A Promise is a Promise

I come from a large family; six girls, six boys.  My mother was a high school drop out, pregnant at a very early age.  My father became a raging alcoholic in the strictest sense of the expression.  They worked a farm for a wealthy family in our little burg.  We were poor, basically.

I have only a handful of memories from early childhood that I know are mine: a wooden table, so long from my short perspective it seemed like it could span the great divide! and every chair seated with a family member.  An older brother tasked with my bath, afterwards allowed me to hop up on a space heater in the little dressing area outside the bathroom and burned a strip across my rear, literally!  That memory was imprinted for weeks: thanks Jacky.

I recall a barn and jumping from a hole in the loft ceiling into scattered hay below…a tiny convenience store literally across the two lane country road that ran between it and our home; the Pink House we called it because it was, well, pink.  I have a sweet memory with my Dad, patting his pockets and asking, Daddy, can I have a quarter?  I usually could.  My siblings and I would run across the road to fill up on penny candy.  Anybody else remember Squirrel Nut Zippers?  Those things were God’s will for my life, I’m convinced.

My parents divorced when I was around three years old.  My Mother raised us essentially alone, except for Church family that helped and blessed along the way.  She worked factory jobs up to her retirement and had to accept public assistance, naturally.  She could have given us up to adoption, she had no connections and few options.  I recall her remarking once she simply couldn’t leave us and herself thinking, I’m all they’ve got.

Thank God for my mother!  She would go into her bathroom every evening without fail and though inextinguishable could be heard- praying, crying out, interceding for her children.  My mother modeled the Divine Relationship called Christianity in a way that impacted my life; not perfectly, but with perfect loyalty.  She lives by the Word(s) of God and exemplifies the courage of her convictions; eighty two years young this December 24th, she’s had reasons but she’s never wavered.

My family has lost two siblings to this life: Pat and Jacky.  Both were lean, lanky even.  Quiet, unassuming men; good people in the accepted sense of the word.  Pat had many medical issues, including a pace maker.  He was in and out of the hospital at the end.  We were heartbroken at his passing, but not blind sided.  In the last Church service I’m grateful I was blessed to attend with him, God healed his heart- not in the accepted senseEven so, he was a man of God and we know where he is.

Jacky was in the prime of his life, perfectly healthy as far as I know.  A construction worker most of his life, he’d started his own company.  To surmise, he was a prodigal newly returned to Christ.  Less than a year, actually.  Happy, excited, sharing God at every opportunity; it was prophesied he would be a fisher of men, and so he was.  He’d invited a co-worker to Church the very day he was killed in a freak accident- someone mistakenly tested the pipeline while he was underground checking a pipe fitting.  The pipe exploded, the fitting imploded the side of his face.

Doctors say he was killed on impact.

Survived by mother, siblings and three children, our family was devastated.  The hurt was almost too much to bear and the senselessness more than we could wrap our heads around.  Always a blessed family, we struggled with God, some of us.  One sibling, the only one who never walked away from God and is in fact married to a Pastor this day, inquired of God in her grief and confusion.  God responded..

Jacky never knew what hit him- I took his spirit before impact.  Accidents happen because humanity needs a reason for death; if people simply expired, fear would rule and run rampant.  {paraphrased & shortened}

We’ll never love better or be more merciful than our God.  Precious in the eyes of the Eternal are the deaths of those who follow after Him.  I’ve always had my convictions about Jacky’s death.  Better to die young in Christ than old and lost to Him for Eternity.   

The last week or so I’ve found myself unwittingly humming the same tune over and over- Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  I don’t know why, I haven’t heard that song in a great while.  Then yesterday I stopped to ponder the why and a memory was triggered- I recalled something the Lord said to me once years ago.  I think I was having a moment, begging Him (although I know better) please never let me go.  

He simply responded a Promise is a promise.

It was a reminder I needed.  We may not always understand His reasons or His ways- but we can trust Him.  We can trust His Word(s).

Jesus: Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me.  My Father’s home is designed to accommodate all of you. If there were not room for everyone, I would have told you that. I am going to make arrangements for your arrival. I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together. 

By design, none of us lives this human life forever.  That infinitesimal moment between breath and death might come this day.  Please watch the video below in it’s entirety.  Please.  Make the choice while you have the choice.   

May God bless you to know personally, no matter your circumstance or station in life, you are greatly loved, valued and desired by your God.




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