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Reflections and Poetry

Life is in the Blood – fourth phase of Covid: Aftermath part 1 Why did Alan Die?

Why did Alan die?

Who are the crowd of witnesses that is mentioned only once in scripture, in Hebrews 12:1, 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

Is Alan amongst that crowd now, cheering those of us who remain on earth to finish our race? Is he cheering me, and Jordan, and Izzie, and others? Is he interceding with Jesus on our behalf, or for members of his family who have not yet recognised Jesus as their personal and the world’s saviour?

And what of 1 Thessalonians? Chapter 4:13-18 states, 

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

We who are wide awake await, along with those who are asleep, for the return of Jesus… which I take to mean that, like us, they are wait for the return of Jesus to earth, though they are in the heavenly realm while we are on the earth, until we meet all again when we are all joined with Jesus in the air.

Perhaps to the LORD there is no difference where the saints are, though for us, we feel great loss at the departure of those who have fallen asleep.

SPIRITUALLY: 

And as for Alan?

One thought: His character had reached the level where he was ready to do what he’s called to do with the LORD.

We are put on this earth for a reason. When we have grown to the level of character that we are called to grow to, we can then go on to complete the works that we are meant to do with GOD.

Alan had reached his level of character. And so perhaps he was given the opportunity to go. That is my explanation, in a spiritual sense, of why Alan went to sleep.

Alan fought hard to remain with us, out of love for us, not out of clinging to life. He had reached a level of desire fully and completely, to surrender to our God. It has been our passion, both of us, to live our lives fully in the spirit, for many months — perhaps even for years. It is still my passion to live a perfectly loving and surrendered life, to do the miracles that Jesus performed, to be full of the grace and truth of GOD.

In the ordeal that was Alan’s illness, we both attained a measure of maturity we didn’t really manage to discuss but we encapsulated it in this instruction we gave to one another to,

“Walk on water”

Alan knew when he left me, that I was able to walk on water and so he could, with peace in his heart, leave me to go where he so wanted to be. We have both been promoted: togetherness is what marriage is about, and advancement is what the Kingdom of GOD is about.

Alan loved. He had huge grace towards others. He did not leave us because that would be unloving. But exhausted physically, he had to stop fighting for life. And he entrusted our lives on earth to me, and I must be ready to take on the responsibility on my own.

I suppose I’ve considered that, if the Lord thinks that I can cope, then I must be able to cope.

What is gone… What remains

Alan and I so wanted to work in joint ministry. I encouraged him to write his teachings, but it wasn’t something he felt compelled to do. He encouraged me to build on my singing ministry, though I felt that season had largely passed. We had ideas but lacked thorough clarity for Sabbath Rest Ministries, a Ministry that we launched but which in the main lay dormant. What I noticed in the last couple of sessions of the Bible school which he lead was that he was even preaching, something he was not originally gifted to do. One dear friend said his teaching on Revelation Bible Study had been promoted too, to a deeper richer level after years of experience.

I was left here because I had grown to the level of character where I could be entrusted to manage without Alan…. to be entrusted with his children, to be entrusted with the level of theological understanding that we were both given together. Yes, Alan was the Bible teacher, and wonderful at it. But theologically, we were very much together in our understanding, love and total trust in GOD’s word and in the finer points of theology.

Revelations: Church of Philadelphia

There is one more related scripture I’d like to highlight in the pursuit to understand “why Alan died”.

Revelations 3:10 states, “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I will also keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

Is it possible that the LORD took Alan before tribulation, peril, the end of the world as we know it, simply so he would not have to endure the heartache of the falling world completely fallen?

Verse 12 says, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more….” Is that what Alan is doing now? I he a pillar in our Lord’s temple? Hallelujah, that is a mighty encouraging thought.

Conclusion

And so, why did Alan die? His body was done. But that is only the visible aspect. Alan died because he was ready to live elsewhere, ready to be used of GOD in the way GOD would want to use him, fully surrendered to Him in a way that we call “glory”.

Alan left my presence because I could be trusted. That I find totally encouraging. I miss him, long for him. But I’ve processed until in some deep measure I have answered why? I have peace, knowing Alan is right where he wants to be: in harmony with the Holy Spirit, in discovery of the answers to questions he could not fathom out in his own study of the Bible, and full of absolute joy.

During one recent church service, I felt the LORD’s presence upon me and He said, “Alan is worshipping in total freedom now”.

For those not of faith, how can I know this? It is my life’s work, hope and mission to know GOD better. The test is the fruit. The fruit born out of the pain, prayer and suffering that Alan endured in his illness and I endured alongside him in spiritual prayer, has manifested in more love, more hope, more joy, more goodness. These are called the “fruits of the Spirit” and they ripened in Alan and are ripening in me.

Praise the LORD. If we pursue Truth it will always be revealed and manifested. If we seek, we will find. GOD is consistent and He is good in honouring His Word. Thank you LORD for guiding me until I have had revelation of why Alan died. In his death there is more opportunity for those who love the LORD to grow, which was Alan’s passion. And for those who don’t yet embrace GOD, they may consider why Alan lived the way he did. A peek into a Bible which meant so much to Alan, will help an unbeliever to discover the secrets of Alan’s heart and mine.

MEDICALLY: 

Leviticus 17:11 states “the life is in the blood…”

The medics kept thinning Alan’s blood in order to prevent clotting and to bring down the heart rate. It did neither, though it rendered Alan weak and feeble and prolonged his life. The doctors weren’t able to see the connection between Alan’s continual weakness and the thinning of his blood.

I asked for vitamins to boost the “life” in Alan, but except for Vitamin D they rejected any other request, citing no medical proof the vitamins did any good. I specifically asked for Zinc and CoQ10; they declined.

I believe wholeheartedly that the doctors did all they knew how to do. But they could not attack the virus (that was finally defeated when I saw two spiders and D and I prayed until the spiritual attackers were dead, dead, dead) and they did not recognise by thinning the blood they were extracting the life out of my husband. 

In the end, his small intestines died, either from malnutrition or blood clots, the former eluded to just before his death, the latter cited on the death certificate.

I am not bitter or angry. I am sad that my husband died and didn’t need to have died. And yet, I pray this message reaches doctors and the public: 

“Mankind needs GOD. Britain needs GOD. Doctors are not GOD, nor is the NHS  (National Health Service), nor is the government. Although all these parties do their best, they are a small, weak, minuscule power against death and darkness compared to GOD.”

Alan is in a better place now, and will never grow old. That is a bittersweet truth. I am left raising a beautiful young man on my own, yet with a host of family and friends who love us both dearly. 

Lesson for me, for us all

It is still too soon to know all the lessons that I will receive from the loss of Alan’s life on earth, but there will be more, of that I am certain. 

There are short term lessons such as, I have learned how to receive and that I am valued and loved for myself; I have seen how my son matured through the experience of my husband’s illness. I have experienced the role of conductor as I sought spiritual prayer warriors to pray Alan to health. But Alan did not have to die in order for me to learn these lessons. These lessons and more were learned through the trial and not his death.


Perhaps one lesson through this is for us all: To trust GOD and accept His will, and discover that death can come even when the LORD does not will it. Could this be true? Can a sovereign GOD not be sovereign? 

Where do man’s actions and God’s will intersect and where do they divide or run parallel, I do not know. The body of the man died, but his should and spirit live on.

GOD said to me repeatedly and confirmed it through others also, “Alan will recover”. God is not a liar. And Alan did revive and recover — though only to pass away ultimately. So how is it that Alan was not restored to life? He did not return home to thrive as was believed by thousands praying. 

With the very best of intent, man intervened and destroyed that possibility. Man is finite where GOD is infinite. That, for now, is what I know.

May GOD bless each and every one who reads this post, and may you find encouragement, enrichment and continue to thrive as you develop your relationship with the Father of All.

Amen

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Umbrella of Hope

Does anyone know 

the depth of your power

the strength of your love

the force of your will?

All have fallen short

from grace we descend

to mercy and love

pleading forgiveness.

Does anyone know

the height of your cover

the breadth of your presence

the umbrella of hope?

Forever we yearn

forever we strive

forever we bend —

refusing to break.

Does anyone know

the truth of your Word

the language of trust

the heart of you?

Does anyone know

who You really are?

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Transformation: life with — and without Alan: a reflection

I woke up this morning and for just a second, I forgot my husband was dead. It gave me the opportunity to recognise how much GOD has been transforming me, as well as the gift of experiencing once again, however briefly, life with Alan.

And when I remembered life with Alan, I felt whole. 

