Monday, November 28, 2016

A Lasting Inheritance

Today would have been my Father's 95th Birthday.

Already, he's been gone to Heaven for 20 years,
and my Mother joined him there 7 years ago.

There are days still, when it feels like I could  
 pick up the phone
and hear their voices
checking in on my day, and my home here.

But their HOME has become so much more
than I can now realize,
FOREVER in the presence of Jesus.

Just one year before he left us, my Dad and my Mom
celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary.
They renewed their vows, and we celebrated with them
a love that had stood the test of time.

I longed to give them a meaningful gift,
and finally knew what it would be when I heard this Michael Card song, popular in the '90's.
I hand-lettered the lyrics and framed it specially,
and cried as I let the words sink deep into my heart:




(Thank you, Joy Lenton, for your wonderful post about Advent and Home
over at the Godspace Community that stirred my remembering this week.)


But as this current Season of Transition continues
to bring thoughts of transformation and growth
to my mind,
the looking-back that came through that song
has brought an amazing touch of 
FREEDOM
to my life.

If you had looked at my life as it related to my Mother, 
and if you had known me during any of those years,
you would have seen that ANXIETY
was ingrained,
and WORRY attached itself
to any and every conversation
held with her.

I carried a hidden shame, knowing that
I was required to be the peace-giver
to still those worries,
and take care of the issues
that held her heart in fear.

I carried a hidden shame, knowing that
I could be passing along those 
same weights of anxiety
to my own children.


But just as surely as God uncovers the hidden weaknesses,
He will bring the healing that is needed for
those broken places to be made whole.
And when I read the Bible Verse
given to me today for my daily verse,
my heart leaped in HOPE
because it was the very verse given to me
as I began the journey to pray for those
generational chains
to be broken:


  "Instead of your shame
    you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
    you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours"
Isaiah 61:7 NIV 


Today, my Dad's Birthday,
Today, the day I start physical therapy 
for yet another painful area,
Today is the day I can see the double portion
given to me:

A lasting inheritance to rejoice in!
My Mother and Father are free
in their FOREVER HOME,
and I have been blessed with the 
EVERLASTING JOY
of 
JESUS LIVING IN ME.

My parents gave me the Gift of Jesus,
and 
He brings everything
that I could possibly need:
every healing and
every freedom,
These are my Inheritance.

Can you still your thoughts
and 
ease your burdens down
and 
listen along with me?

What if we could see
during this time of Advent,
and preparing for Christmas,
that HE who came to dwell with us,
is really our 
HOME,
our INHERITANCE,
far more costly and pure
than anything else
handed down through the generations?


Home by Michael Card

"Home is a comfort and home is a light
A place to leave the darkness outside
Home is a peaceful and ever full feeling
A place where the soul safely hides

And being at home should remind you that still
There's a place that's prepared just for you
And I think that my home is just heaven's reflection
As long as my home is here with you

Home is where someone is waiting and loving
And happy to see you again
That half of your heart that somebody else treasures
The one who's your forever friend

But it seems that He's told me, the life that He's shown me
Is a life mostly spent on the road
But when the world's empty charm has done all of its harm
I know that His love waits for me in your arms

'cause home is a comfort and home is a light
A place to leave the darkness outside
Home is a peaceful and ever full feeling
A place where a soul safely hides

And being at home should remind you that still
There's a place that's prepared just for you
And I think that my home is just heaven's reflection
As long as my home is here with you" 




I am linking this week over at these great sites:
#TellHisStory, Jennifer Dukes Lee 
#TeaAndWordTuesday, Meg Weyerbacher 
#LiveFreeThursday Suzie Eller 
 

16 comments:

  1. Bettie, this is beautiful! I lost my dad in 1992, a few months shy of his 66th birthday. My mom died last April at the age of 93. Like you, they gave me the gift of Jesus and I know they are with Him now. I miss them, but their legacy lives on.

    I love that song by Michael Card! I think I have all his albums. His songs are so meaningful and unique.

    Blessings to you, dear Bettie! xo

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    1. Dear Gayl, Oh what a wonderful legacy you have that your parents brought you to Jesus also. Isn't that really the best thing they ever could have done for us? And knowing that we will meet them again one day surely helps on those days of missing them! I'm glad that you are blessed by Michael Card's music also! I think He has such a gift for sharing deep truth through his songs. Blessings and Hugs to you dear friend!

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  2. Awww. I'm so glad you told me you'd written. This is so, so beautiful. Isn't God amazing the Words He brings at just the perfect time. What a blessing. What a tender Father we serve who enters our every tear, fear and pain. Praying over you and your family and looking forward to seeing His healing wholeness continue to grow in and through you.

