“Jesus said to me; ‘the food that has and will continue to keep you going, Jim, is that you continue to do the will of the One who is sending you, and finish the work (in this chapter of your life) that He started in you, and is doing through you and with you!’”
John 4:34 The Message/personalized
I reached out last week to Dr. Catherine Madison and her team at the Ray Dolby Brain Heath Center at Sutter Heath in San Francisco, California. Dr. Madison and her team were a definite godsend to us at the clinical beginnings of the journey we ventured into with the attack on my wife Piper’s health. We took regular trips to the City every month or two for almost four years as they worked with Piper and guided us through the most traumatic event of our lives. To put it rather simply, they were fantastic in their physical, emotional and even spiritual concern, care, respect and honor of Piper and I. They were like a ‘one-stop’ store with the reams of straight-forward and useful information they shared with us in person, on the phone or through email exchanges.
I have since received a couple of replies from Dr. Madison and Ymkje, the Family Support Therapist that we worked closely with. I know that I keep saying this, but I am still amazed to learn of the positive impact our love and faith made on those that we had the honor to interact with during this journey. I am almost embarrassed by all the kind comments, for in my eyes, I was simply doing what I knew to do for the love of my life!
Sometimes the Lord will use people’s insights to confirm something that He was doing in me. For instance, the Family Support Therapist wrote to me that:
“I remember you both well, and have often thought about you since we last met. I was struck by the love and devotion between you. In my interactions with Piper I would always feel her authentic, wise and warm presence. Even though she had lost her words, she continued to communicate and connect deeply. In great part inspired by her, I continue to seek to connect beyond words, and help families learn how to do the same.”
I think the thing that hurt the most for me was when people around us would ignore her presence, especially those who knew her. At times I probably sounded like a broken record as I constantly encouraged people to talk to her or even call her as I ‘knew’ that she still remembered and responded so well to folks she had close interactions with in the past as well as with the others who took the time to love her with their words.
Ymkje’s comments acted as the object that finally broke the dam and I began to cry after reading those remarks late last night. It was like the Lord was using her words to counteract all the negativity I personally received and the disrespect I always felt that Piper had to endure with some people’s insecurities along the way of our journey. To me, it was another confirmation from the Lord that I had done right and heard Him correctly during the course of the race we ran.
And then this morning, as I read John 4:34, I heard Him personalizing that particular verse just for me. I believe that in some respects… nothing has changed. If anything, the last 10 years has given me the physical and spiritual experience to be even more fortified to CONTINUE the vision that He established for me many years ago.
Okay… I’ll be free to admit that I may not yet have a clear idea of what that vision is… but I have great expectations in knowing that there is a specific vision for me to accomplish for Him in this new chapter of my life. And… based on His personalization of John 4:34 this morning… I declared while looking at the framed picture of Piper that sits amongst the flower arrangements on our dining room table:
“As of today, I confess with Piper as my witness, that I am beginning to know what ‘work’ that is and I am beginning, under Your guidance Holy Ghost, to do it!”
Ooh! Ooh! I am beginning to sense that old, familiar fire building up inside of me… I think some exciting times are on the horizon… and along with you, I choose to continue to say: “I am expecting exciting things from Papa God today!”