Chapter Seven ~ Whispers of Promise

Heartache is hearing her sentence . . .

Heartache is seeing your beautiful daughter handcuffed and taken to jail . . .
 

Heartache is not being able to hug her . . .

Heartache is answering your grandchildren when they ask if Mom and Dad will be with them for Christmas: “No, honey.”

And Jesus Whispered ~ 
Although the mountains around you are shaken, Kathi, and the hills are broken down, my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor will my promise of peace be removed. I am the Lord who has compassion for you and your precious grandchildren.
 
 
 
The evening of the sentencing was especially difficult for all of us. After the children were sound asleep and I had knelt by their beds and prayed, I went back into their bedrooms, checking on them all through the night, whispering one word prayers to the Father: Bless. Comfort. Touch. Heal.  Moving about our home throughout those unsettling nights, I felt the presence of the One who never slumbers or sleeps.
 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(An excerpt from When Life Roars, Jesus Whispers ~ Chapter 7 ~ Whispers of Promise)
by Kathi Waligora .
 
 
 
 
 
 

… nothing can separate the love of a mother and her daughter

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Do not park in the front drive.

Do not take anything into the visiting room.

Sit at all times.

Do not touch the glass.

And so we sit, the glass between us. My hand reaches to her –  as it did when she came out of my womb. She is still my baby girl. Our hands are near. And I can feel her soft skin just as if I were touching her. We talk through a phone. We speak of love and forgiveness. We speak of redemption. We speak of a future.

And it reminds me of  the love of God. The love that takes the things in our lives, even the bad, and works those things for good to those of us who love him. It reminds me of His forgiveness. Of my redemption in Him. Of my future.

And we rejoice together. Because, you see, nothing can separate the love of a mother and her daughter.

A buzzer sounds. Our time together is gone. Our hands separate. I leave for now, saddened by our present circumstances but rejoicing in the nearness of God.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble . . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35, 37-39

Long-standing Prayer

I had written my name inside the book, as I always do, along with the date: Kathleen Waligora, August 2005. I don’t know why I put the book away and never read it at that time. I’m certain it’s an awesome book – Jesus the One and Only – because the author, Beth Moore, is an awesome writer. But I hadn’t read beyond the first chapter, “Unexpected Company.”

So today, I began reading the book – once again.

In the first chapter, I read about Zechariah, the old priest whose turn had finally come to offer the incense at the daily sacrifice – a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was reminded that the time had been ordained by God. I was reminded that Zechariah must have prayed for a son while he was inside the holy place. I was reminded that God’s power is infinite and His grace and mercy have no end. Beth Moore writes that God wanted to meet “the desire of his [Zechariah’s] heart,” that “God was simply waiting for the perfect time.”

It was then that I read on – to the next page – and I saw my handwriting from 2005 (I almost always annotate my reading!) Amber & Jesse, I had written those eleven years ago.

Amber & Jesse.

Instantly I knew where my heart was eleven years ago: It was broken. It was wounded. It was aching. My underlining of portions of the passage further revealed the condition of my heart at that time and the hope I had – in Jesus, the One and Only:

Do you have a long-standing prayer concern? . . . don’t grow weary mechanical. Like Zechariah and Elizabeth, continue to walk faithfully with God even though you are disappointed. Walking with God in the day-in/day-out course of life swells your assurance that God is faithful and enjoyable even when a request goes unmet . . . Zechariah waited a long time for God’s answer, but when it came, it exceeded everything the priest could have thought or asked.

I remembered my “long-standing prayer” of 2005 for my daughter Amber and her husband, Jesse – a prayer that had already gone on for many years. Now, looking back, I realized that my “long-standing prayer” continued yet another seven years – until 2012 before it was answered, but like Zechariah’s answer to prayer, when my answer came, “it exceeded everything [I] could have thought or asked.”

I had asked for bits of grace and mercy. I received abundance.

So now, as I continue reading Jesus the One and Only, I will again annotate. I will again note specific prayer requests and passages of promise from God’s Word. And as I do, my faith will be strengthened in remembering that our God’s power is infinite, that He waits for the perfect time. I will find comfort in Jesus, the One and Only.