I’m able to contrast how different the feeling inside of me is, from what I used to live. No matter how much courage the LORD provides, no matter how much assurance I feel, no matter how safe I am, there is a hole. By his grace, I have avoided self pity. By his grace, I do not wake in the morning in floods of tears or weighed down with a sense of grief. Supernaturally, the LORD has covered me and through the prayers of brothers and sisters in Christ, for which I am hugely grateful, I am okay:) But there is a hole where Alan was in my life and life for just a second this morning did not have that hole. I was freer, lighter and more assured, just for a split second. Thank you LORD for revealing the contrast, because in the contrast, I can see a little of the pathway you are carving out for me…

Processing life

I have a tendency to process my thoughts and feelings. By process I mean “to put into context who I am in Jesus”, where I am going, and where I came from.  What I’m about to write is candid, earnest, and a reflection of my innermost thoughts. I do this because I hope it will be useful to someone else, and because I’m lacking people to talk to who have known me for much of my life. My husband of 28 years is gone, my family is far away, my parents passed away some time ago, and friends and Christian family around me have not known me very long. This is partly because we moved around quite a bit and so roots are shallow — because of the relatively short space of time I’ve lived where I am now, and partly because like most people, I don’t reveal myself completely, I’m not surrounded by people who know me really well. I hide, or try to hide, the imperfections, and put on my kindest, warmest persona in public.


But like so many of us, I am deeply imperfect. 

Yesterday I had a conversation with a sister in Christ. Apparently, I had spoken a couple of things in a prayer meeting that jarred with others. It’s really good that this sister came forward to share with me, and also really good that we could have an honest conversation. There was no defensiveness in me, and no blame from her. Hallelujah! GOD was present in us both. To describe the conversation will take me on a tangent but it is important to the point I am seeking to make in this post which is that GOD is available in every moment, every encounter.

We chatted as women do… Then she said that a couple of people had come to her after our most recent online meeting, unsettled by a couple of things I’d said. Would I mind if she told me what was was their concern?

I like honesty, however, history reared its head and I thought of gossip and hearsay and the pain that these has caused in my life. So I said that I prefer when someone speaks to me directly.

But in the end we both clarified and she went ahead to say that by my encouraging a two people in the meeting, in fact I had therefore discouraged those whom I hadn’t encouraged. I never saw encouragement/discouragement in that light before. 

Secondly, I had made a theological point in the meeting which is that when we overcome something, we gain in the Spirit, an authority over it. I used Covid as an example, which I have had and have overcome (and I suppose I should have used back aches or something less inflammatory). I suspect like the first example, the others took me to mean I have authority in something others haven’t, which is not what I said, nor what I meant, but nevertheless my words carry responsibility and I had spoken somewhat carelessly.

My sister knew I did not intend to hurt and she was gracious. She wondered if I might be feeling a strain after Alan had passed away. I also shared that in the last few weeks I had felt pushed in busyness beyond my comfort zone, and had spent relatively little time to be still with the LORD, which I craved.

Busyness

I have noticed for a few weeks, maybe up to four, that I have had far less time to sit with the LORD, and have been drawing on my inner resources to do some work that needs to be done. Today I noticed I was a little short-tempered with a customer service person who had rung me for information on a kitchen delivery*. Oh, fortunately, I didn’t lose my temper, but internally, I was tense and I know that reflected onto our conversation.

I have been making a lot of decisions lately: the paperwork mostly finished as the executor to Alan’s estate, the result is income coming in and responsibility for decision-making going out, and a little arrogance at my ability to manage has likely crept in.

Manage is a relative term of course. Firstly, if our temperament is affected or our character hampered, we are not really coping or managing. I firmly believe that to the degree we are in our own strength rather than moving with the Holy Spirit, that is a degree of failure. We all are failed and that’s why we need Jeshua / Jesus. I assure you dear reader, that am not being hard on myself. By his grace, I have come a long way in the 35+ years walking with Him, Hallelujah! But with Alan’s passing, a huge anointing/covering/blessing has been put into, over or upon me, and some of that has receded in recent weeks, largely due to a lack of time spent being still with GOD.

I think the LORD revealed to me this morning where I was in my spiritual journey a few months ago by giving me a glimpse of life before Alan died, so I could see how much in these few months since his illness, I have grown.

And I think the phone call from a dear sister give me a glimpse of how I’d fallen a little out of that growth in recent days.

Always thanking GOD

Every encounter, every moment, we are graced by GOD. Sometimes I wonder, have we been over-trained in spiritual warfare and do we sometimes look at discomfort in our lives as an attack, rather than as a lesson or warning? We can embrace the moments of discomfort as part of our learning, and when we do, we gain self discovery and a deepening of Jesus within us.

A fine balance between confidence and humility, arrogance and inner strength

What I have learned is that all goodness, all good gifts, truly do come from GOD. I am not a good person without Him. I am not a kind person without Him. I am not a wise person without Him.

By His grace and His grace alone, I am living without feeling miserable today — or any day. By his love, I am loving. Through His joy, I laugh. By His mercy I am able to cry — to release sadness — and then to feel alive again.

I need the grace of GOD

I need the grace of GOD in my life more than I’ve ever needed it before, because I have more decisions, more encounters, more responsibility than I have ever had before. His grace has been carrying me, and I ask LORD, please fill me with continually with your grace.

Apology


To anyone I’ve grieved recently, I’m truly sorry. To anyone I’ve been abrupt with or impatient with, I apologise. To anyone I’ve not expressed gratitude at a kindness, please forgive me. To anyone to whom my words have brought confusion, I am sorry, for GOD is not the author of confusion.

I am not my normal self. Folks will give me a lot of latitude for that, because out of compassion they recognise I am a recent widow and I am going through a difficult time; I fully appreciate their grace. But also, by His grace, and only His grace, I hope I never will be the same again, because I hope He will continue to improve me and grow me.

I want to continue with “The Life is in the Blood” journey of Alan’s battle with Covid and his hospitalisation because, in a way, it speaks for Alan. I’ve not posted anything of it in the last few weeks. I hope you’ll bear with me when there are breaks. 

Every blessing.

* Alan and I purchased some rental flats which I’ve been managing for fourteen years; one of them has needed a new kitchen for some time and a recent vacancy has allowed me the opportunity to have one installed.

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Reflections and Poetry

The Finely Dressed Man: a poem

Once upon a time

There was a finely dressed man

He lived here and there

to fulfil his mandate

Blessing others

By teaching the Word.

*

Then one day

He spoke against the Virus

Thought it was overblown

til it blew him away

To heaven he went

Leaving surprise in his wake.

*

What are we to do?

Now that he is gone

Trust in the LORD

though the man was not restored;

Instead misperception led him

Now with his Maker.

*

We live one life

Making most of our moments

The finely dressed man

gave love and wisdom away

Where was supply

When he needed it most?

*

GOD knows, loves

And He forgives

God bears witness

of our love for Him

When all are gone

He remains, embracing.

*

Once upon a time

Was this finely dressed man

Who loved and was loved

til the end of his time

Now he stands dressed in majesty

Before his LORD.

*

Clothes don’t make the man

But GOD dresses him

In love, truth, beauty and joy

To wear his heart

Carry his dream

Always heavenward.

*

Once upon a time

Was the finely dressed man

Too shortly spent 

he came, he went

When heaven sent

Then all lament.

*

It is done, it is done

Life is finished 

All too soon….

Yet the finely dressed man

Amongst the Cloud of Witnesses

Rejoices.

*

Robed in the company 

Of angels.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Life: A Leaf – a reflection

Life is like a leaf —

delicate and beautiful

We can let go the tree

and float and drift

Or hang onto the stock,

maintain our nutrients.

Though most may let go

I remain

where safety and freedom

suspend in equal balance.

The Lord is our rock —

he is also the Tree of Life

Remaining in him we choose

complete freedom

in security.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Decision-making: Flying solo – a reflection

The hardest part about losing one’s spouse, after the initial tragedy has been overcome, is the decision-making alone.

Alan and I made decisions together. In fact, we often saw a different perspective and didn’t agree…. but we discussed and worked out the way forward. Alone, there is no one to work out the choices, no one to debate or discuss with, no one to check my perspective; I am alone.

I caught myself feeling sorry for myself yesterday. It’s a no-go area…. Life ebbs and flows. We all face difficult circumstances. Some experience persecution, some loss, some irritating inconvenience. But each of us must rise above the circumstances, “walk on water”, trust — and lean upon — GOD and know He is our advisor, our shelter, our love and our friend.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.”

Peace comes from knowing and trusting Father GOD. It does not come from our circumstances. Loneliness can be overcome far more easily when we trust Him. So, I seek His advice, perspective, through prayer, reading the word, asking friends for insight (and then weighing it), and through resting in Him. 

