Friday, February 20, 2009

An Awesome Picture in My Mind's Eye

The post that I knew would come, but that still takes my breath as I type...

Mrs. Sharon Neidrach went to be with Jesus a little bit ago.  Her legacy will live on for so many years through her children and her grandchildren and those of us she adopted as her own through our growing-up years.  There are many people in my life that have shaped me into who I am today, and Mrs. Neidrach is one of those people.  Though she was, maybe, a quiet force in my life, she was nonetheless very much a force in my life.  As I read on the internet the other day, she always had dirty knees.  Why?  Because she was on them praying for us as we traveled down the road life had for us, and for that I am a better person.  

Thank you, Mrs. Neidrach, for the force you were, no, ARE, in my life.  Though you are watching me from your Heavenly Home now, I know that you are still watching over all of us, praying us through this craziness called life.  I am honored to be one of those you dirtied your knees for and only hope to live up to the prayers you prayed over me.  I promise to tell my daughter about you and the tenderness with which you loved us and taught us, and I promise to honor my mother the way you always asked us to.  

Thank you, Mr. Bob, Amy, Wendy, Jim, and Nancy, for sharing your beautiful wife and mother with us.  Amy and Wendy, thank you for being such the great role models that you are in my life.  Wendy, thank you for the line dancing lessons at Camp Cherokee.  Amy, thank you for being the best 9th grade homeroom teacher on your stage in your classroom that anyone could've asked for.  Nancy, thank you for teaching me what it means to appreciate a mother that prays continually for her child.  Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to pray for you over the years, and for allowing me to watch your mother pray, too.  Jim, thanks for being the model of what a great man of God should be when I looked for someone to marry- I always said I wanted to marry someone big and strong like Jim.  Mr. Bob, thank you for sharing your wife and your family with us over the years.  Thank you for joining Mrs. Sharon in prayer for all of us.  Thank you for the force that you are in my brother's life now.  

Now, to the title of the post...  It wasn't that long ago, August 10, 2008 to be exact, that my cousin Robert Whatley went to be with Jesus.  His pathway home?  Multiple Myloma- another form of that horrible disease we call cancer.  But, like Mrs. Neidrach, he fought the good fight- and he, like she did, fought it well past when the doctors said he would.  He heard the words a few months ago that she hears now, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."  Now, tonight, as our hearts ache here on earth, Robert just walked alongside Jesus and welcomed Mrs. Neidrach Home.  

When there are no words of my own, I echo these, the words to a God-breathed worship song:

There is Love, that came for us
Humbled to a sinner's cross
You broke my shame and sinfulness
You rose again, victorious!

Faithfulness none can deny
Through the storm and through the fire
There is truth that sets me free
Jesus Christ who lives in me.

You are stronger, You are stronger
Sin is broken, You have saved me.
It is written, Christ is risen,
Jesus, You are Lord of all.

No beginning and no end
You're my hope and my defense
You came to seek and save the lost
You paid it all upon the cross.

You are stronger, You are stronger
Sin is broken, You have saved me.
It is written, Christ is risen, 
Jesus, You are Lord of all.

So let Your name be lifted higher,
Be lifted higher, be lifted higher!

You are stronger!

Tonight, I choose to focus on the fact that Jesus is stronger than any hurt, grief, or confusion we may feel.  He's even stronger than any rejoicing we express that she isn't hurting any more, or any excitement that we feel that she's finally Home.  Thank You, Jesus, for being stronger than we are!

Welcome Home, Mrs. Neidrach.  Your fight is over, and your prize is there for the claiming!

Intentionally,
Mary Beth

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