7-17-2016

Never lose hope, your expectation!

. . . and your children I will save. Isaiah 49:25b

Your children I will save!

Awesome words!

Powerful words!

 Promising words!

Healing, encouraging words for the parent and the grandparent.

The promises are so great!

I don’t know God’s will about my job, about which car to drive, about whether or not to replace the carpeting in my living room. But I do know His will about my children! The Bible is filled with promises about my children — so many that as I read them, I list them and often return to remind myself of God’s desires.

I know it is God’s will that my children honor Him.

I know it is God’s will that my children will be taught by the LORD, that

they are established in righteousness,

they continue the heritage of His kingdom,

they are blessed by Him,

they have plenty,

they have a secure fortress and refuge in the Lord, and that

they have great peace.

He tells me to pray. And so I continue to pray.

 

~~ ~~  ~~  ~~

You see, this is their heritage. And we, as parents, shall never, ever give up praying for their heritage.

He saves!

He saves my baby when he is sick;

He saves my child from danger;

He saves my child, lost in his sin;

He saves the ill, the weak, the down-trodden.

~~I pray for the baby.~~

~~I pray for the child.~~

~~I pray for the lost child.~~

 

~~I pray for the ill, the weak, the down-trodden.~~

Again I return to those words. I unfold those words. I cry out to God. It is my heritage.

And it is your heritage. Unfold those words. And never give up. Never lose “hope,” your expectation!

Pray the Word for your children: I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1: 17-19

 

Further reading: Psalm 24:6, 25:13, 119:130; Proverbs 14:26; Deuteronomy 28:4; Isaiah 54:13, 17b, John 14:11-14

 

 

 

“Are you the one?”

They asked Jesus, “Are you the one . . . or should we expect someone else?”

Jesus replied, “Go back and report . . . what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”

(Matthew 11:3,4)

~~  ~~  ~~  ~~

I ponder this scene in my mind. They come to Jesus to inquire, “Are you the one we’ve been expecting?”  You see, they knew the Messiah was coming. They had been awaiting the fulfillment of the prophecy for a very long time. But they just weren’t sure if this Jesus was the one.

Jesus responds, “go back and report . . . what you hear and see.”

 So I “report” some of the amazing things He has done for my family and for me, “the poor.”

~~  ~~  ~~  ~~

My husband,Ron, and I raised our children to know the love of God and His amazing grace. They knew what we wanted for them; they knew what God wanted for them; but, as adults, of course, their choices were their own.

Our youngest  daughter and her husband “tried” to follow what “we wanted” for them. They attended church for awhile, possibly trying to please us, maybe thinking it was the right thing to do, but they did not seem to have a relationship with God. Soon, they wandered far from us, from the church, and seemingly from their God.  He was “their God” because, you see, God calls us. He ordained us before the world began, and He had ordained our Amber and her husband, Jesse.

Amber and Jesse went through years of turmoil. Lifestyle and life choices brought them heartache and sorrow. They were depressed. They lost their jobs. A house fire put them out of their home for 18 months. When the home was finally restored, they lost it back to the bank. Then Jesse’s beautiful mother died, much too young. They were both very close to her, and the loss devastated them.

We observed their depression. But we didn’t know of their addiction.

Our hearts ached for them. We were angry. We were sorrowful. We were sad. We pled. We cried. We begged. We suffered in our own way. A terrible way. A way that only a mother, father, or grandparent can know. A way that eats at your soul and steals your sleep, while it agonizes your mind and your body. An enemy is present and he preys upon your family. We try to change things. We try to make things better. But we can’t.

We share the only thing we can share – the good news. The good news that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.  That he died on the cross for them – in their place. That He rose again for them. That He loves them. That He has planned abundant life for them. That it is a free gift.

Then we pray. We cry and pray. We plead to God. We read in His Word that there is victory in Jesus. We read that He – our Lord God – is GREATER than the enemy. We read that the name of Jesus has power over the enemy. And we say that name over and over and over and over and over and over . . .