I have many decisions and choices to make along life’s way. I miss Alan being in that process. But GOD didn’t allow this situation to abandon me. He allowed it so that I might draw more closely upon Him. And I am. Hallelujah!

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Life is in the Blood: ICU – third phase of Covid p3

The Life is in the Blood:

Visions from the LORD, prayers of others

There were so many images of life ahead for Alan, there was so much encouragement from a vast network of believers who were praying, there was so much hope and confidence in the LORD, as I navigated through the time of Alan’s unconsciousness. 

The steadfast prayers of the saints, some of whom I know — and many who got wind of Alan’s illness through that network and were praying through — these were such a huge support which kept me going. In fact, those who prayed for Alan have gone on to pray for us as a family since, and I find it absolutely remarkable how well we are doing in spite of Alan’s passing away. 

I am aware of GOD’s presence and know the prayers of His faithful saints are making such an impact on an otherwise horrible situation.

Two pathways

On several occasions, two parallel paths presented themselves to me, and I always chose the one of life. 

Dream: dressed in black

One morning I awoke from a dream in which I was wearing black — the quintessential funeral clothing. I prayed against anything that could be deemed an obvious interpretation.

I shared it with a prayer network as well, a group of fine prayerful folk, who also prayed against an outcome to Alan’s hospitalisation where I would be wearing black.

Although fleeting, two different paths that would lead from Alan’s intubation: one of death and one of life, came to mind from time to time. I don’t remember anything specific, just that there were two possibilities. I dismissed one.

I always chose to observe the thought, path, expectation that Alan would lived. I thought that was how the LORD was calling me to focus. In hindsight, perhaps he was letting me know it might go either way.

Release to the LORD

Three weeks after Alan regained consciousness, with steady improvement in fits and starts, and doctors at last expecting him to live, Alan was exhausted and asking when he could leave ICU.

I remember as I drove home from hospital the day Alan had stomach pain, the same day Dr M had begun the information sessions to give Alan context for his current situation (as mentioned in the last blog post), I remember distinctly passing the shops I have passed many times, and I said,

“LORD, you said Alan would recover, and I believe You. I turn it all over to you. Whatever outcome you decide, I surrender to…”

Hours later I would get a call to say Alan’s condition had worsened; the stomach pain had been a marker indicating some complications had arisen. Hours after that, I was invited in to hospital; moments after arrival, I was told Alan was not going to survive the night.

We must surrender

In all things, we must trust GOD. Did I give up on Alan? No! Did I give up on the power of GOD? No. What I did was give GOD the freedom to do as He knew best. 

After Alan’s passing, one dear friend said the LORD had told him that… “Alan was tired and just wanted to come home.”

I believe that if my release on that drive home the day before Alan died had any effect, it was to release the LORD to give Alan an answer to his prayer — to be set free from exhaustion and pain.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

LIFE IS IN THE BLOOD: Return to Consciousness – Third Phase of Covid p2

The Life is in the Blood:

The lack of family in hospital during the Covid pandemic took its toll on the patients, the families but also on the doctors.

Doctors said to me how rare and special it was to be able to meet family members. The pandemic made things very different in hospital; the doctors missed family contact just as families missed the freedom to visit the hospital.

Blinded by lack of support

Doctors were unable to see some of the little things or patterns that family could see, or they could misinterpret a situation, sometimes because they could not know their patients personally and because they had so many patients on which to attend. 

A family member has only one patient to observe

A significant part of the tragedy of Covid is the separation between patients and their doctors from the family. That tragedy played out in Alan’s situation. Through no fault of anyone, the lack of encounter with family limited doctors’ information and made it harder for them to care for their patients.

Face to face encounters with Doctors

Some particularly poignant moments I had with doctors come to my mind while Alan was on the ventilator and afterward.

Doctor D

I met Doctor D on the way in to visit Alan while Alan was still on the ventilator. The doctor was concerned, and described Alan’s life as “on a knife edge”.

I simply said, “Alan will recover” — and muttered I was saying that for him, to encourage him. He said it was good to have faith. But I don’t think he quite grasped what I was implying…

Dr M

By nature, Doctor M was more detached than Doctor D. We sat near Alan’s bedside and spoke about the severity of Alan’s situation. I asked that he be given Vitamin D and the doctor said he’d look into it but that it was most likely he could do that (and it was carried out routinely thereafter). I asked for Ivermectin but Dr M said “No… it was untested.” I asked for Zinc. He didn’t acknowledge. 

Other Vitamins

Doctors don’t really comprehend the benefits of vitamins and nutrition to the patient. For the most part, they are trained in medicine, to use medicine to help and cure. So when I asked for CQ10 to “feed” the mitochondria within his body which was surely being depleted with repeated blood thinning, they didn’t pick up on this request. I don’t think they understood. I don’t think they made the connection.

Phone Calls with Doctors

I had a very long conversation with Dr J, who wanted to know why I vehemently disagreed with the use of what I call “head meds” for Alan after he’d come back to consciousness and, after a week of ICU life, was demonstrating consequences of sleep deprivation and exhaustion. 

I said, “just because you cannot see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there” alluding to hallucinations that patients in Alan’s situation experience. I said the meds left him defenceless and I could pray from a distance but it would be much better to come in person. 

He said, “I suppose we just have different world views.”

I replied, “Not at all. I see the world completely as you see it in the natural. I just see another entire spiritual realm as well, that you do not see.”

I believe there was fruit in that respectful and focused conversation. It didn’t change the prescription, sadly. Alan did get through that phase after about a week, but I do think it knocked him hard in the meantime. He was not his usual focused, confident self during that week.

Closing the Gap

There were two particular topics that needed addressing during the time Alan was in ICU, having returned to consciousness, which I raised with doctors or nurses over the phone, but which took time to filter through. Eventually a consultant heard me and treatment was addressed.

Dr M2

I remember saying at least three times to different medical staff that Alan needed information about where he was, what time it was, how he’d come to be in ICU, how long he’d been unconscious… any information that would help him have context for what was occurring in the present. One nurse suggested he wasn’t engaging, and when asked “What will you do when you leave hospital,” he had replied, “Try to figure out what happened.” She interpreted that remark as his being depressed or dwelling on the past. I encouraged her to give him information, said he was only trying to work out a context for his condition. “He’s a barrister, he thrives of facts.”

But it wasn’t until I spoke with Dr M2, one of the regular consultants — two weeks later, that action began to be taken.

I said to Dr M2 that Alan was not demotivated or depressed but was lacking information and needed to know what he had gone through, so that he’d have context; giving Alan information would be like providing water in the desert. He said that sort of debriefing usually happened after ICU. 


But I had got through. The next day, which would prove to be the last full day of Alan’s life, Dr M2 came to consult while I was visiting Alan. The team that does the debriefing had been earlier that morning, and had begun to set up a programme to feed Alan information.

Though sometimes late, the doctors never gave up trying to rescue Alan from the Covid aftermath.

Thinning the Blood

Dr H was the first doctor who, after several attempts with others, finally acknowledged that a particular blood thinner was causing Alan’s blood pressure to drop to critically low levels and this was taking a huge toll on Alan’s general progress. It was some time fairly early in Alan’s regaining of consciousness that he first acknowledged the detriment, but I mention it only now because of the irony….

First they reduced the blood thinner, then they stopped it altogether, after I pleaded and pointed out a pattern which showed that following infection they gave him particular blood thinner which triggered a very bad reaction that “knocked the stuffing out of him”. Beginning even before ICU, three or four times Alan experienced the same detrimental effect. Finally, the medication was deemed to cause the equivalent of an allergic reaction. 

He would no longer be given that medication, nor a substitute.

But it was too late.

Sad irony

The life is in the blood. Alan’s life ebbed away. Too much medicine, not enough nutrition, and the body died. The soul and spirit lives on, in comfort, joy and bliss. We know this. And that is the remarkable truth of the Gospel. 

My prayer

I hope and pray that doctors, nurses and other medical staff who attended Alan and who encountered us both, will discover the Lord Jesus for themselves. Medicine is good, often remarkable. But Jesus is always remarkable and always good.

Every blessing to you until next time….

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Hope in the Psalms

The perfect verse for today

“Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me!

Give Your strength to Your servant,

And save the son of Your maidservant.

Show me a sign for good,

That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,

Because You, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.”

(Psalm 86:16-17)

This is a little-known verse to me but it jumped out this morning.

This week hasn’t been easy. Most days since my husband passed away, I have felt lifted up, lighter, for the LORD has borne my burden. But this week I have felt heavier, more isolated than before. I think the reason is because I’ve had more work and less reflection time.

Today this Word jumped out at me, and I am given restoration. For though it is true that so many people have propped me up with their prayers, helped me with their wisdom, encouraged me with their time, there are still those who oppose Jesus and so oppose me.

