I've had so many blog posts started in my head. Now that I have a quiet house I don't know what direction to go...
I'm going to go with the one about my conversation with Pastor Franz the week before he went to be with Jesus.
Meeting Franz changed Lewie's and my life. I'm sure I'm not alone in that statement, because he was the kind of man who saw what people needed to have spoken to them and wasn't afraid to say it. I left every conversation with Franz hugely encouraged , and that last one was the icing on the cake. When I saw the call from him coming through, I rushed to get things quiet before I answered. When I finally did I couldn't hold the tears in, I just wept while he gave me his typical Franz encouragement through his strained voice.
It was like no other conversation I had ever had. It was a conversation from a dying man to a dying woman. Not just that, but from a dying man who had great conviction in his God, that led to a great confidence, which led to a great comfort. Franz had taught us about this, but he was living it. He didn't just tell you how you should trust God, he showed you.
That was the tone the conversation took. Two dying souls reflecting on their , with great anticiaipation , eternal reward. It was the most beautiful conversation and I was so privileged to have been a part of it. I still thank God for that priceless gift He gave me.
I was glad to be able to share with Franz how blessed Lewis and I had been by his "Oh Lord" sermon from Psalm 86, where Franz shared about King David's deep conviction in who God is, which gave David great confidence in his God, which led to a great comfort. The deep conviction I
have in God, in who He is and who He will faithfully continue to be for me, for Lewis, and our
children. I have a great confidence that He is for me and He is for them, and this gives me a great comfort.
That conviction and confidence I have in my Lord, gives me comfort in that He will be with them
when I cannot. I think that's the hardest part for me, I won't b able to hold them when this saddens
hits their life. But God will. I cling to that because I know it's truth. He can use this very thing that at the beginning, I worried would turn them away from God, and He can make it the very thing that solidifys their devotion to Him. When that worry crosses my mind He has been so faithful to replace it with this truth. I don't know how my kids will respond to God when He takes me, but I know I can trust that He is for them. He has also given me 2 years, 9 month and counting to share my convictions
and confidences about the God I serve, with them along, with the comfort that that brings me and can
bring them. The Lord has given us time to say a long good bye.
Things got pretty bad in June, July, and August, so much though that I had shared with Franz that I was asking God to please just take me, but would end with, "No Lord, your timing, You're will, not
mine." And with Gods help, I meant that. Even though I so wanted to be done with this fight. I wanted His timing more.
Franz left me with a couple more gifts before we hung up. he asked me, "what will you be able to do in heaven that you can't do here on earth?" "You will walk by sight!" I won't need to ask God allowed
my questions. The moment I arrive in heaven they will all be answered because I will be walking by
sight . Praise God! There will be no need to ask God, " why ?" and " what was this for?" I will already know.
As the conversation began drawing to a close, Franz quoted from Psalm 116 for me. we were on the phone so he could have read it. but I'm confident that it was one that he had memorized and was holding to, as I am know.
1. I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and
2. Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will upon Him as long as I live.
3. The pains of death encompassed me,
And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me;
4. Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
"O Lord , I implore You, deliver my soul!"
5. Gracious is the Lord, and righteous:
Yes, our Lord is merciful.
6. The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.
7. Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
8. For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
9. I will walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.
10. I believed, therefore I spoke,
"I am greatly afflicted."
11. I said in my haste, "All men are liars."
12. What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits towards me?
13. I will take up the cup of salvation,
And I will call on the name of the Lord.
14. I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people.
15. Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His saints.
(At this verse he paused and repeated this part to me several times, slowly, and stressing the "precious" a little more each time he read it. I felt God must have put this verse 15 there just for us dying souls)
16. O Lord, truly I am your servant; I am Your servant, the son of your maidservant;
You have loosed my bonds.
17. I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And will call upon the name of the Lord.
18. I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people,
19. In the courts of the Lords,
In the midst of you, O Jeruselem.
Praise the Lord!
I was a weeping mess after this. Being terminally sick, the tears and sadness over leaving those He had given us to love was constant, but so was our victory. He finished with a "Franz prayer". those of you that have experienced this know exactly what I'm talking about. You feel brought into the closeness and intimacy he and the Lord share. It's very special, very humbling, very precious.
I didn't know it would be the last time we would speak here on earth. I was counting on seeing him at our kids first days of school the following week, and had been praying we would both feel up to being there. The Lord had other plans. Franz is now living by sight. With tears, I am looking forward to our heavenly reunion, where there won't be any. Praise the Lord!