The moment you enter this world, your first breath and cry announces your existence from womb to world. You are here.
The moment you leave this world you exhale, and, in a final moment, you are announced to your eternal Hope-face to face with Jesus.
We are not privy to the exact number of days nor the first and last breath. We live in each moment until at last we are home. So how do we live? I watch babies being born and the joyful expressions on their parent’s faces. Babies grow up to be toddlers, teenagers, and young adults. Before to long, the parents discover that life rushes by and diapers and bus stops turn into phone calls and visits from adult children who have children.
I’ve discovered through the years that moments are sacred. It is more the meaning and spirit of the years and events that captures us and changes our hearts and minds. It’s the accumulation of those moments and the connections. You can scroll through social media memories, yet what is missing in the pictures are the heart expressions that are only known or felt by each individual person. Each person with their own sacred story.
I’ve come to realize in a palpable way that shared experiences are connections that manifest distinguishably different perspectives. You could be sitting with your friends chatting about an event and each of you will have a unique story to tell.
In a series of events, God provided connecting, sacred moments to say goodbye to my brother, Mark Ray Lloyd, Sr. He went to heaven on August 18, 2022.
Several messages from gathering at church, a word, and timing.
I struggle with the choice of writing the timeline and details. Some things are just to sacred to put into words. I shared with a friend how God used a single word to move me. She confirmed how God uses moments and people to encourage and speak to us. Maybe just a few words…
The Hebrew word for anointing.
The Hebrew term mashach meant “to anoint or smear with oil.” (https://www.gotquestions.org/anointed.html)
Wordle word of the day on the same day of the word smear/anoint was shared in the message = smear and talking to God about the connection
Carpooling with friends to a work event
A colleague who sends a text about God’s love and forgiveness and sharing the text message later in the hospital room
A supervisor and friends who insisted that I leave and having friends in the car with me
Conversations with my husband
An open door to visit and minister
A prayer and smearing of the Spirit
Weeping and understanding of words spoken in the good-byes, perspective taking
Amazing Grace, standing beside the bed, speaking life, praying, believing, and the gentle touch on a forehead
A tear on your face and a squeeze of the hand, the letting go
As I said goodbye, like all humans, I wrestled with things undone and unfinished this side of heaven. I had signed up to serve at my church for the weekend to sing at a prayer meeting and service the next day. I grew up going to prayer meetings and experiencing the Holy Spirit fill a room and the hearts of the people gathered. That Saturday with all my thoughts and emotions I showed up anticipating a healing. The blessing of singing is that you are able to look out and see the body of worshippers. From little babies to elders –all worshipping in their way. As I read prayer cards during the prayer time and lifted the requests to God, I was overwhelmed with great love for the suffering– loss, a parent in prison, illnesses, job changes, addictions, broken relationships, and peer pressure at school. All of us together weaving in and out of our stories and ministering. At the end of the service young people dedicated their lives to the ministry and love of Jesus. The pastor asked us to sing a different closing song. The band quickly adjusted and the words and music of Gratitude poured forth. After the service, a friend came up to say hello and speak a word of encouragement over my marriage. Her face was glowing from the time spent together in prayer, and the moment and her words were timely.
God I’m grateful for divine perspective of grace, forgiveness, and the knowledge of who you truly are to us–the past, the present, and the future. I can weep over memories and struggle in the present with the knowledge that the joy and purity of brokenness to wholeness awaits. We are being changed from glory to glory.
I will leave you with three songs that continue to minister to me and the why…
Jireh -The Lord Will Provide
Why: I listened to the song while away with my husband at Highland Retreat. God spoke to my mind that I am enough and worthy because He is worthy and loves me. The song repeats this over and over again so that you are securing the message deep in your mind.
“I’ll never be more loved than I am right now.”
I Speak Jesus
Why: Saying His name over all the circumstances and knowing that He will provide.
“Your Name is life! Break every stronghold!”
Why: Expressing my gratitude for His love, His provision, and the prayer meeting that healed me
“Every song must end but You never do.”
5 Comments Add yours
May God’s peace and presence be felt by you and your family in your time of sadness and grief. Big hug my friend and sister in Christ
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Thank you! I can feel that hug! Hugs right back to you and many blessings for the season of Fall to be extra special.
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Thank you for the kind words and prayers to start this work week off! Have a wonderful blessed day!
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Have a beautiful day, Ashley!
Thank you Ashley. You are a faithful prayer partner.