And my son, still a minor, has been coping too. Now the end of the school year and all that it entails approaches. He has done well. I’ve watched and seen him manage himself. And so that this verse includes him, makes me happy and full of hope.

Encouragement

So, do not forget to dwell with the LORD as much as you need. That is the message to myself and to us all. Dwelling — abiding (as Jesus calls it in John 15) is a gift we must not ignore. It is vital! Scripture gives us food for life. And restores our very souls.


Hallelujah, “He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:3)

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Reflections and Poetry

Third Phase of Covid: part 1 Visions with the LORD

The Life is in the Blood:

Visions with the LORD

There were moments surrounding my prayer exchanges with friends — mostly on WhatsApp groups and sometimes over the phone — that I found myself interacting with GOD in such an intimate way that He deepened my trust in Him and gave me a sense of direction for Alan’s healing. The LORD led me to scriptures and revealed pictures to me, which I thought confirmed His initial word, “Alan will recover”.

A particularly poignant time while Alan was still on the ventilator began with one scripture coming to mind repeatedly. It was from Exodus — which seemed perfectly apt: We certainly needed an exodus from the ventilator! 

The scripture was, “Stand still and see the salvation of the LORD…” (Exodus 14:13)

After receiving this word in my spirit several times, I took the LORD literally and stood up, on three consecutive days, gazing out the bedroom window and praying in tongues; I expected to see the LORD’s salvation.

Day 1

It took many minutes the first day, but gradually, I began to see what the LORD wanted to reveal to me. He showed me Alan, dancing, and then dancing with me. Alan looked younger and much healthier than at present, and as he smiled, I smiled.

The experience lasted several minutes and I cherished it. It was as though Alan was already well. It was like a promise, one that I held on to.

Day 2

The next day, I observed in the Spirit as doctors examined Alan. Several stood over him, looking at his internal organs, in particular at his kidneys, and then his heart. They simply stared and I, watching them stare, wondered: Are they operating or staring incredulously at a miracle healing? 

I remember smiling, trusting GOD, and becoming excited in anticipation of the fulfilment of the moment.

Day 3

The third day, Alan beckoned me to climb a mountain. And as he climbed, sprite and energetic, I knew: Alan was well.

Still ill

But in the natural, the days passed and Alan did not revive, not yet. He was on the ventilator a total of 25 days.

Apart from the observations in the Spirit, I remember weeks further forward to a time after Alan had regained consciousness, and the LORD revealed to me the meticulous way in which Alan’s kidneys were being knit together to full restoration; the nephron — one by one — were cleared and restored as though a crochet hook or stitch ripper gently but relentlessly pulled contamination from each one. 

It was amazing! I shared it with Alan one day in hospital. He simply nodded his acceptance and agreement.

Trust GOD’s healing

So, why was it that, in spite of the kidneys being healed supernaturally, the medics still used the kidney machine… thinning the blood each time they put Alan on it (a necessity to prevent the machine from clogging)? 

Why was it that the doctors didn’t recognise the healing, nor recognise the side effect of the thinning of his blood?

Why did they initially interpret Alan’s lack of motivation two weeks after regaining consciousness as aloofness or depression, rather than disorientation and exhaustion from the strain on his heart and his body over weeks of poly-medication, the chaos of ICU, and overall trauma on his body? 

How was it they didn’t see it was the thinning of the blood, a medical strategy they used to protect his heart, which was sapping the life out of Alan?

Alan had excellent medical care from a determined and capable medical staff

“The life is in the blood.” (Leviticus 17:11)

Alan’s life was waining before my eyes, but the doctors just didn’t see it as I saw it. Why did they not hear me, when I spoke so clearly and purposefully? 

The tragic result of separation of family from patient

In large measure I think the doctors didn’t hear me because I was not present in hospital. Because of the contagion of the virus, visitation was extremely limited, and the opportunity to observe and speak to medics in a casual way was not available. There was little relationship and so there was little continuity between the family of the patient and the doctors. Everything I said over the phone was charted and yet, it took several times of sharing one concept before it was responded to, and the delays eventually would cost Alan his life.

I remember once saying, “I am not a doctor and do not have your knowledge and experience. You have thousands of patients, but I only have one… I think I see patterns that you perhaps cannot see.”

This, perhaps most of all, was the reason opportunities were overlooked and Alan’s illness was prolonged until his life simply wore away to nothing. 

And of course there was Covid itself, a horrible disease which is still shrouded in mystery.

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Reflections and Poetry

The Life is in the Blood: ICU Second Phase of Covid p3 Consultants

The Life is in the Blood: Consultants

Drawing battle lines and building encouragement with Dr J, Dr M, Dr C.

Dr J

My first face to face encounter with a consultant during Alan’s hospitalisation was with youngish doctor who professed to be “in charge” in a manner I found full of self-consciousness, so I didn’t believe him.

At that point I was battling feelings of stress and despair, without giving in to either. I feel for that doctor, as I look back, because I was intent on blocking any words of defeat, any proclamations of the possibility of Alan not surviving. I was not rude, but I was tough, and that — I expect — is not what he expected.

Consultants

I had many telephone conversations with doctors over the 10 weeks of Alan’s hospitalisation. Doctors would ring to give updates. Whenever I had a call from a junior doctor I knew all was well. To me, it meant the hospital staff were confident regarding Alan’s condition. Sometimes I rang to speak to a nurse and a consultant answered. Each was always willing to discuss Alan’s case with me. At no time did I ever feel rushed.

I had two particular face-to-face encounters with consultants which were particularly noteworthy, for those of you reading who are tracking my level of confidence in Alan’s healing. 

Dr M

My first visit to ICU after Alan was put on a ventilator followed a rather testy time with the youngish doctor whom I will call Dr J. I had been invited to visit and expected to see Alan. There was a delay, followed by a doctor introducing himself as Dr J. That conversation, in fact that entire day is best kept vague, as I was in a haze.

A week later, I went to the hospital again, this time straight in without meeting with anyone. Alan was of course still unconscious. I stood by him, whispered to him, prayed for him, had snuck in anointing oil which I delicately and sparsely put upon him in no places of vulnerability. I even sang (very softly) to him one of his favourite songs, “Indian Love Call” by Slim Whitman. I was with him for 30 – 45 minutes before a friendly doctor I’d spoken to on the phone came along and said the consultant would like to sit with me. We were next to Alan’s bed.

The doctor had passed on my request that Alan have his vitamin D boosted.

The consultant Dr M and I had a lengthy conversation throughout which I was standing on God’s word to me that Alan would recover. Dr M did his best to answer various questions, confirmed that Alan could have his vitamin D boosted as it would do no harm, but attempted to persuade me that we really didn’t know if Alan would survive. I began, “If…” Then quickly interrupted myself with, “When… Alan is revived will he remain in ICU until he leaves hospital?” 

He had nearly brought me to a point of weakness or confusion, but he hadn’t quite managed it.


These consultants want to do their due diligence, their duty of care, both to patient and family. Most won’t understand faith at all. But for me, to stand on the truth of GOD was most important, for Alan’s sake, and I suppose for my own mental and spiritual health as well.

Dr C

The next week, after a phone conversation or two with Dr C I was invited to visit the hospital again. This time I actually met Dr C who said it was special to meet a family member in person because with Covid, it was rare, just as visits themselves were rare.

I was guided into a pleasant private waiting room. This hadn’t happened before so I asked if there was a particular reason I was drawn into a room with Dr C, as well as with another woman who did not give her name nor her role. Both assured me Alan’s condition was stable and to discuss anything in a private room was for my comfort and no other reason.

Dr C was warm and pleasant, as was the woman with him. We spoke for 15 – 20 minutes before I would see Alan. Dr C wanted me to know Alan’s condition was “on a knife edge”. I said with absolute confidence, “Alan will recover” and intimated I was saying that for his benefit, to encourage him. It was not for my benefit. 

This doctor encouraged faith and ventured to say “hope is a good thing”. That’s as far as he could go.

Doctors’ views versus my own

I think the longer Alan was in ICU in a horrible medical state, whilst I was praying at home with all vigour and a network of believers, the more confident I became that all would be well. And so I had the capacity in that meeting to have compassion on this doctor who was doing his best for the patient and also for the family member sitting in front of him.

I did not doubt. 

And when Alan came to consciousness some days later, I so would have enjoyed meeting this doctor again. I never did. But I do pray that he somehow recognises that Faith is real and powerful and worth living out through Jesus. 

Although Alan did not survive, he did revive. I am not playing with the LORD’s word to me. He did say, “Alan will recover” and Alan died. I don’t know what happened in between that led to Alan’s death, but I do know it was not for lack of faith of thousands who stood in the gap for us both.

