortly thereafter, and I was unable to keep up a good thing. (Thanks Steven for taking the time to comment on my first post. I was looking forward to seeing you in Orlando in July.)
Many of us have been raised by family members other than our birth parents. I was raised by my paternal Grandmother, and Aunt. I spent holidays with my parents, so my Aunt was the Mother I knew. She is a wonderful, strong, caring, disciplined woman. All that I am today is due largely in part to her training and direction. Going to church (The Church of England) was a priority for her and we were compelled to go, even if she did not! I am so indebted to her for her love and guidance.
In February of 2008, returning home from Bible class, I got a call to say my Aunt/Mom had a major stroke on the 20th. I did not lose hope! I expressed all the human emotions, tears, agony, torment, then there were the endless phone calls back and forth to determine her condition. I could only pray, and called on all the God-fearing family I have in the church to pray with me. Prayers were outpouring! And the blessings came pouring down. I traveled to Jamaica to see her and upon my arrival was elated to see her walking and talking. She recovered quickly and at her follow-up visit, the doctor, gapingly said, "I can't belive that this is you who had a stroke 6 weeks ago walking into my office". My response, "God be praised! She had a lot of people praying for her".
In April of 2008, an early morning call awoken us. My husband's father had kidney failure and other complications from diabetes, and is hospitalized. He is not expected to live! Again, all the human emotions were expressed. That was a Sunday morning. In comforting my husband, I had no other recourse but to tell him bluntly, "The doctors are not God! We have seen what God can do, let's keep on praying." Again, we did not lose hope. We mobilized the praying crew. During the response segment at worship, our minister called on the elders, fellow deacons, and the entire congregation to join hands and pray. We claimed the victory on Dad's behalf. My husband traveled home, and Dad got out of the hospital, praising God, and making plans for his next trip overseas.
In October of 2008, my husband's father died. It was difficult. It was sad. It was painful. But we rejoiced. We rejoiced because we knew he died in the Lord. We rejoiced because we were thankful that God prepared us from April. We took great comfort in the knowledge that God gave us a good many months before the final blow of death. We did not have a funeral service, we had a service of thanksgiving for the life of Leonard Williams. We did not lose hope!!
One week before Christmas 2008, my aunt (airline ticket in hand with a Christmas eve travel date to spend some time with us) had a second stroke. I was in the hairdresser's chair when I received the news. I was distraught, but I did what we have grown accustomed to doing - calling on the prayer crew. I did not lose hope. I could not lose hope. I have witnessed first hand what God is able to do if only we trust him and believe in his faithfulness. I believe in the power of prayer, and I am confident that God is able. My aunt is still unable to walk or speak today, her progress is slow, but I am still hoping that God will see her through. Financially, I am not yet able to travel to visit with her, but I am not letting go of my hope and trust in God.
Friends, when all else fails - and we see from our current economic state, that so much CAN fail and HAVE failed - GOD WILL NEVER FAIL. Believe the words of Psalm 37:23-25 ... "If the LORD delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand." Visualize God's hand holding you up! Isn't that a comforting feeling? Wow!! Keep hope alive in a God who is faithful in all that He promised! Be encouraged!