Andrea’s Song

 

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Andrea O’Brien and Elizabeth Fulgaro following 2nd annual Carols At The Capitol – Sacramento, CA      12/13/14

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2016

I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. (Ps. 118:17 NKJV)

Andrea O’Brien was my close friend and prayer partner for over 15 years. Andrea O’Brien lived large.  She wanted everyone to know her reason for living: Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. He was the centermost focus of her life.  Oh, she fervently loved her husband, daughters and son with a fiery, unstoppable love, but the center of her life was Jesus.

Following her January 14, 2014 colon cancer diagnosis, she felt as if the Lord Himself (via the Holy Spirit) had highlighted several specific Scripture to hang onto and help bolster her faith to trust God for healing during her illness.

In particular there was Psalm 118:17: “I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord.”  She made sure it was prayed over her daily, often by her son.

Andrea knew her God. He was Supreme. He was Creator and Almighty. He conquered every one of the adversary’s schemes.  He was eternal Victor. He was also good because He was Love. He could do whatever He wanted. He had raised from the dead. He answered prayer. Ask and the door would be opened. Seek and we would find.  Illness was as nothing to Him.  He was Divine Restorer and Healer.

Her cancer was not from Him. It did not exist in heaven.  It was part of this fallen world in which we live. It was from the pit of hell.

Andrea knew God could do anything. Her focus was to keep living. She had a family she fiercely loved and believed she had work still to do for the Lord. She wasn’t ready to pass from our present into eternal life.

Often she said she could not believe that to die of cancer was God’s best for her.  Certainly her Lord could would heal her if she just believed firmly enough and did not doubt. If she had faith in what the doctors said was impossible, the Lord Himself would heal her.  Then she would proclaim His works—how the doctors had said she would die, but when she didn’t the world would know God was real because of the miracle He had done for her.  It would be glorious!

Helping others learn that God was real, to be believed in, trusted, chosen as Lord and followed was a main objective in her life. She wanted to shout it from rooftops and mountaintops (and tried whenever she could) that if they did not choose to believe, then they would not have eternal life with Him. We needed to not just believe but follow Him—to be activated in our faith and wield the Word of God as the sword of His love and truth to introduce more to live for His kingdom from now through eternity.  Andrea was bold in her faith, speaking about the need for Jesus in order to receive the promised life to come, wherever there was opportunity and sometimes creating opportunity where she initially saw none.

But despite strong faith and best efforts, the illness progressed.  On Tuesday, June 2, 2015 she succumbed to her illness. Brave, resolute, strong Andrea O’Brien’s physical body failed. She died.

Two days later, on Thursday, June 4th I had the most amazing experience.  It was mid-afternoon. I was busy flitting around our Placerville, California home getting ready to head out on a trip, when I unmistakably heard Andrea call my name.  No one forgot how her voice sounded when Andrea called a person’s name like this. This was her firm, turn-and-listen, pay-attention-to-me voice.

I thought I was imagining things, yet I deep down I knew I wasn’t.  My attention was always turned to listening for the Holy Spirit. I did not give any effort to trying to hear any spiritual voice but God’s. None.  I didn’t want to hear anyone or anything besides God!  Yes, I understood that after death if we believed in Him we are with Him and more alive than ever, but it was from God alone I sought knowledge, not the souls of those who had gone before.

She called my name a total of three times in the same tone. It was faint, but insistent like a whisper floating on the breeze. It was unmistakable.  I busied myself with my tasks.  If I was imagining this, my busy-ness would likely overwhelm what my imagination was conjuring.  If it was real—if it was Andrea trying to let me know something—then, well, nothing would stop it.

Her message continued.  Each phrase stated three times to make sure I heard it before moving to the next.

“The Lord is great. The LORD is great! The LORD is GREAT!

“It is beautiful here.  It is beautiful HERE! It is BEAUTIFUL HERE!

“Tell everyone. Tell EVERYONE! TELL EVERYONE!

“I am free.  I am FREE! I AM FREE!”

And then it was over.

I sobbed.  Dear beautiful Andrea who had fought death so valiantly and worked so hard to remain in this life. Feisty, adamant, faith-filled Andrea who trusted, even demanded her Lord heal her so she could continue to stay with her husband and children, who didn’t want talk of death around her so she could stay strong in faith (and fired hospice nurses for talking too much about death).  Now her good report. She had not wanted to die, yet following this physical death could proclaim the greatness of our God.  She was not mad at Him for not healing her. She was proclaiming the wonder and beauty of heaven and the gift of true, real freedom through eternal life with Him.  She was joy-filled!

Several months later I had a meeting with one of her daughters regarding carrying on Carols At The Capitol which Andrea had founded in 2013 in obedience to the Lord’s request.  We spoke about Andrea’s unexpected message. Alanna looked at me squarely. Well, the verse she prayed has gone into fulfillment, hasn’t it.

“I will not die but live and proclaim the works of the Lord.”

Through this brief, supernatural experience, Andrea had fulfilled the Scripture she had prayed for so many months, but in a manner far more profound than she had ever expected.  She had hoped to declare a physical healing which revealed the miraculous power of her God. But every person who experiences a miraculous physical healing will still eventually die. That is, except for those who as followers of Jesus enter into their eternal inheritance of living with Him and the saints who have gone before forever in His presence in the eternal Kingdom of God.

Instead the Lord had Andrea proclaim His victory over death through faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord and following Him.

Andrea was not dead. She lived. And now from heaven she proclaimed His greatest work. There was life after death. The Lord God was faithful to fulfill His promises. There was profound, unspeakable grief for those left behind and there would be reunion.  To all who would hear, God was real.  Death was not the end.  Heaven was real.  It was all worth it.  Glorious!!!

“All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  (Matt. 11:27-29 NKJV)

God would provide.  For Andrea the evangelist, this proclamation of the victory of His gift of life beyond death was her greatest and most lasting message.

A few months later while driving a song with melody and lyrics to convey her message dropped into my mind from the Holy Spirit.  In 2016 working with Michael Everett at The Creation Lab, and with the additional talents of Mark Davis and Brandon Davis, it was recorded it and placed  on my brand new “My Dwelling Place” worship album.  It is entitled, “Andrea’s Song”. It is to tell her story. It is to make sure as many as possible hear her faithful declaration which fulfills the Scripture.

ANDREA’S SONG (The LORD is Great)

words and music by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2016

“I will not die but live

And proclaim the works of the Lord.”

This is the verse she prayed

So the Lord would heal her

But the illness could not be stopped

The day came she died

Then came her voice as a whisper

She’s alive

CHORUS

The Lord is great. It’s beautiful here

Tell everyone, I am free

The Lord is great. It’s beautiful here

Tell everyone, I am free

BRIDGE

She wanted the world to know her Savior

She wanted the world to choose Him too

She wanted Him to heal, He healed forever

Now she proclaims from heaven she’s alive

CHORUS

Like Andrea, we place our hope on the Lord and His promises until it is our turn to cross over into the fullness of His presence.  For now Andrea presence’s here with us during this temporal life is still missed. She is deeply missed by all know knew and loved her.  Yet, there will be reunion.  The promise is real.  Andrea, thank you for reminding us.  PRAISE TO YOU, LORD JESUS CHRIST!

(Note: link for Andrea’s Song will be posted here as soon as available.)

The 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, Accredited Financial Counselor and financial coach with a heart for helping people understand their money and steward it God’s way. 

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro  please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at http://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, a 501(c)3 non-profit 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.   

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

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