Frannie peaked her head around the corner, “Hello Ashley, I’ll be with you in a minute.” I noticed how cute and different her hair was so I commented, “Love your hair. Did you straighten it or let it grow?” She bounced around the corner smiling and perky: “Girl, thank you! You see………….my mom was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago and as the news settled she feared losing her hair. Not willing for her to walk this journey alone, I shaved mine first. She now see’s me ‘sassing around‘ and loving my wig and she’s no longer afraid.” Mouth open, tears streaming, and heart pounding -‐ “WOW”, I exclaimed, “That is amazing! I am so moved and encouraged. What an incredible testimony.” The love Frannie displayed for her mother was sacrificial and it covered her mother’s fears. Frannie was selflessly laying down her right to have hair and it reminded me of Christ laying down His rights for us to have life – life abundantly.
I shared my father’s illness with Frannie and how in our pain and lack of understanding God came into our weary hearts and poured out His peace, strength, and hope. She then shared this story with me:
“The month after my mothers diagnoses I was busy making bedroom furniture for my first grandson, soon to come. Sitting on the floor with a heavy soul and weary hands, I began questioning the Lord and praying for my mom. In that moment the Lord spoke to my wondering heart: ‘Frannie, just as you have worked diligently in preparing a place for your precious baby boy. I have also worked diligently and prepared a place for your precious beloved mom. Do not be afraid. She is my child.’ Peace flooded my heart and tears flooded my eyes.
I still don’t understand the disease but I no longer need too because, I understood the love of My King, and His perfect love cast out all my fears.” Those twenty minutes seemed surreal, and I was in awe – again – of our GREAT GOD! This divine encounter caused my heart to soar. May her story encourage you and fill your heart with hope.
Since I wrote this both Frannie’s mom and my father have gone home to live with Jesus. They are healed, whole, and free. I still don’t understand much of their suffering nor the suffering endured by the ones left behind. Many days I feel an empty ache in the deepest part of my soul. However, I do know no one escapes this life without great suffering and I am thankful to not suffer in vein. God uses our aches and struggles to bring about His glory. I also know one day Frannie and I will gaze upon the beauty of our loved ones faces, grab hold to strength of their hands, experince the warmth of their embrace, and dance to the joy of their laughter. Our God is faithful and Heaven is our home.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, May I drink in Your love and out of the overflow, enable me to make sacrifices for those dear to me. Lord, continue to pour your blessings on Frannie, me, others grieving, and our families. Be our strength, light, and hope. Wrap us daily in Your Mighty hands and be the lifter of our heads. As we walk into the unknown remind us of who You are. May our faith and testimony usher others into Your arms. In the name and the blood of Jesus I pray – Amen