Request

As time passes, I want to be sure I am composing and posting this general journey of Alan’s hospitalisation to those who are interested. I’d so value a comment or email which gives an indication. If no one is reading, that’s absolutely fine. But if there are those reading, I want to continue the story.

Every blessing.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Ministry of Love: a reflection

The Ministry of Love

The closer we get to Jesus, the less need we have of others. 

The less need we have, the more love we can give. 

Ministry is loving others as we love ourselves. 

Ministry is loving and being with others as Jesus is with us.

May we live, learn and love as Jesus. 

That’s our ultimate goal, 

achieved only through the love of GOD 

and the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Meditate on the Word of God, which is Jesus, and grow.

Love everyone as though in ministry, for we are always in ministry.

Always.

Hallelujah!

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

ICU: the second phase of Covid p2

The Life is in the Blood:

Tuesday 19th February

The phone rang. It was Dr J. He told me Alan was now on a ventilator. 

I didn’t pass out… but I wanted to.

“We didn’t ring you beforehand because there wasn’t time”, he said. “He needed to be ventilated without delay. Normally we ring the next of kin before we do this.” At the time I thought the doctor was suggesting they usually ask our permission. I would learn however, that I actually had very little say about Alan’s treatment as we moved forward over the next days and weeks. We all agreed we wanted him to get well; to some degree, we disagreed how to ensure that recovery.

“How was Alan before he went under? Was he accepting?” I asked.

“Yes, he was very calm.” Well, that’s something positive, I thought.

In a sea of despair, I hung up the phone. I did not cry. There was no space for such luxury. 

Despair

After weeks of concern and prayer, having given family members regular updates, I knew the goal posts now needed to be moved considerably; as best I could, I would have to change my behaviour to fit Alan’s desperate circumstances. I messaged the family, explaining Alan’s changed condition. A day later I said they’d perhaps not hear much from me for a while because I needed to give total attention to Alan. Not one ever complained or made things awkward for me. In fact, over the next weeks, I felt loved very dearly… not so much by what they said or did, but because they allowed me to focus where I needed to most. Proceeding forward, rather than balance between updates of physical health to family with coordinating fellow believers to pray, instead I focused upon Alan and how the LORD would lead us to pray for his full recovery.

It never occurred to me that he would not recover to full health. Yes, I recognised the threat upon his life. I had been battling unseen forces, drawing more and more upon other believers who would pray; I was fully aware of the threat. But the LORD had said, “Alan will recover” on the 29th or 30th of December. So he would!

Wolves

Some time during Alan’s treatment, after the heart attack and before ICU, I saw in the Spirit there were dark forces trying to destroy him. These forces I call wolves. It was as though they were panting, salivating, pacing, lingering around his bed. I didn’t have totally sleepless nights, but there were nights where I stood or knelt or paced in prayer. 

I am so grateful to every other person who prayed, and to two people in particular, who are far more advanced in spiritual warfare than I, who stood with us, prayed with me and taught me so much. These are patient family members in the LORD, who never yielded in their support, patience and dedication to the fight. The outcome was not realised in the way we’d hoped and believed, but nevertheless, the battles were earnest and full of little victories.

Scrutinising the threat

While Alan was on the ventilator in ICU, I reflected back on times when he’d been in the Ward beforehand; the wolves were still there. I prayed earnestly he’d never be sent back to that particular ward, and I kept a watchful eye on it in the Spirit, praying that those wolves would leave rather than decimate the lives of others there.

Passage of time

Alan would be in ICU on a ventilator for 25 days. Each day the LORD led me to Him. And each day I focused on Alan. My son, my step daughter and I stood on GOD’s promise. We knew Alan’s strength of faith and strength of will to survive. Though doctors tried to warn me that Alan might not make it through, on those occasions I simply said, “Alan will recover” and you know what? He did… it just didn’t last.

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Reflections and Poetry

ICU: the second phase of Covid p1

The Life is in the Blood:

The lady consultant

Monday morning 18th of January, the same consultant who had rung at 10:30 pm the night before rang to say Alan was much better and did we want to come to see him? He was now in ICU on C-pap, which meant his breathing had declined further, but we would be able to see him and pray with him. 

Thankfully Jordan was at home for school because of the lockdown. We were happy to be invited to see Alan after all the time he’d been in hospital (nearly 3 weeks) and hastily got ourselves together and went to visit. There was no time to contact Izzie but we’d share with Alan’s daughter later about finally having the opportunity to visit her father in hospital.

It took nearly half an hour to find parking in the hospital car park!

The first visit

When I met the consultant Dr I, she looked stressed, but she said Alan, after his collapse of the night before, was much much better. She smiled. She must have worked all night.

I think it is fair to say that these doctors are invested in the restoration of their patients. Yes, doctors are limited in what they can achieve with medicine, but they do what they can with all the passion and desire for success imaginable. What I saw in Dr I’s face was concern, relief and hope for us.

Alan looked weary but nodded and spoke to us as best he could, through the heavy mask. 

Looking back now, I wonder how I didn’t know the decline would continue. I think he knew… expected he might have to be put on the ventilator, but no one, not Alan nor any medical staff said anything to me. I did whisper to him at one point that, “You don’t have to accept the ventilator if they ask you.” He nodded to acknowledge he’d heard me.

We were with him for a glorious 45 minutes. The time flew by and we chatted about Elvis music, school and other trivial things. The nurse shared about her family and how she spent 2 days per week in ICU. Alan gave one instruction to Jordan, “Stand up straight.” It would be the last instruction Alan would ever give to our son; I didn’t know that at the time so how is it I remember it so clearly?

As we parted with love and prayers, I wondered if the staff thought Alan might have to be put on a ventilator, and that was why they invited us to come… a sort of “just in case” we’d never see him again. Yes, the thought crossed my mind, and yet I was confident we would return to normal one day.

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Reflections and Poetry Watchman on Alert BLOG

Heart Attack: the first phase of Covid – p 3

The Life is in the Blood aka When the Music Fades

The First Phase of Covid – 19: part 3

News of the Angiogram

Looking back, I think Alan thought it might be the end of his life when he went to have the minor op called an angiogram, which was to look at his heart by inserting a camera. The doctors couldn’t figure out for a week why he wasn’t recovering from the Covid. Oxygen levels were fairly stable but he was exhausted. What was the cause?

Eventually, they decided to have another look at his heart.

Covid and heart attack – similar symptoms

Covid pneumonia produces chest pain and fatigue. So does heart attack. They’d done an EEG early in his hospitalisation which revealed a healthy heart. But after a week they decided to look again…

When Alan (and the consultant) told me he was to have an angiogram, Alan said, “Walk on water, Darling.” I thought he was referring to our talks months before about wanting to live in the Spirit 24/7 and of our frustration that it wasn’t forthcoming. I thought he was encouraging faithfulness. In fact, I think he was also warning me…I think he was telling me he thought he might to die — certainly he could die — and I needed to trust the LORD.

Result of the angiogram

Well, the angiogram revealed he’d been in heart attack condition for a week. They put two stents in an artery. After it all, Alan seemed to recover; the cardiologist told me he’d be released in two days as regards the cardiology issue, but perhaps a bit longer if the respiratory recovery was slower.

He was never released of course, and the weakened heart played a big role in that. 

Blinded by disease

Why did it take such a long time to look at Alan’s heart? Why, if he’d experienced a heart attack on the 1st of January, did it take until the 8th to have a closer look? Because Covid and heart attack “look” so similar. The disease is so new, and someone healthy like Alan simply didn’t flag up the heart issue beyond a cursory look after admission. I think the doctors felt badly for not spotting it, but who can blame them? They do the best they can with human eyes and science’s limited information.

Don’t look at the Storm

Of course Jordan and I were relieved. It was horrible Alan had experienced a heart attack, but he’d be home soon, they’d found the problem and he was recovering. Praise the LORD! Lots of people have heart attacks and recover. They change their lifestyle to cope, and that is generally a good thing. And of course we had the faith to believe anything is possible.


Alan’s independence and determination to come home

But although Alan got up every morning after the 8th and washed on his own, he was exhausted afterward. He was eating but sporadically. And he was so tired. 

Then came silence from him for three days and nights, and that really make me uncomfortable. Around this time I practiced prayer life more deeply. I looked at Jesus, no matter how distant and silent and remote I felt from Alan. Quietly, I drew in more and more others to pray.

There was optimism. I began to write an outline for a book we’d write together (though I didn’t have the opportunity to share this with Alan at the time). Prayer continued and I began to spread the net wider as Alan seemed “stuck” in his healing. I received tremendous encouragement from others who were drawn in to pray.

