Beauty and Gifts

Lord, You walk with us from here until reunion with You in heaven. We are so grateful for Your ways which are higher than our own. Please continue to guide and direct us perfectly. Help us to hear Your voice and have the courage to follow. Use us for Your good. We wait in joyful hope for the fulfillment of Your greatest promise--that day when You usher each of us into the promised eternity where there will be amazing reunion and rejoicing beyond measure. We trust You. We love You. We will follow for in You is all hope. In Jesus' name, Amen
Lord, You walk with us from here until reunion with You in heaven. We are so grateful for Your ways which are higher than our own. Please continue to guide and direct us perfectly. Help us to hear Your voice and have the courage to follow. Use us for Your good. We wait in joyful hope for the fulfillment of Your greatest promise–that day when You usher each of us into the promised eternity where there will be amazing reunion and rejoicing beyond measure. We trust You. We love You. We will follow for in You is all hope. In Jesus’ name, Amen

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2016

We are not promised life everlasting in this temporal realm (thanks be to God!)  Thus each one of us at some point will indeed come to the end of life here as we know it and pass into that realm of unknowing where we receive the fullness of the inheritance that our Lord has promised us.  It is the time of the fullness of betrothal–the time of complete restoration and reunion for the life  in God and with God for which we were created which goes forth spanning all eternity.

Very unexpectedly my father reached this point the final week of April 2016.  Because God created us to love, there will remain a deep heart-missing him until it is my time to pass from this life into the eternal life promised through Jesus.  Yet, this post is  not about grief, but about thankfulness.  I am thankful.  Actually, I am in abject awe and bowed down homage at the amazing beauty and gifts from the Lord which accompanied my father’s passing into his eternal reward. Sharing a bit of this with you is one way of giving God the glory (honor and credit) He is due in all this (by sharing the evidence of His perfect, loving provision in our family’s story).

What makes this all the more stunning is the realization that the Lord did not have to enable what He gave us as a family, yet He did.  In His goodness and grace He gave us moment by moment beautiful gifts which we can string together to contemplate, remember and treasure more than the richest string of earthly pearls.

My father’s physical body had not been kind to him in recent years.  Disabled to a lesser degree for a number of years, the past five or so years, the inability for his body to do what he wanted had become increasingly more so.  Little by little his health gradually but steadily declined. Now 81, until his early 60’s he was a vibrant, strong, highly intelligent and talented man who took care of his wife and children  in every regard.  He was a smart engineer who could design whatever he needed and built it.  He did not chase fame or notoriety, but was content and happy with the wife he ad cherished since he met her the first day of first grade in elementary school 75 years ago.  He enjoyed his family and living a simple, full, rich life defined by relationships with people and a deep appreciation for God’s creation, not by things or stuff.

The past few months he started having symptoms of additional health issues and my m om set out to find the specialists to get these addressed.  Suddenly on Monday, April 25th, the Holy Spirit whispered to me quite profoundly that these were not just additional health issues to be addressed and hopefully resolved, but signs that my father’s earthly physical body was shutting down.  He was dying.

I am not trained medically. I live over 2 hours drive from my parents. Therefore there is no way I could have known this but for the graciousness of the Holy Spirit.

My mother was in ongoing, full-time caregiver mode and did not recognize the shift yet. The Lord prompted me to immediately drop everything (literally cancel every appointment and plan for the week) and rush to my parents in order to gain confirmation (or not) whether what I thought the Lord was telling me was accurate so that next steps could be decided.

This gave my mother and I an opportunity to talk—a pause whereby to process.  Tuesday evening in discussion she came upon the possibility that his body might be shutting down herself.  Wednesday morning, April 27th my mother and I prayed and asked the Lord to get us to the right people—whoever He knew they were—who could give us the information we needed.  Did he need more diagnosis and treatment or did we need to let him simply enjoy his final days and pass?

There were many intertwining circles which swirled around us that day as piece by piece the Lord brought us the answer in His unique way–including a trip to the emergency room we had not asked for where they hydrated him a bit.

By Wednesday evening, the Lord had answered our prayer very specifically. We had been able to confirm that Dad was indeed close to going ahead of us to our eternal home in the presence of God.

Just before midnight, I sent out a detailed written update to family to let them know. Then what God did was astounding.  He moved on the hearts of so many simultaneously to come–and to come  quickly.  All Thursday and Friday probably 30 to 40 family members poured in locally, regionally and from out-of-state to spend time with my father.  There was such joy and peace which permeated the atmosphere!  We thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company and my father was thrilled.  It was like a grand celebration of the greatest gifts in life–love for one another.  We got to be with my father and he felt oh-so-loved and appreciated. It was beautiful!!!

On Saturday, April 30th surrounded by the family he loved, my father puckered up and gave my mother (his wife of 58 years) one last kiss and departed.  Beauty and gifts! Beauty and gifts!!! The Lord had given us time with him and time with one another when on our own we wouldn’t and couldn’t have known he was close to death, blessing him and all of us beyond words.  (The doctor on Wednesday said that without the  interim care he had received at the hospital on the emergency room visit ordered by a physician and not us, he would have died Wednesday night and none of us would have had the blessed time with him or one another.)

His passing from life to LIFE didn’t have to happen this way.  Every passing into life everlasting is not this blessed. We are so thankful and in awe for the beauty He bestowed on every step of this and the many, many gifts on so many levels with him and with one another.

Were I to share the fullness of the details of all the Lord did, with us you would weep tears of joy and gratitude to the Shepherd King who loves so much even as He walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death. Even as our hearts ache with missing Dad (because God created us to love, so when one goes ahead, we miss them and it hurts), truly our cups are overflowing.  We know with confidence (and we have seen the evidence) that His goodness and mercy will accompany us all the days of our lives and indeed we shall dwell together once again in the house of the Lord forever.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

END

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.
This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time. 
http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com
 

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.    For information email elizabeth@eaglesnestfoundation.org or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org  

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s