Saturday, July 26, 2008

The War is Over...

I wrote the following blog last night when I found out that Leslie went home to Jesus. I just finished reading Tyson's blog.
I would say, at this moment, I am grieving more than I was last night. When Sarah died I was told grief comes in waves. On Tuesday night, on my knees before the Throne of God, I was battling for Leslie. During my prayers I saw a picture of a wave coming over my family, remembered those words about grief, knowing that Leslie would bring the next wave. I don't mean that in a bad way, but certainly you can understand that grief comes in waves... as do the "good" and "bad" times of life. The beautiful thing about belonging to a God who defies all "logic", there is "good" in what we consider "bad". There is hope in what we consider death.

Anna was telling me last week that Tj's (Leslie & Tyson's son), favorite song is "Mighty To Save". I personally loved that song, so to know a 2 year old knew every word I was 1. impressed and 2. thankful - that God chose that song to give Tj a love for. The words are filled with hope. "Savior. He can move the mountains. Our God is mighty to save."

In my moment of wonderment as Anna told me about that, I forgot some of the words. Today at church we worshiped, asked for forgiveness, and generally let the Spirit move us. The last song we sang today was "Mighty to Save".... and I began to cry as I pictured little Tj singing such a powerful truth - and the words sang over me like a blanket of peace...


So with that, as tears continue to roll down my cheeks, I am thankful for Leslie's life, Tyson's life, and Tj's life. All three have ministered greatly to me, and I hope you too. Pray for them with me down the road ahead. And here is my blog post about the end of Leslie's war...

The war is over but she left footprints. The Lord used, and continues to use, Leslie in other's lives. She has touched me more deeply than most in my life. Through their blog I have been blessed enough to stay on top of their lives. Through prayer God has built a giant love for their family. Tj was the first baby I really took a liking to, and Leslie let me babysit. :)

Not only did Leslie touch my life, but she touched Anna's deeply. I believe they were kindred spirits. As Tyson mentioned to Anna they "speak their own language".

I guess things just move faster than anticipated. Tonight Leslie flew home to be with our Maker, Redeemer, and Lord. She is shouting joyfully for she has made it home... to a home we have yet to know but by abundant peace in the Spirit- we can "only imagine." There is no more battle. There is no more waging war. Because of Jesus... Leslie won. The war is over and she got to go home.

Of course after every battle, every war, there is damage. In the heat of battle there is a quake left, lives impacted, and hurting hearts. The end of this war is no different. Leslie leaves a 2 year old son (almost three) and a loving husband. The battle, and war, is not yet over for them. Because of the wounds left on these two soldiers, the "Healer" the "Doctor" must come. I pray for this tonight over Tyson and Tj... and the rest of Leslie's close family and friends... and everyone she touched. That as they sleep, and approach the thrown of grace, that in the midst of their hurt, their pain, and the long road of healing ahead of them... that they can thank the God who created Leslie to begin with. Thank God, who loves Leslie more than they ever could. And thank God that Leslie is healed, made whole, and sits in the arms of the Almighty, Eternal, Everlasting, Loving, God.

Tonight I thank God that He is Emmanuel. That He is with us. That in those precious moments in the hospital, that they were filled with the peace of God as He took her home, but remained with them. I thank God for His power. I thank God for His love. I thank God that she breaths easy in Heaven right now - and that she unites with my big sister until I see them again.

I long for that day. May I live, every day, for Jesus. Because God lived everyday so that He could die for me... God give me the strength to live every day so that I can die for You. Like Sarah did. Like Leslie did. Spread a blanket of peace now...

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The War

In our language (the American English language) we tend to toss around the word "battling" a lot; usually related to sickness. "I'm battling a cold" "I'm battling this cough" "I'm battling cancer"

I have encountered these battles; whether I have gone through them or those close to me have. More recently a friend (view their blog), I've mentioned before, has undergone a serious battle. One in which she didn't ask for, but nonetheless is fighting. She has cancer. It went from her sinus and is now surrounding her lungs. After extensive surgeries, forehead replacement, Leslie and her husband and son are certainly warriors in this battle.

For those of you who don't know Leslie is my sister Anna's kindred spirit. They met years ago and instantly became friends. Leslie has been a rock for Anna, and the roles have switched. Anna's pain from losing our sister Sarah at the point of her cancer spreading to her lungs, is surfacing through Leslie's battle, and is now a battle for her as well. She aches for her dear friend, and has asked me to pray.

I thought - why not take it one step further- there is a world of prayers out there. Across the globe. I would ask that you would pray. describes a battle like so: a hostile encounter or engagement between opposing military forces

This would insinuate that there are teams, or forces, fighting against one another. And typically a battle is part of a war. So in Leslie's case, in your case, who is your force and what is the war?

I believe we have the opportunity to join forces with Leslie in her battle against cancer; while not losing focus of the war that is raging around us. For the battle is not against flesh and blood (Eph 6)... however we can continually pray for one another and our voices will be heard. God exists on earth, it is a matter if we recognize His presence, and ask for His power believing that He is able.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3)- they were asked to denounce the Lord. The said no, throw us into the flames, and we know our God CAN save us... but even if He doesn't, we still won't bow down to your god. So what happened? They were thrown into the flames.... in the dungeon. There was a battle. As they were in the "heat" of the battle (no pun intended) a dude, a guard perhaps, saw not three men in that dungeon walking around (in the flames mind you) but FOUR. (i.e. JESUS) Praise God right? EMMANUEL. But remember, they said "But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

So, lets press forward knowing the victory is in Jesus. He died on the cross that we might have eternal life- so we don't get caught up in the temporary, but live for things eternal. The battles are here, lets fight them, knowing the victory (OVER DEATH) is won. Participate with me in fighting with one another... victories are won in Jesus daily if we fight for THAT force, and not our flesh.

I plead with you - fight the fight for Leslie. Pray for her, pray for the Body of Christ around the world, and pray. Just pray. God is with you. He is listening. He is speaking, if we only let Him!

The Lord talks about these battles, or trials...

"when you will face trials of many kind" (James 1:2)

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. " (Eph 6:10)

And... he talks about fighting.
"Fight the good fight of the faith." (1 Tim 6:12)

And the armor:
"Therefore put on the full armor of God, ... "(Eph 6:13-18)

And from our friend Oswald Chambers... a word on victory.