Passing Time

We were locked out of our car, waiting in the parking lot of Market Basket for the AAA dude. Took this picture to help pass the time. Or, maybe I wanted to mark the time.

We were on our way to my sister’s house, the Historian. It was a very impromptu family gathering. People changed plans and food was thrown together – hence, Market Basket.

One of the things I’d purchased at Market Basket was an apple pie. The Historian had been very sick the past two weeks, not eating much. I knew she would reject apple pie, if I offered it to her. So, I almost didn’t buy it.

Yet, something in me said, “Get it, anyway.”

So much time was passing, I almost thought we should just skip going. I had work to do. She was going to get to see the littles, and that was really what the day was about, I thought.

AAA dude showed up. Cracked our window, but we got the keys and headed to Maine.

That was the last time I would see my sister alive. I look at this picture and the silly spontaneity in it is gone for me. Now, it’s just the last picture of me on the last day I got to see her alive.

I’m so thankful for that day. So thankful everyone came together. God was so kind to us. The last thing my sisters and I did together was pray. I still don’t like God’s answer, but Psalm 116:15 is a good verse to keep in my heart:

His loved ones are very precious to Him, and He does not lightly let them die.
Psalm 116:15

While it is still hard to believe she is gone, it was six months ago this week. Time passes.

As I sat with my sister that afternoon, she said she had a taste for something. “What can I bring you? I’ll bring you anything you like.” “You know, I wish we had some apple pie. That’s what I’d like. A little piece of apple pie.”

God is good.

The Historian

I have two sisters. I gave them nicknames for social media: the Historian and the Philosopher. I don’t know who I am. I guess I would call myself the Director – it’s what we each studied in college.

Anyway, Jill was the Historian. She loved history and studied history and taught history. She kept history, and she wrote history. And, now, she has made history.

You see, two weeks ago Jill left this earth. Her body stopped. Her breath escaped for one last time. And, we who are left behind will now get to remember her for the rest of our own lives. She is a part of our collective history, unique and unforgettable. Incredibly fragile, yet impossibly strong.

Has it really only been two weeks?

Yes, it has only been two weeks. Actually, it has only been 13 days, and it has been difficult. I could not take time from work, because work can’t wait. So, I keep ushering grief outside. I can’t deal with you right now. Yet, it finds its way into my heart again and again. It’s that gentle gust that passes over the window sill and I hear myself saying for the thousandth time, “I can’t believe my sister’s not here.”

Jill kept saying how much she longed for Christmas to come this year. I’d say it came early for her. That is the great comfort I feel in all of this, that she is with Jesus now. She is with God. She is now fully aware of how much He loved her, and how much she pleased Him. She tried so hard. Now, she knows she succeeded. Her efforts were never needed, because her heart was His and He did all the work for her. That makes me glad. Striving has ceased.

There isn’t much more I will share. I just wanted to be sure there was a record, a historical record on my blog, that my sister is gone. She was, and now is forever. Her gone-ness from our lives is painful and is going to take time to accept, but let it be known that one of the most dear has been delivered. Pain has no victory today. Disease has no victory now. The tormentor and deceiver is forever denied another moment of torture. God said, “It’s time. She gets to win today.” It is a loss for us left behind, but she won. She took the victory crown. I can’t believe my sister is gone. I cannot believe she is not there. I don’t like that I am forever deprived of her friendship and laughter and love, but I would never want to take this victory from her. I will love her forever, and when I see her again she will be so excited to tell me what she’s been doing.

I look forward to that.

The Historian

Jill’s Memorial Page
That Is All For Now: Her Personal Website

P.S. Friends, don’t miss a single moment to love, forgive, and give to the people God has given you – the people you were born to, the people who call you family. We don’t choose these people. so it is easy to neglect them for the ones we did choose, the ones whom we judge worthy and qualified. Don’t make that mistake. Mend fences the ones you share history with, the one who knew you before you were allowed to choose your own people, the ones who still choose you even when you reject them. Had Jill passed at other times in our life, I would not have the blessing of being able to say we were in right standing with each other. We worked through the bad times. You can work through them, too. And, if it’s too late, if that person is already gone, ask the Lord to forgive you for that love withheld, the forgiveness you would not give. Apologize to anyone left – their people. Let them have a chance to offer the comfort you need. If they fail to, forgive them, as well. Leave with a clear conscience. Let the Lord do the rest. ❤

Don’t Be Afraid

The forecast is not good.

The warning is for world-wide famine. Food shortages are already obvious in supermarkets. Products just aren’t there anymore. It is unsettling, and the rising costs of what is there can be rather stressful.

However, we must not live in fear. Be aware. Pray. Economize. Apply godly wisdom to your choices. Just don’t be afraid. God is able to keep us in any storm, Christian. He can provide manna and quail from Heaven and multiply a few fish and loaves to feed thousands! We can trust Him.

Personally, I am not stockpiling. I always store a little extra, but that’s because I grew up in Earthquake Country where having a two-week supply of food and water is drilled into you. However, I’m not trying to survive on this earth. I live, because God wills it. If He wills it, He will provide what I need. My life is in God’s hands. He is God of all creation, and He created me to depend on Him.

“God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible. It is not holy writ. It is a dumb saying full of demonic falsehoods. That is not God’s promise to me in His Word. God’s promise to His children is…

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Here’s the key – because every promise of God has a key to unlock it – the key is being in God’s will.

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15

You may ask, “Well, how can I know God’s will?” It starts with obedience to His Word. Has you surrender your will to His, you will find yourself in the center of God’s will for you. That is our place of safety and victory. Allow no compromise in your life. Measure yourself by His Word and ask the Holy Spirit to do whatever it takes. When He prompts you to surrender, obey Him.

The days ahead may be very challenging, but if we learn to walk by faith and not fear we will be safe and secure.