But this time, the prayer warrior needed prayer. She needed a miracle. Desperately, she needed one. Her faith was showcased in a beautiful way, as my Mom pleaded as a child to her Father, requesting this death sentence to be lifted. She knew, without a doubt, that God could work a miracle of complete healing in her broken body, if He so desired. Multiple times in her past God had spared her life, saving her from eternity in Hell. She was well aware of the power worked in her and through her when the God of Heaven reached down and pulled her out of her hopeless, rebellious state, to save her sinful soul. That was an act of God. That was a miracle of which to marvel.
So to me it was no surprise to hear her asking God for another miracle: Total and complete healing. I knew God could do it. I hoped beyond all hope He would. Yet I held myself in check because I was afraid to be taken off guard. In my eyes, knowledge gave me time to prepare emotionally. If I could learn to handle the worst case scenario in my mind, surely I would be okay. Of course, I really wanted to believe that my Mom would be healed. I think I mostly did try to have faith in it for her sake. But somehow, I couldn't make myself believe that healing was going to happen in this lifetime.
And as my Mother's body weakened, breathing got to be more difficult, her arm continued swelling with lymphodema, and her neck grew harder and discolored, I couldn't help but stare at what was clearly in front of me and face facts: Mom wasn't' getting better. Mom was dying.
Yet her fervor grew. Her faith increased. Little moments of fear were immediately overcome with delight in her Savior. A tiny doubt in her heart was quickly defeated by her childlike trust in His plan. She knew he was going to do this miracle. Surely this is why He has her suffering. Surely this is the best way to glorify His name. Surely, this is what God was going to do. And it was going to be awesome.
I loved to see her have joy in her hope, but I hated it at the same time. Reality is what it is. Hoping in what to me seemed to be a pipe dream was a cruel deception to allow anyone to believe. I would never try to paint a perfect picture of my world to disguise a bitter corruption beneath. I wanted my Mom out of pain. But that's about as far as I dare let myself hope.
I remember one of the times she had difficulty breathing and she had to be taken to the ER. Glancing around nervously her gaze fell on me as she spoke, an unusual hint of fear in her voice. "Kelsey, I'm not getting better...". Even so, she trusted God knowing he was in complete control, no matter what. I trusted God too, but what did that mean coming from me, when my Mom was the one who was sick? She was the one living in that disease-filled body. She was the one who was forced to endure so many hours of pain.
Then it finally happened. Early Monday morning on September 29, 2014, Mom passed into the arms of her Savior.
And the revelation of the miracles Mom received was staggering.
In her past, she had received a miracle of healing from sin. God had saved her and brought her to a place where she was living a life that was probably unrecognizable to those knew her before Christ. Going from a steady path of destruction to a 180 turn to God, this miracle was hard to deny. (Please ask me about it if you'd like to know her testimony)
Then, in September 1999, her life produced another miracle. Twins. As a forty one years old with signs of Perimenopause, this miracle was almost impossible to deny. She would later give birth to two others after that, Josiah Ezra and Keturah Abby.
By the beginning of 2014, she had discovered that she had breast cancer. She was gone before the end of September that same year. This brought with it her last miracle. A miracle of healing. It may not have been on this earth, but I know without a doubt that she now lives in joy before her Savior as a new creation, without sorrow or pain. And nothing in this world could ever bring greater comfort and peace.
Her miracle was everything God had done to bring her to himself. Her miracle was the time after time God spared her life, preventing her from an eternity without Him. Her miracle was the unfathomable grace that was shown to someone lost in darkness and rebellion.
Mom was praying that God would showcase his glory through her healing... He did and it was in more ways than she could have ever anticipated. And I believe He will continue to do so for the rest of my life, and beyond.
The morning she died revealed miracles that were amazing. They were undeniable. That night the sun lowered itself below the horizon as it always did, and the next morning it opened up again in bright glorious brilliance. As sure as I could trust it would continue to do so every day of my life, there were no questions or doubt in my mind of God's sovereignty and loving hand.
Requests made by the tender pleading of His trusting child, brought the hand of an omnipotent God into a life who Satan had long since deemed his own. Omnipresent, transcending time, her Father God reached through the space of her existence and intervened. Through His sovereignty and with the knowledge of her future prayer, He guided every moment and detail, and granted Lydia her prayer.
That, my friend, is a legacy that leaves evidence of the power of God which will continue beyond the end of time. It is testimony of His grace that reaches out to the far ends of the earth. Some could even say... It's a miracle.
"The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. May the name of the Lord be praised."