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    1. Dear Anna, Yes, isn't our Father so tender towards us? In His timing and caring He proves to me over and over again how He has the best in mind for us! I so appreciate your prayers and encouragement. You have been a true blessing from God! May He bring blessing to you!

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  3. What a beautiful reflection on the kind of home we can offer one another and the Forever Home we have in Jesus! I nodded along to the words you shared, these one especially:

    "home is a comfort and home is a light
    A place to leave the darkness outside
    Home is a peaceful and ever full feeling
    A place where a soul safely hides"

    My own home as a girl was far from those things but I treasure the thought of being at home like this with God. Bettie, the loss of our loved ones will feel like a fresh wound sometimes, and we need the salve, the balm of Gilead which only Jesus can provide. None of us can be perfect parents, nor love others as freely as we want to, but we can all rest our wounds and scars in the Saviour's hands, give Him our pain and see how He brings sweet consolation and comfort to our hurting hearts. You are in my thoughts and prayers, dear friend. Blessings and hugs! xox

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    1. Dear Joy, You have such a beautiful testimony of God's transforming and healing power! I am grateful that God has brought to you a comfort, even now, in these days of trial, that you share so richly with your words. Thank you for encouraging me with those words--ever pointing me to the balm and salve of Jesus. Someday we will rejoice when we look back to see the full healing He has brought! Blessings to you dear friend! Hugs xoxo

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  4. Words I needed, Bettie. I always find myself trying pick up anxiety and worry along my days. We have had some hard things come our way again right before Thanksgiving and now too, and I have to remember to keep my eyes on the One who holds tomorrow. Thanks for sharing these memories with us! I am thankful to have my parents still but my mom lost hers at 18 so I cherish what I have all the more, knowing there are ones out there who never had parents to love them here on earth. They are a blessing from the Lord.

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    1. Dear Meg, I am sorry that you have run across some hard things during this Holiday Season. I will keep you in my prayers, asking the Lord to cover you with His peace as He walks you through the trial. And, yes, you are so right that we should cherish the ones the Lord lets us share life with! These days will not come again, and He has precious gifts for us to share together. Sending Hugs your way my friend!

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  5. A beautiful post. May God continue to strengthen and comfort you as you remember the legacy your parents have left. Blessings!

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    1. Thank you, Joanne! Yes, my Lord is so dear to refresh my heart with the gift of His comfort! Thank you for stopping by! Blessings to you!

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  6. Somehow I've missed this Michael Card song . . . until now! Thank you for this gift!

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    1. Hi Michele,
      Oh, what a sweet surprise to find a new Michael Card song! He surely brings the truth of God in such deep ways through his music. Blessings!

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  7. Hi Bettie,
    Praying with you as you start physical therapy! I am pondering your thoughts about your family as you remember this milestone date of your dad's birthday. Your words are beautiful about your mom and dad being free and at home in heaven and thinking of all that awaits us there. Our family relationships are so complex and remembering the past and sometimes painful moves us forward on our healing journey! xo

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    1. Dear Valerie,
      Yes, you are so right that pondering the past, even the painful, can help bring God's healing, especially when we keep our hearts open to Him there. I feel that this time of therapy is part of that healing, both physically and spiritually, that God has planned for me, so I appreciate your prayers so much! xo

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  8. Bettie, I'm so sorry you have to go through more physical therapy. I'm sure it must be painful in those sore, stiff joints. I pray God will be with you and give you strength and daily freedom in Jesus!

    I love that part about home being a safe place to hide. When I'm leaning into and resting in Jesus, I feel more at home than anywhere else. Thank you for reminding me of that Isaiah 61 verse. I, too, carried a hidden shame with my mom. She dealt with depression, and as a child I couldn't understand why I couldn't make her more happy. Seeing her crying would make me wonder if I had done something wrong. I know and understand depression better now, and I know she loved us dearly. At her funeral my brother suggested we sing "No Depression in Heaven," as he had found that song once and she loved it. We didn't hear much about Jesus and His love when we grew up, as the church we went to portrayed God as an unapproachable, angry, vengeful God. But I'm so grateful my parents came to know Him personally later on in life. Advent blessings to you! Hugs!

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    1. Dear Trudy, Thank you so much for your prayers for the physical therapy! I know I need God's help to do what is hard, but what is best for me. Wow,what a precious song that you were able to sing for your Mom's funeral. I had not heard of that! Isn't the love of God so amazing to uncover those hidden areas of shame in such a gentle way? We are the ones who carry the judgement, but He sees us through such mercy! I am glad that your parents found that personal relationship with Jesus! A true miracle for you, and for your family! Thank you for your encouragement and support Trudy! Hugs and Blessings to you!

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