And I place that powerful name in writing. I write letters to my daughter! God’s Word enters her home. God’s Word is placed in her hands. And God’s Word is in front of her eyes.

I claim that name – the name of Jesus – for my family! I rebuke the enemy. I tell him that he no longer has control over my family. My Lord Jesus died on the cross and rose again for my family, and our Almighty God has the victory in our family. His Word is filled with promises for my family. The enemy is no more!

. . . he answers [her] from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. . . we trust in the name of the Lord our God. (Psalm 20:6)

~~  ~~  ~~  ~~

 “Go back and report . . . what you hear and see,” Jesus says.

I hear a phone call in the middle of the night. I hear a message – a message I don’t want to hear. I see my daughter and her husband in shackles – a sight I don’t want to see.

I hear God’s comforting voice, speaking to me in my deepest pain. I see his angels surrounding me. I feel His tender arms holding me, lifting me up when I feel I can’t go on. I experience His amazing grace and His unfailing love that pulls me through the agonizing moments of each day.

~~  ~~  ~~  ~~

 “Go back and report . . . what you hear and see,” Jesus says.

I hear and see a miracle. The dreaded message of that dark night changes to the good news of a the Light of the World – and the shackles of bondage and addiction are removed forever. My daughter and her husband are transformed by the power of the resurrected Christ. They give their lives to the Lord Jesus, the God of miracles.

~~  ~~  ~~  ~~

“Go back and report . . . what you hear and see,” Jesus says.

I hear my daughter and her husband speaking of God – their God – telling of His amazing, saving grace. I see their changed lives. I see light where there was darkness. I see a bright and promising future. I see a new love and a new life. I see a couple nurturing their wounded children, parenting them, loving them, and guiding them in the love of the Lord. I see Jesus.

~~  ~~  ~~  ~~

They asked Jesus, “Are you the one . . .?” (Matthew 11:3)

“Yes, Lord,” [I] tell him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” (John 11:27)

Yes, my friend, Jesus is the one!

He is the Jesus of Miracles. He is the Jesus who heals the broken-hearted and mends broken families. Jesus has compassion for you.He can heal your broken heart and mend your broken family. Jesus died on the cross to save you. He can change your life. He can change your family’s lives. Call upon him in prayer today.

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Tomorrow at midnight, . . .

Tomorrow, at midnight, her daddy will be at the back door of the building.

Tomorrow, at midnight, her daddy will pick her up – his precious daughter – his youngest daughter.

She’s coming home – to her new life – free of the addiction, guilt, and darkness of the past.

She’s coming home – to her children – her beautiful children who have weathered the storm and are awaiting the comfort of their mommy’s arms, awaiting the sound of her voice, the coconut fragrance of her hair, and the touch of her fingers stroking the nape of their necks as she sings them to sleep.

—  —  —  —

She’s coming home – to her new home – a big yellow house bathed in love and steeped in tradition and heritage.

—  —  —  —

Her recovery is complete; her debt is paid; her punishment is over.

She will step out and breathe in the cold, crisp, fresh air.

And she’ll thank God for the new life He has given her.

And tomorrow at midnight, I’ll thank God again, as I promised Him last year – and forever and ever – for the new life In Christ He gave my precious daughter – my youngest daughter.

 

Things I’ve learned in the last week . . .

Things I’ve learned in the last week or so.

~~ ~~ ~~

1) Perils arise, but God is still God.

He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

He loves,

   He cares,

      He comforts,

         and He heals.

~~ ~~ ~~

2) People care.

They pray;

   they bring food;

      they write notes;

         they send gifts;

            they call;

               they send money;

                  they give hugs.

Sometimes  I’m surprised to experience this care.

Then I realize again that I don’t know it all.

~~ ~~ ~~

3) Pain is real, no matter what.

Someone may think your problem is not that big, but it’s big to you!

So it’s big to God.

I’ve learned to recognize the intensity of other’s problems.

~~ ~~ ~~

4) Many people have much greater burdens than I do.

Some have the Lord to help them through;

    some don’t.

I want to be the hands and feet of Christ to both–my hands extended in love and in prayer and praise, my feet running to meet their needs.