On Friday the 15th of January, Alan rang and we chatted a bit. Oh, I was deliriously delighted! He said he’d felt that he’d been in the belly of a whale, but knew the nurses were talking to me, so he didn’t worry that we weren’t communicating. He also said the LORD had told him He would take him “through the valley of the shadow of death”. Well, certainly he had been deathly ill. But he was getting better, at last…..

That night, two others, very much warriors in prayer, joined with me together over the phone to pray for Alan. It was a powerful time. We prayed in detail for healing, we praised GOD for the breakthrough. We hoped Alan would be home by the next Sabbath. Later, one of these two and another person who was praying in Hong Kong, sent songs about breath and breathing to forward to Alan; I did so. Over that night, the LORD also had me literally breathing for Alan — “the two become one flesh” took on whole new meaning for me that night!

Sunday 17th I was awoken in the night to pray. The LORD also led me to cast the net wider for prayer and an entire TV network was invited in. 

I noticed that Alan hadn’t been looking at his What’sApp. He didn’t feel strong enough to listen to the music he’d been sent, which was a concern for me. But I — and many others — prayed on, trusting the LORD for His healing of Alan.

I got a call that night, 17th of January at 10:30pm, from a consultant. Alan had collapsed and was in a bad way and would probably be taken to ICU.

Storm

The storm was crashing, but I deliberately and determinedly looked to Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. 

I don’t remember what I said to our sixteen year old son after the hospital had rung that night, perhaps nothing at all; he was aware each time the hospital rang and never asked the report. We only talked about the matter of his dad being in hospital a little: sincerely and honestly, but rarely.

We went to bed soon after, and I even managed to sleep that night, which must have been a supernatural gift. 

I believed breakthrough was imminent.

* Photo courtesy of Revelation TV

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Reflections and Poetry

Clarity, Vision, Direction: a reflection

Clarity, Vision, Direction

I do not have clarity, vision, direction for the future, not just yet. As a single person again after nearly thirty years, I really don’t know what is next for me to do. I no longer have covering as I had with my husband; I am now the covering for others. Yes, I have pastoral covering, and GOD’s covering, but that is different from the intimate and immediate covering of a spouse to his wife.

Over the last three years my husband Alan and I sought to build a joint ministry. One partner is gone now, so what is to become of that ministry which we believed GOD had a hand in I do not know. I do know that I don’t want to do anything the LORD is not in, and so ministry, though wide open, has a narrow door. 

I am an author and as such, felt the writing I did to encourage others to pray for Alan when he was sick was a culmination of all my writing effort and experience gained over the last twenty years. Do I continue? Yes, for now, unless the LORD guides me otherwise.

I am a mother and a step mother; I “look after” those put in my care just as Alan would have done, for into their future these others may look, but I see and pray and stand for them. I take nothing for granted except that GOD is love and I reflect GOD to those in my care.

Life today

Life is light and love and freedom in Christ. Life is hope and joy and truth to share with others. Life has changed entirely, in an instant. The moment Alan passed away I became a new person, and I am slowly becoming acquainted with “her”. I pray I will maintain the wisdom and integrity of my husband, and discover the purpose and role and even the identity of myself as a single person who loves the LORD, loves her family, loves the spiritual family within the church of our LORD, and loves herself. 

Purpose

And as for purpose? Ultimately, it is to reflect the glory of GOD. In the more immediate, I simply do not know… but “he who waits upon the LORD shall renew his strength…” (Isaiah 40:31) and so I wait. I also hope, reflect on His word, remember Alan and his principles, and take delight in the sunshine, the fresh air, the thoughts, impressions and memories of my earlier life as a married woman. Most of all, I seek the presence of the LORD and all that brings to uplift us me; that for me and any follower if Jesus, is what quenches, fills and moves us forward. 

Hallelujah, the LORD reigns, in and through us, moving us forward and lifting us upward into the call and purpose and identity of Jesus. Amen.

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Reflections and Poetry

Heart Attack: limited communication, limited effectiveness – the first phase of Covid – p2

When communication between a couple is daily, no matter the distance, and that is abruptly interrupted, it’s hard. At least I found it hard. 

The first day Alan was in hospital, he found it hard to speak, so we texted. I took his lead so as not to trouble him or tax his strength. When I mentioned pneumonia to Alan he was surprised. They’d told him he had Covid but no one had mentioned pneumonia. He found it a bit agitating, I think, to hear from me that he had pneumonia. 

In hospital the first few days, communication was sporadic. I found the silence heart-breaking but I put my trust in GOD’s sovereignty and remembered continually His word to me that “Alan will recover” and that carried me through the scary days, as I experienced a sense of powerlessness and a feeling like being in a washing machine — constantly turned and twisted, having very little air or peace.

Each day I’d speak to a nurse who would give me Alan’s oxygen level (which I only understood relative to ‘normal’ or the level told me the day before) and his blood pressure.

“What is he receiving the oxygen through?” I’d ask, wary whether it be a C-Pap or a light mask. 

“A light tube” one nurse would say. One night, overnight, they lay him on his stomach and he didn’t need oxygen support at all. That’s a good sign, I thought.

When someone is in hospital, moving back and forth from a high intensity ward to a short term unit and back again, it’s impossible not to read into every change something significant, even though it’s all guess work from a family member’s point of view. With no personal visitation allowed due to the Covid pandemic, and very sparse comment from Alan, every word a stranger said was filtered through my analytical brain and taken to GOD with prayer, hope and a seeking as to what to do next. 

I had told my son in person, then my step daughter by phone, and lastly Alan’s siblings by group text, that first day, after Alan was admitted into hospital with Covid. No one panicked, probably in part because I didn’t panic, because the LORD gave me wisdom, assurance and faith to hold on, trust Him and remain calm. 

Looking back, in spite of huge effort on the part of the hospital to be vigilant towards Alan’s recovery right from Day 1, I think the lack of communication contributed to the increase of illness and ultimately, to the end of Alan’s life. Had I known some things sooner, I could have prayed more effectively. Had doctors learned from me sooner about Alan’s disposition and personality, they may have read rather than misread some signs and perhaps medicated less vigorously. But do I suggest lack of communication caused his death? Not directly, no, I don’t think so. Rather, communication and visitation would have given Alan better quality of life while in hospital, and I may have had more influence upon doctors perhaps, and sooner. It is my view that a patient’s family should have more voice in their treatment because they know the patient best and can focus on this one patient when doctors are devoted to many all at once. A family member can detect things perhaps better than doctors when they are with the patient in person. But in the final analysis, the circumstances were as they were, and GOD orchestrated a fine symphony which brought to the attention of all parties involved, His power and presence in the life of Alan and me. He brought the entire team of medics to the point of focus on Alan’s definite recovery just days or even hours before the LORD released him back to Himself. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

I began to share with close praying friends the situation with Alan: Covid pneumonia, in hospital, needing just a little air support. I told the pastor, who shared with the church. I didn’t share on line — it was a private matter and Alan is known in the Christian community; I sought prayer but not panic or rumour or distracting phone calls. I believe GOD led me each step, as to with whom to share the news and to whom I would request prayer support. Each person I told was vigilant, I believe, and keen to pray for Alan’s recovery.

And so began a purpose-driven strategy to pray Alan back to full health and home.

*Photo courtesy of Revelation TV

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Reflections and Poetry

After Alan: a reflective poem

Passage of time

after death

of a loved one.

Marking moments

memories of friends and 

intimacies of marriage

make me remember.

And yet

The door is closing

must close

on past times

A new freedom beckons

bittersweet

Strife-less; less safe,

haven lost to find

in new life:

breath

peace

hope

with fond remembrances of 

You.

(In memory of Alan Tun, my wonderful husband and best friend)

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Reflections and Poetry

Spousal Bereavement: in difficult times love makes a difference

A thousand thank you’s is still not nearly enough

How can a wife show love and gratitude for the respect, appreciation and friendship her husband has received in his life and which has been conveyed even after his death, through good wishes, prayers, cards, emails and messages?

How can I crystallise what your kindness has done for me and for my family?

A writer uses words, but I’m bereft of words.

I have discovered somethings new about my husband in his passing: he held deep friendship with some he knew only in passing, and received tremendous respect from colleagues years beyond their working together. He was a good man and I was not the only one who knew it!

Yes, Alan was a fine and godly man. But he was also a friend to so very many people I may never have the pleasure to meet. 

So I say this to those who valued Alan the way that I valued Alan: Thank you for sharing your love of him with me in this time of his departure. It will stay with me to share with his children and his children’s children.

Thank you. And you will always have a friend in me:) 

Much, much love to all.

Sarah

sarahtun@laruspress.com

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Heart Attack: the first phase of Covid pt 1

The Life is in the Blood aka When the Music Fades (manuscript beginnings about the hospitalisation of Alan Tun)

One morning recently, I awoke to the memory of learning of Alan’s heart attack. Never was I so relieved to hear such bad news.

