REFLECTION: She’s now in paradise…

She had typed…

“Hi Melissa, what a glorious day it is going to be.   I’m going to be in paradise.  I am waiting at Burnaby General Hospital for the hospice and if you can come by and visit me, that would be great,  see you later; bye bye.  I am currently at A to Z right now, but I’m scheduled to move pretty soon.”    

The e-mail was typed at 4:33 a.m. on August 3rd.  Anne passed on August 30 at 4:00 a.m.  She is now in paradise!  Now liberated from her feeble body that was once weakened by cancer, I imagine her running freely with her hair flowing once again, laughing in excitement as she sporadically runs back to our Father, asking Him about an incident or another of her journey here on planet earth.  If it is possible to be hungry in Heaven, I can also imagine Anne asking for food.

As far as I know, Anne’s appetite never ceased to dwindle.  I once asked our Father about it and I sensed Him say it was symbolic of her hunger for His living Word.  Anne was always so hungry for spiritual food.  Two Saturdays ago, as her young Pastor read to her from the book of Revelations, Anne had mentioned that her body was so tired, but her mind and heart were still so hungry for her spiritual food.  On my last visit with her last Saturday, on the day of her fall, I left Anne with her friend, Bob, reading to her from her Bible.

Several weeks ago, I wasn’t sure why Anne had specifically asked me to read to her from the book of Hebrews.  As I reflect and read through the scripture passages once again, I begin to understand.  She had specified she had wanted to hear about the promises given to each believer.

Hebrews 6.But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

17 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 11  13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15 And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

Today, these scriptures speak to me of Anne’s life.  I still question why, out of the blue, she decided to invite a distant friend to take the journey with her during her last 27 days here on earth.   Perhaps it was to record the victory of her life?

Through her, I had witnessed one who was graced with the steadfast hope on Jesus and the refuge and anchor He had given to her soul as she patiently waited to enter paradise.  While she waited, she  ministered to those who came to visit, bringing about laughter, amusement (as she consumed huge amounts of food – especially cake), and especially blessing them in return with prayers before they left.  Through her, each one who was asked to read passages from the Bible recognized the strength she drew from God’s living Word.  I am now reminded of her “hmmm” after several passages were read… as if to signify that she had chewed on the Word and now had devoured it.  Anne realized she was merely a passing visitor through planet earth and her desire was a “better country…that is, a heavenly one.”

As if by chance, Bob read the following passage to Anne that last Saturday together…

Jeremiah 31:34  34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord.  For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Having heard Anne pray repeatedly for her loved ones, I claimed that passage for them… that soon, no longer would anyone need to tell Anne’s family to “know the Lord, for they all shall know Him.”

Father, this was one of Anne’s last wishes.  May Your gift of faith be received by each of her loved ones so that, one day, they will all be reunited in Heaven.  Lord, we praise You for being glorified in Anne’s life.  We lift up her reposed soul to You.  In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.

God bless,

Melissa – August 31, 2016

 

15 Responses to “REFLECTION: She’s now in paradise…”

  1. In His Time says:

    hi melissa, thanks for sharing, what a lovely inspiring story – Lorraine Ma

  2. In His Time says:

    Beautiful!
    Thanks Melissa,

    I loved reading this. A friend of mine, Elvine, is fading….. In her last days. Too weak to have visitors now. Only one, a baby she looked after 33 years ago, now a woman, is staying at her side.

    God bless you,
    Alba

  3. In His Time says:

    May Anne rest in peace. I hope her daughter and granddaughter were able to be with her before she passed. It’s hard to believe that almost a month has passed since you received her email. She has been in my prayers.

    Take care.

    Debbie

  4. In His Time says:

    I am so happy for Anne but at the same time, sad for her daughter. I have to trust in Jesus as He must have a better plan why He took Anne home before the daughter arrives.

    Lorna

    – I trust the prayers of many had brought her daughter and grand daughter to visit Anne before she passed.

  5. In His Time says:

    Dear Melissa,

    Beautiful reflection!

    Many thanks for sharing her spirituality, her preparation for the journey to Paradise.

    With thanks, love and prayers
    Eva

  6. In His Time says:

    Thanks so much for this inspiring message, Melissa! May her soul rest in His eternal peace. Would you mind if I share this with friends of mine who have loved ones going through the same?

    Pax et caritas,
    Angelita

  7. In His Time says:

    Dear Melissa,

    Praise The Lord !!

    May Our Lord continue to bless you and guide you. You were such a blessing to Anne. You were wondering why she chose to call you “a distant friend”. God called you…and he will continue to call you for others too. You are and will be a blessing to many people.

    Yes, Anne has gone back home…to paradise. May she rest in peace. Hope she meets my sister and that they are both prancing through heaven.

    Blessings,
    Ashanti

  8. In His Time says:

    What an awesome dedication to Anne ! Thank you so much for sharing, Melissa.

    Blessings,
    Laara

  9. In His Time says:

    Dear Melissa,

    Please accept my deepest sympathies. It was evident how special you were to her and how special Anne was to you. It was felt by every email you sent out in regards to her. I pray for you as you enter a period of great sadness in regards to her loss.

    I pray also for the repose of Anne’s soul.

    Big, big hug
    Carolina

  10. In His Time says:

    Dear Melissa,

    Anne showed beauty and joy, hope and peace. May God grant eternal rest to her soul, and comfort her family and friends.

    May God comfort you, too, as you shared her faith with us.

    Love,
    Julianne

  11. In His Time says:

    Dearest Melissa,

    May Anne Rest In Peace, It is an incredible privilege to journey with someone in palliative care. It is a place where you go to be a blessing to your friend and you personally end up being the one who is blessed. This has been my experience. God is good.

    Geraldine

  12. In His Time says:

    M,

    (With tears of joy, and sorrow) may God bless your beautiful friend, Anne, and her family. She is an inspiration. No wonder she called you to be a witness in her/His sacred time (like your blog title..?) and spread that love and joy of and for God to the rest of us (sinners/doubters)! I am grateful for the message of love and “hunger”–hope–that you both shared and share.

    Blessed be God forever! Into your hands, Lord, receive your beautiful child, Anne.
    In Jesus’ name. Amen.

    Peace be with you at this time, friend. Laura

    (Beautiful photo)

  13. In His Time says:

    Dear Melissa,

    My heart, love and prayers are with you as you grieve the loss of your dear friend, Anne. What a blessing to have reunited with Anne during the last 27 days of her earthly life.

    Anne was blessed to have you to walk with her in her final days. God is good! HE provides each of His children with all that they need at precisely the time they need His loving care and mercy.

    I am praying for the repose of Anne’s soul and for her dear friend as well as her family.

    Thank you Melissa for sharing Anne’s beautiful soul and your blessed relationship with her.

    Hugs, blessings and prayers,
    Gail

  14. Lisa Ward says:

    Dear Mem,

    So very saddened to hear of Anne’s passing, but at the same time, uplifted at the thought of her returning home to our Father! The fact that she sought you in her last days is providential. The Holy Spirit was speaking through you, to comfort her and to let her know that HE was ever present in her journey. Anne was so filled with Grace, and so are you.

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful reflections and for honoring her!

    Hugs and Prayers,
    LIsa

  15. In His Time says:

    Dear Ones,

    Today I send you short story from one of our Prayer Warriors…
    It us very touching and no doubt will speak to us of Anne’s
    love and courage in facing her suffering and death.

    Melissa’s experience (she is on the left) is a very privileged one
    and her response goes deep.

    Please pray for Anne’s soul and for her family at this difficult time.

    Blessings and gratitude to all of you,
    In Christ Our Lord and Saviour,

    G.

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