Friday, 29 July 2011

'I can only imagine'

''Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel ?

Will I dance for you Jesus ?or in awe of you be still ?

Will I stand in your presence ?or to my knees will I

fall ?

Will I sing hallelujah?, will I be able to speak at all ?

I can only imagine

I can only imagine''

I've had the Lyrics to this song by Mercy Me ( my recording on the Soul Survivor album) going round and round in my head for the last 24 hours or so. I have listened to it many times before but yesterday when I played it with Aimee and Lydia the words really struck me...what will it be like? How will I feel when I am standing in front of Jesus?

Wow! WHAT a day I will stand face to face with day I will see HIM...I get butterflies in my tummy just thinking about it and the certain hope I have...I KNOW it will happen one day.

I guess the only thing I can liken it to is what happened to me is after emailing and texting..even MSN'ing someone I met online. even seen a photo of. I had 'chatted' via cyberworld for months..shared secrets/fears/hopes and dreams and had become very close...I considered her a good friend, we thought alike is lots of things. One day we arranged to meet up in person.
The night before I had butterflies, and yes occasionally felt a bit nervous 'what if she didnt like me after all?'

I arrived at the meeting place far too early and nervously played with my mobile phone. The I spotted her around the same time she spotted me..our eyes met and all fear was washed away, we just threw our arms around one another and hugged, our long chats and shared moments over the months meant we knew each other inside out and there was a connection, love and respect between us.

You know I think thats what it will be like when I meeet Jesus. Yes I will probably be a little nervous but as soon as our eyes meet...theres going to be no fear.I will be looking into the eyes of perfect love..of someone I have 'chatted' to for not months but  years, who I have shared my hopes and my dreams and fears with.Someone who has been there for me and loved me through the good times and some really tough times.
you know what...I think my response will be the same as when I  met my friend for the first time...we will just run and hug each other.

What a wonderful wonderful day this will be!...Im SO excited...Im sure my words dont do it justice ,but then at the moment....

...I can only imagine.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Holiday time

We have just come back from our holiday.It was something we had looked forward to since January, we had saved hard to afford the booking fee and were going to a house owned by the Harriet Davis trust as it was specailly adapted for disabled children and had everything we needed.
The house was in Wales..Tenby to be exact, somewhere we had never been before..we were ALL extremely excited and prayed hard that Seraphina wouldnt be taken into hospital so that we couldnt go.
Well Seraph was healthy and so off we went...

The house was everything we had hoped and the view from the top window of this three story house was over Caldy Island which is an island owned by some monks who lived in the Monestary there and grew lavender which they made into soap and lavender bags.
I SO wanted to go over to the island and the housekeeper who showed us round the house told me that it was possible to take wheelchairs over too so we were resolved to go as soon as possible :)

We arrived at the house on Saturday afternoon...on Saturday evening Seraphina had a mild temperature.At first I didnt think anything of it but by the early hours of Sunday morning her temperature had spiked worryingly high and refused to go down.
David and I chatted and decided that as this temp had started within 48 hours of having her portacath flushed that we should follow protocol and take her to hospital...the question was which one!

I phoned the number on the house noticeboard and was a little concerned to find this hospital had closed for the weekend!?! I phoned another number and eventually got through to someoone who said they would arrange for a nurse to phone me back. This she did and told us to take Seraph to the 'Cottage hospital' in Tenby..great we thought, not too far away.
When we got there the Dr was waiting for us....he was very nice and caring but explained that they only had one ward for old people and one dr (him) and were unable to deal with Serph there. However he did examine Seraph and reached the conclusion that we had dreaded...Seraphina was quite likely suffering from early Septacaemia. He arranged for us to be transferred to another hospital more able to deal with her and phoned on ahead. This hospital was an hour away from Tenby (good old Sat nav!)

To cut a long story short the other hospital cannulated Seraphina and took bloods which backed up the theory that Seraphina did in fact have early Septacaemia. She was started on some very heavy duty antibiotics straight away.
All this time David and the children were sitting in the car waiting and when I told him that they were keeping her in everyones heart fell.
Then we spoke to a lovely Consultant who was very sympathetic to our plight and after staying in the hopsital all day he let us take Seraph home overnight on 'home leave' as long as we were back in thew hospital first thing in the morning. We also promised that if anything changed that we would bring her back asap.

It was good to be back in a home environment but not much sleeping was done as Seraphs temp remained high..climbing to 40 degrees at one point.
The folowing day wasnt much better but..she hadnt got any worse Tuesday more results were back and they showed that she also had a urine infection and a stoma infection as well she had also developed a chesty cough.
Each day we had to drive to the hospital for early morning and stay there until her antibioics had slowly run through and she had been reviewed again by the drs.
On Wednesday she was  improved, her temperature was normal but she was still not herself by any means. The hospital swapped her to 'oral'antibiotics so that we didnt have to keep going back and forth to the hospital.we tried to go to the Chocolate factory on Wednesday but after a couple of hours Seraph was feeling so poorly that we had to come home.Wednesday night she started with gut problems due to the antibiotics. Thursday we went on the beach very briefly in the morning but Seraph was still suffering so sadly we made the decision to come home that day.