~~ ~~ ~~

5) Being a mother is joyful.

It is also painful.

It involves entrusting your child (and grandchild) to the Lord God. At Christmas, I am reminded how a young, innocent, virgin mother began learning to do just that.

This Christmas, I am observing my beautiful daughter entrusting – day by day – moment by moment.

I am thankful for motherhood and nanahood and a God in whom I trust.

~~ ~~ ~~

6) Christmas is one of the saddest times to suffer and endure.

~~ ~~ ~~

7) Christmas is one of the greatest times to remember why I suffer and endure. And to remember who suffered and endured for me, in my place.

(Look for my upcoming posting: Things I’ve learned about Christmas . . .)

I won’t be receiving a Tony Award this year.

The date was set.

   The courtroom was reserved.

      The orchestration had already been assigned, and guess what?

            I hadn’t been chosen for the job.

I had wanted to do it; I had wanted to be able to arrange everything. To set the “stage” for the sentencing.  Just the right people there. Exactly the right things to be said. I had it all planned. I thought. But the orchestration position belonged to someone else – Almighty God.

So I sat back and trusted God–something I’ve been learning to do for quite some time. To trust Him to orchestrate the events.

He began the orchestration quite some time ago, before the creation of the world (1). He created her inmost being, her special talents, her tender soul. Then He knit her beautifully together–her delicate face, her porcelain complexion, her thin fingers– in my womb (2).

And while she was in my womb, I loved her. I planned how I would care for her, protect her, guide her, keep her. He had the same plans for her and more! Plans to prosper her and protect her, plans to give her hope and a future (3).

 

Time passed. I failed. She failed. We all failed Him (4).

 

I kept trying to orchestrate the events in her life. I kept applying, but over and over, I was never hired for the position.

I began to trust Him more. I learned to depend upon one thing — His Word. I trusted Him in it.

I prayed that Word with her, to her, for her.

 

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance, and his incomparably great power for us who believe . . . (5).

It seemed chaotic at first, like total discord, dissonance, cacophany! But then it happened!  The Great Orchestrator–the one who had written the composition, had arranged all the parts, and had adapted that beautiful composition to our broken lives–that Great Orchestrator, in His great mercy, brought all the parts of the production together in perfect harmony.

She was redeemed. She became a new creation!

And so each time I think the production is in shambles and needs orchestrated, I remind myself to quit applying for the Orchestration position. There’s someone more qualified, and He does such a perfect job.

So, I won’t be receiving a Tony Award this year.

1) Eph. 1:4

2) Psalm 139: 13

3) Jer. 29:11

4) Rom. 3:23

5) Eph. 1:17,18

You did for me.

The courtroom was full of family and friends–our supporters.
Glenna spoke encouragement.
Jen spoke comfort.
Larry supported my arm as I walked to the car.
Someone prayed.

~~~

Coffee and a long talk with best friends.

Bible study ladies caring, holding, praying.

~~~

We were the least. We were broken.

We were thirsty.

~~~

You received us. You gave us drink.

You were His hands–His feet.

Someone continues to pray.

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Jesus. (Matthew 25:40)

And you did for us.

Further Reading: Matthew 10:40-42

More to come on what I must now do.

(Be sure to read my previous post, “God Is Using You.”)

Thankful for a Future Hope!

“There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off”
Proverbs 23:18

Thanksgiving! Turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie! Sounds wonderful! Our family usually gathers around the table, and before asking the blessing, one by one, we tell what we are thankful for. But this year was different. We didn’t gather. One family went to Decker, Michigan ; one family went to Richland, Michigan; and one family was separated by . . . well, if you have been reading my posts, you already know.

So on this Thanksgiving, Ron and I didn’t feel like sitting around the table.

But we are still thankful!

We are thankful that our children and their spouses love and honor God.

We are thankful for our nine grandchildren and for the two baby boys on the way.

We are thankful that God continues to be our refuge through our most difficult year ever.

We are thankful that we have hope and a future.

And we are thankful that next year we will once again sit around the table, and before asking the blessing, will all tell what we are thankful for.

Further Reading: Jeremiah 29: 10-14