At the time, my son Jordan and I were joyful at the news of Alan having incurred and overcome a heart attack, because to us, it meant that the doctors had finally found the source of the continual fatigue and lack of healing in Alan since he had been admitted, even and though he’d been getting great care and all the oxygen he needed. Cardiologists dealt with the heart attack by putting two stents in the artery that had been blocked and Alan — conditional on respiration recovery — would soon be home.

So we thought. We all thought: family, doctors, Alan.

It was instead, the beginning of a decline that would be relentless leading to induced coma.

So, the saga of Alans illness and ultimate journey into his glorious destiny with Jesus continues from last week’s introduction, for those who are interested.

I am not one to dwell on the past. One of my favourite scriptures is from Philippians 3, “Forgetting what is behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on…” Paul says. And I am like that in my general attitude to life.

The idea of rehashing what happened to Alan is not what’s on my heart. There is no blame to attach because everyone, from prayerful friends to family and relatives, to doctors and nurses on the wards, worked painfully hard to bring Alan to health, and yet he died. GOD is sovereign, and so couldn’t He have saved Alan? These are not the points spurring on my writing about his time in hospital. So why do it then? It isn’t for catharsis. I suppose I document this because I think it is an interesting story, quite intense and full of scripture and prayer and spiritual warfare, and honouring to a man who fought beyond physical strength to stay in this world for the sake of his family and friends and all those whom he taught… even though he had no fear of death whatsoever and knew he would go to a safer, happier, holier place when ever he did finish here on earth.

The story begins

Alan had been ill since the 19th of December. He’d had a nasty ongoing headache, aches, and enough nausea to mean he had virtually no appetite. I gave him hot echenacia and lemon, vitamins: especially C, D and Zinc (though he refused to take them all daily). He had no fever, no continuous cough, no shortness of breath, no change in taste or smell (except one bad tasting banana, which should have put us on high alert). I’d had the same headache and pains which turned into a cold, and fully recovered after 4 days. Jordan had had a headache a few days before me. We all thought we had the flu of a sort and were taking it in turn.

But one evening, on day 11, I awoke in the night and Alan was on the floor. He told me it was the second time he’d collapsed in the night, even though he said he didn’t feel short of breath or dizzy. Why didn’t I call the emergency straight away?

I phoned the doctor the next day but couldn’t get our own so I left it one more day. On day 13 we spoke with our doctor who was patient and rather emphatic, saying that “of course you have Covid” and she arranged for a clinic appointment.

It was very cold on 31st of December. We drove to the clinic and parked and walked through the cold outdoors to the clinic. I left him with the nurse, not being permitted inside given the Covid restrictions. I’d come back in 30 minutes to collect Alan.

29 minutes later as I was making my way back to the entrance where we’d parted, my mobile rang. It was a pleasant doctor on the line who said Alan had pneumonia. It was probably Covid as well he said, and Alan would be taken to the hospital by ambulance. The doctor answered all my questions. The main issue had been that although Alan was clearly low on Oxygen, settling at about 88% when anything below 92% is a concern, he was — it seems — one of 10% of people who experience silent hypoxia. The fact that their oxygen level is low just doesn’t register warning symptoms. So apart from him landing on the floor a couple of nights, he’d not had any symptoms of chest pain, difficult breathing or climbing of stairs, which are the typical signposts of low oxygen levels triggered by Covid.

My heart sank.

As I drove home alone I thought, “What am I going to say to Jordan?” our 16 year old son. And I gathered myself up and knew I must be resolutely positive, calm and assured, for there was no point in worrying myself, let alone causing someone else to worry. It was enough of a “message” that Alan would not be home right away because he’d been too ill with pneumonia and had instead been taken to hospital.

About 15 minutes after I arrived home, Alan rang. He sounded rough medically and somewhat dismayed. 

This is not how we thought this day would progress.

Now would begin 18 days of intermittent communication, ups and many medical downs, and an empty canister of oxygen, all which ultimately would lead to his being put into ICU.

More next time for those for whom this is of interest.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Service to Honour the Life of Alan Tun

Funeral to be held at 1pm UK time, Monday 29th March: Livestream open link(scroll down on this Homepage): https://tmc-church.org.uk/

to be saved and accessible thereafter: https://tmc-church.org.uk/preacher/tun-alan/

All song selections are chosen from Alan’s personal collection 

Song 

Pie Jesu by Aled Jones 

Pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu
Qui tollis piccata mundi
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem
Pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu
Qui tollis piccata mundi
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei Qui tollis piccata mundi
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem Sempiternam, sempiternam Sempiternam requiem 

Welcome and Prayer 

by Pastor Deon Esterhuizen 

Reading 

Psalm 23: 1 – 6 by Izzie Jay 

The Lord Is My Shepherd 

I shall not want. 

He makes me to lie down in green pastures; 

He leads me beside the still waters. 

He restores my soul; 

He leads me in the paths of righteousness 

For His name’s sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 

I will fear no evil; 

For You are with me; 

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 

You anoint my head with oil; 

My cup runs over. 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me 

All the days of my life; 

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Family Eulogy 

by Victor Tun 

Song 

How Great Thou Art by Elvis Presley 

Oh Lord my God when I in awesome wonder Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed. When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation And take me home – What joy shall fill my heart Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim my God how great Thou art Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee How great Thou art, how great Thou art Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee How great Thou art, how great Thou art. 

Reading 

Scripture Collage
by Jim Goodwin

Verses suggested by colleagues and friends 

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 

Psalm 91: 1 – 2 

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honour him.” 

Psalm 91: 14 – 15 

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 

James 3: 13 

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. 

James 3: 17 – 18 

“The thief does not come except to kill, and to steal, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and may have it more abundantly.” 

John 10: 10 

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth,
but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it….. 

Joshua 1: 8

“To whom then will you liken Me,
Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One. 

“Lift up your eyes on high,
And see who has created these things,
Who brings out their host by number;
He calls them all by name,
By the greatness of His might
And the strength of His power;
Not one is missing.” 

Isaiah 40: 25 – 26 

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And His redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; Besides me there is no other God….” 

Isaiah 44: 6 

Indeed He says, “It is too small a thing that
You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,
That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.” 

Isaiah 49: 6 

Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them;
So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the Lord
And who meditate on His name. 

“They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them
As a man spares his own son who serves him.” 

Malachi 3: 16 – 17 

For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ 

Isaiah 41: 13 

Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His saints. 

Psalm 116: 15 

His Lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 

Matthew 25: 23 

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 

2 Tim 4: 7 – 8 

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever
things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. 

Philippians 4: 8 – 9 

Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! 

Matthew 13: 43 

Ministry Eulogy 

by Tim Vince 

Song 

Thy Word by Amy Grant 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet And a light unto my path. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet And a light unto my path. 

When I feel afraid,
And think I’ve lost my way. Still, You’re there right beside me. Nothing will I fear
As long as You are near; Please be near me to the end. 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet And a light unto my path. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet And a light unto my path. 

I will not forget
Your love for me and yet, My heart forever is wandering. Jesus be my guide,
And hold me to Your side, And I will love you to the end. 

Nothing will I fear
As long as You are near; Please be near me to the end. 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet And a light unto my path. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet And a light unto my path. And a light unto my path. You’re the light unto my path. 

Reading 

Romans 8: 1 – 39 by Sarah Tun 

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made
me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,
on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death,
but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God;
for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin,
but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors – not to the flesh,
to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die;
but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that
we are children of God,
And if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly
waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly,
but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage
of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groans and
labours with birth pangs together until now.
Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even
we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope;
for why does one still hope for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see,
we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the
Spirit is, because He makes intercession
for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died,
and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation,
or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: 

“For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come. 

Nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Time of Prayer 

by Pastor Deon Esterhuizen 

Song 

From A Distance by Cliff Richard 

From a distance, the world looks blue and green And the snow capped mountains so white From a distance the ocean meets the stream And the eagle takes to flight. 

From a distance, there is harmony
And it echoes through the land
It’s the voice of hope, it’s the voice of peace It’s the voice of everyone. 

From a distance, we all have enough And no one is in need
There are no guns, no bombs and no disease No hungry mouths to feed. 

For a moment we are instruments Marching in a common band
Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace They’re the songs of everyone. 

God is watching us God is watching us
God is watching us, from a distance. 

From a distance, you look like my friend Even though we are at war
From a distance, I can’t comprehend What all this war is for. 

What we need is love and harmony Let it echo through the land
It’s the hope of hopes, it’s the love of loves It’s the heart of everyone
It’s the hope of hopes, it’s the love of loves It’s the song of everyone. 