Everyone was disappointed, the children especailly as the holday was something we had looked forward to so much.
On Wednesday I have to admit to being generally angry...not at anyone inparticular but at the unfairness of it all...or so it seemed.
I went up to the bedroom in the house and prayed 'Lord renew a right spirit within me, remove the anger and the bitterness of what has happened' I had explained carefully that we didnt know that Seraph would be ill ,it wasnt her fault etc etc but inside I felt as disappointed as the children.

Then God showed me all the positives...Seraph had been well looked after and made well by the prompt action of the Dr's. we were all still together.
and admittedly snatched but all important moments we had shared together. When driving to the hospital we were playing 'Saviour he can move the mountains,He is mighty to save..' just as we drove through some huge hills/mountains. Awesome...Our God can move things as huge and majestic as these...He created them...WOW!!!!

Then...driving once again we went past a lovely quiet stream where sheep and lambs were freely grazing and lying down by the waters ws idyllic...'He leads me beside still waters' our own personal illustration of psalm 23!

In the morning before we left we went to the beach and I carried Seraphina to the waters edge, rolled her sleeve up and on the count of 1...2....3...SEASIDE! I crouched down while Aimee dipped Seraph's hand into the cold sea water much to Seraphs amusement...she giggled and giggled,jigging around in my arms as I held her :-)

on our way back we stoppped in a vineyard for a quick was truly wonderful and as we walked throough the vines we chatted about all the places in the Bible that the illustration of a vineyard is used..looked atthe way the vines twisted themselves around their support and grew higher and higher...saw the baby grapes growing. David and I also tasted honeyed mead..something which bought the Francine Rivers book I had been readingto was set in Biblical times and spoke of the Romans drinking honeyed mead.

there were other moments too...small minutes of family, closeness and reminders of Gods presence through it all.No, we didnt have the family holiday that we were longing for but 'God works ALL things for the good of those who love HIM' out of trials and saddness God is still at work creating moments of beauty and memories to treasure..its just up to us to look for them.
Thank you God for the precious little things

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

I read a book....

I had drafted out a few blog posts...but this morning I knew I needed to write about something else today.
I read a book yesterday...well in truth I started it yesterday afternoon and then awoke at 4am and carried on reading. I have almose finished but It has touched me SO much I had to share it.

The book is called 'Heaven is for real'
I've read a few books on Heaven, its something which interests me not just because of my Christian Faith but because of my own personal experience.
I know I am taking a risk typing this up, its something I have only ever shared in part with a couple of people before...but you know, I have said I will always speak the truth in my blog...from the heart.

I was born into a non-Christian family,Im sure my parents believed in God but it wasnt something that was spoken about.I had an older sister..Catherine she was called.She had long dark hair and huge soulful eyes and was as fragile as a little bird. She couldnt run,she couldnt play ball.Why? because she had a very serious heart condition. It hadnt really been seen before and to be honest it was a wonder she had survived so long.But she needed a big surgery which would take place when she was 6 (I was 4 at the time). The surgery was to take place at a hospital which had a rell renowned surgeon working there at the time..the hospital was called Harefield.
I remember vividly the night before Cattherine was to leave for the hospital. I can still see her eyes earnestly loking into mine as she told me as a little 4 year old that she was going away. She said that she wouldnt be coming back and told me to look after Mummy and Daddy for her.

she knew she was going to die.

But...she also told me where she was going... 'Im going to be with Jesus Caro' she told me ' but I will see you again in a little while' Then she laughed and stuffed her foot in my face saying 'smell my stinky feet' and the serious part of the conversation was over.

When she didnt come back I felt desolate. The operation had been successful was too much for her little body to stand and so she never regained consciousness.
I remember it was the Summer of 1976...we had both had pushchairs and I placed them side by side in the long stretch of scorched lawn and pushed first mine forwards a little and then my sisters a little trying to somehow will her back by my side. I rememer the aching, the confusion, the loneliness.

And then something happened..

A bright light, I looked up and immediately fell on my knees as the sky seemed to open and for a few moments I glimpsed what I knew even as an 'un-Churched 4 year old' be Heaven.

I believe God reached out to me in my sorrow then and showed me it 'was ok' and that Catherine was safe and happy and in the most beautiful place I could ever imagine.
In dark moments after then I would wish with all my heart I could die too to be with her but somehow I got through these times (I believe God held my hand through them) and that vision was something that I held onto as i was growing up until finally at University I gave my life to the Lord.

And now I find myself to some extent in my Mothers shoes..with a seriously ill child who is 'life limited'. In this journey with her and my Faith which after a bit of a blip is now stronger than ever.When my little girl leaves this place Idont just believe...I KNOW where she will be going,I know she will be safe and loved and will wait for me,I know her brother is alreadt there  waiting there to meet her.

I walked into the Christian Bookshop..looking for a completely different book and suddenly this particular one seemed to jump off the shelf at me.I bought it actually thinking of a dear friend who had lost a daughter,knowing in my heart that God wanted her to read it and that it would offer some comfort. When i began reading it I just couldnt put it down...some of the things this little nearly 4 year old talks about are EXACTLY the same as what I saw in my vision. He doesnt mention specifically the beautiful rolling fields, the trees but he mentions the colours, the vibrancy and the rainbow coloured horse.

I realise that its a Christian book but...even if you dont believe...give it a it with the simple innocence of a child and guarantee you will be touched by it too.