Sing out songs of Hope Sing out songs of Freedom Sing out songs of Love Sing out songs of Peace Sing out songs of Justice Sing out songs of Harmony Sing out songs of Love Sing out Everyone… 

Socially distanced light refreshments will be served in the church hall after the service.

Afterword:

Alan Tun: Total freedom in Christ by Sarah Tun 

Our lovely Alan has gone 

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1) 

With Alan’s inverted thinking, taking the Gospel for exactly what it says and with no assumptions, leads us to the logical conclusion that death is not to be mourned, not for the person who has died. He has moved to an address which offers so much more. 

Why did this happen? 

Since we know that GOD is good and rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), and since I’ve already established in my mind, as well as in my experience with Alan in his last hours, that Alan was ready to go to be with him, then on what basis did the LORD think of me? Did He abandon me or my son? Not at all. 

My logical conclusion to what has occurred is that he trusts me to be able to handle this life without my husband. He trusts our son to grow up in the knowledge of the LORD even without his father. We trust in the LORD with all our hearts (Proverbs 3:5) and so when we look to that scripture, to actually implement it, we can choose to trust it. 

Alan’s perspective 

Alan always looked at scripture afresh. He looked deeply,
rather than at an obvious understanding. We need the obvious when we are young, but as we age in faith (Alan came to the LORD as a teen),
we see through the glass more clearly. 

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12) 

Now that Alan has left us, he sees it all. His perspective will not be limited to his logical, truthful, consistent approach to scripture,
but will be limitless, inspired and full of all truth. 

All glory to GOD! 

Complete article at https://www.laruspress.com 

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Wives spoil your husbands: a reflection

I awoke about 4am this morning (Friday 12th March 2021) and as I lay in bed, feeling a little bit chilly, I just drifted in my thoughts.

Then, I sensed some movement. And I sat up. I believe Georg was in the room….

In the course of Alan’s hospitalisation, there was much spiritual warfare, as those of faith can well imagine. During that time, I believe the LORD introduced more to me about angels than I had ever contemplated before. But that is another topic, for another time. Suffice to say, I believe Georg was the name of Alan’s designated angel. Alan and I had not ever really discussed angels. In our many years discussing the Word of God that wasn’t a topic particularly on the list. But I believe some time during January/February, I became aware of an angel named Georg who was Alan’s angel. 

Georg was, I believe, in the room early this morning. 

“Georg” I called out softly. He stopped, poised somewhere between our wardrobes opposite the end of our bed, and the door from the room. 


He didn’t speak. But I knew he was listening. 


I considered for a while. I was wondering what he was doing there, but sensed he had something with him, something of Alan’s that he was taking with him, and that this was the last time he would be in here, in the house, and that I’d never experience his presence again. He was leaving because there was no reason any longer for him to be present.

He — or GOD — had allowed me to wake up, so that I’d know he was there.

“If you are allowed to speak to Alan, would you tell him from me… I loved him. I admired him so much. I only fully realised what an amazing man he was after he’d gone to the hospital. I’m sorry. I should have spoiled him more.”

You see, Alan and I had a really solid marriage. We were quite different in our personalities and cultures. In fact, it was only in the last six months I’d begun to identify the part of him who was a Burmese man: passive, solid but not particularly assertive, and certainly not aggressive in any way. Alan was one hundred percent confident, but had no need or propensity to put himself forward. That’s the part of him I identify as “Burmese”. I shared that with him some time before Christmas. I’m glad.

This aspect of him I never really understood until 2020. I don’t know how I began to recognise it, but I do know why: because I’d always found his “leading from the back foot” frustrating and didn’t understand why he didn’t assert himself more. Oh, I’m sure he did in his own way in his world of work. Certainly he was a successful manager of people in the City of London. In discovering the link between his birth culture and his personality, I relaxed about our lives together much more. 

But in his absence when he’d gone to hospital, I learned so much more about our marriage: his identity and mine, and ours together. And so now, I regret I didn’t spoil him. By that I mean, I didn’t acquiesce easily (being of North American culture where one has to stand for oneself), didn’t often relent when I disagreed until I “understood” where Alan was coming from, until recently. I admired his gift as a Bible teacher and we talked a great deal about the Word together. And our principles and desire to grow in the character of GOD was perfectly alined. But in the little hobbies he had, I never listened endlessly about hi fi or watches, about the workshop and DIY, and I teased him about his enjoyment of “rubbish” tv: mindless programmes which he occasionally enjoyed about people buying abandoned storage locker contents for resale or individuals trying to get a good price from a pawn shop on their attic junk (thankfully, I did sit and enjoy them with him from time to time).

I tried to cook the sort of food he liked and adored his approach to GOD’s Word. I admired his integrity and selfless determination to live a godly life. But I didn’t listen to him enough about the little things and I talked as much as I listened, or more. I didn’t encourage his somewhat eccentric preference for music. And I didn’t help him very well when he wanted help around the house; he just wanted me to sit while he did a task and pass tools to him. I was rubbish at that, usually wandering off to do something while I was awaiting the next request, then missing the next instruction, if I remembered to return to him at all. I wish now, that I had done so much better at “helping” him.

I wish I’d spoiled him so much more. I would have, I believe, had he returned home from hospital, because I’d come to understand the man much better. I’m grateful I had the opportunity more than once during the hospital ordeal to wrap it all up by saying, “Alan I respect you,” and “I have learned patience”.

So, if I have a pearl of wisdom to share about the passing of my dear husband Alan Tun, in its summation it would be: wives, spoil your husbands more than you do (unless you already do a great, great deal). Because they need it. It’s part of their make-up as men, whether they demonstrate it or not. 

“Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto the Ancient of Days.” And LORD, please let Alan know, if there is a way for him to know, that I wish I’d honoured him better by spoiling him more, and yes, now, I think I love him almost perfectly. 

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Letting Go

“Walk on water,” he told me on the 5th of January. He was having an angiogram.

All went well.

Last night when I saw him, I asked him, “Do you remember telling me to walk on water?” 

He said, “Yes.”

“Now,” I said, “it’s your turn.”

I know we walked on water together. For a time. But then his spirit ascended and mine remains.

My darling husband, I know you rest in peace.

Alan Tun

17.05.1958 – 10.03.2021

A fine and godly man.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

24 Hours alone: a poem

Last night the LORD left me. 

I was in despair

In despair, I didn’t know He’d left

I just felt despair.

Last night I sought the LORD

He was quiet, I was fraught

I sought the LORD 

and He did not reply.

After weeks of calm

Methodical detachment and trust

I was emotional:

Angry and afraid.

But I did not flee

Nor blame or denounce

I did not succumb to my flesh

But clung to His Spirit in me.

His grace is enough

His love is sufficient

His truth is all

And I am bathed once again.

Know this: we grow

Then we are tested

When we have a choice,

We yield and are saved

All over again.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Living in the Eye of the Storm

When there are storms in life, as there most certainly will be, how do we live as a testament to our faith in a glorious and powerful GOD? Living in the eye of the storm, we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

Only God

Our focus is on the issue, but instead, when we transfer it from the problem onto Jesus, the storm which rages around us has no effect. 

Practically speaking, praise music helps enormously, listening constantly to uplifting, Spirit-led music. For me, the LORD lays specific songs onto my heart, at certain times, to play again and again, until my mind becomes quiet. 

People in our lives will come forward too. And I use my spiritual discernment, honed for such a time as this, to consider who the LORD has appointed at this time to support me as I intercede or pray through the storm, until it passes. This has nothing to do with friendship, or offence. This has to do with calming the storm! Some people will be called, and will carry a burden or an anointing, others will not. To “get the job done” we must use the people the LORD has provided.

Trust God

Has GOD made you a promise or uttered a word into your ear? Stand on it! We do not know why specific storms arise, but we know all storms are opportunities to grow. Maybe the enemy has a foothold somehow, or maybe the enemy is being used to demonstrate your strength against him. Remember righteous Job and the pain he suffered, simply to show satan how faithful Job was to GOD. Ultimately he received his reward. We can trust GOD in any storm, as the master of the storm and as our righteousness.

Stand

No matter how stormy the sea, stand in it. No matter how rocky the boat, stand upon the waters, look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (who incidentally literally calmed the storm for his frightened disciples), and do not yield to fear or foe.

Be Nimble

Paradoxically, we also need to be nimble as we experience the situation. 

As the storm rages, it will take twists and turns. Allow GOD to lead you through it. Keep your balance in the waves, and trust the leading of the LORD to take you to the shore. He will. He always honours His promises.

No Storm is Impossible to calm

The storm may rage, it may seem unconquerable.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who [loves] us.” (Romans 8:37)

Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and the storm will subside.