I have met so many wonderful friends through books. Some are fictional, and some are flesh and bone friends...but all have made a difference in my life in one way or another. We all impact each other's lives. Sometimes it is by something you say that makes me think, and other times it is by a gesture or kindness. And yet other times it may be something that dug deeper, hurt my feelings, or made me sad. Still you made a difference. Through this blog I would like to introduce you to some people who have blessed me with their writing...and I hope you will be blessed as well!

Coffee or Tea?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pick Me! Pick Me!

Remember that feeling... of sitting there in your classroom, waiting for your turn to be dismissed early for recess with your hand lifted up for the teacher to recognise? You may have finished your work early, and an early release was your reward...or the teacher said you could be set free as soon as you finished your test, so you hurried through so you could get to the playground before the others. You eagerly anticipated the joy of being excused from the classroom to play on your favorite equipment for an extra 10 minutes, or to get to see your friends longer than usual. "PICK ME!" your raised hand begs for attention.

Did you ever look back at the rest of the kids and decide not to go because they didn't want you to?

How happy are you for your friends who get special gifts, or win trips that you don't? It is only natural to be disappointed that we don't get the same thing, but is it right to wish they just didn't get it at all? If someone you loved just won an all-expense paid vacation to a place you had always wanted to visit, would you be resentful and sad? Or would you be happy for your loved one for being so lucky?

What would you say to someone who finally reached their lifetime goal, and was moving away from you? Perhaps they graduated and had secured their dream job in their favorite city in the world. Would you be happy for them, or be so upset you went to bed and cried for days?

In the last year, I have seen so many friends go through this experience, as they watched people they loved depart this world and start their new life in Heaven.  Just like the kid in school who looked forward to being released early for lunch, our loved ones worked hard to finish their work so they could reach their reward.  There they were, with their hands lifted high asking God to pick them next...while we watch with tears begging God not to take them yet. Like the little freckled face third grader who couldn't sit still in their seat, they eagerly wriggled and jumped up and down to be seen...and chosen. While we cried uncontrollably, and held on with all of our strength.

Our journey to Heaven required many tasks and trials, and once we finish our work we are allowed to join Jesus and see our loved ones who left before us. It will be far greater than any all-expense paid vacation, because it will never end. Why should we not want this for them? Is our own emptiness more important than their happiness?

I remember when Grandma died on July 2, 1979 and then returned to her body and told me about her after death experience.  When I asked why she came back she responded, "Because Jesus said I wasn't finished here yet." Her work on Earth wasn't done. She didn't know why it was she sent back after seeing Heaven...but I secretly knew. We prayed for her not to die.  I called my family, and they prayed. They called TBN and they prayed. TBN had some Christian Police officers from Orange County on and they prayed...that God would give her a NEW heart, and NOT TAKE HER HOME. But she wanted to go home and be with her parents, and my Grandfather she loved so dearly..and most of all be with Jesus.

I wish I could say the rest of her life was joyful and exciting, but in reality it was full of trials and loses. My mentally ill husband had us moving all over the country and into a new house every 6-12 months. She watched as he cheated on me, and tried not to interfere. She lost all of her worldly possessions after he sold all of our things in a one day auction, and disappeared with his girlfriend-of-the- day...(including her pictures, and jewelry Grandpa had bought her). After my divorce, I disappointed her when I dealt with it the only way I could, and went out to late hours of the night drinking and running around. And she had no social life, no admirers, no friends that we hers alone to turn to.  She died in a county nursing home after my uncle took her to Texas to be closer to him. The last time we spoke she was crying, asking for someone to get her out of there. She wanted to stay in Heaven when she could...

When Robin Daniel was talking to his brother just months before his death he said he knew Jesus would be returning soon but if He really loved him, he wouldn't make him wait that long. Life was hard, and he was growing weak in spirit with all of his trials. That was in December...and February 2nd he was murdered and died within minutes. I couldn't help but feel happy for him, in spite of my own sorrow.

When I go, be happy! I will have been set free. I will join my loved ones in Heaven and there will be no more tears. I won't have to return like I would if I were going on a vacation. I will finally have been "picked". I finished my work. Think of me as though I had been give full plastic surgery to make me beautiful again, with no more wrinkles or sags. And the best part is it will be perfect. I always loved going to women's ministry conferences...but this will be one of the best with all the joy of the best praise and worship services ever known. REJOICE WITH ME!


  1. For more thoughts on death and dying consider these wonderful books...

    Our own Stephanie Grace Whitson has written a very helpful book on grieving, How to Help a Grieving Friend.

    And our friend Dr. Richard Mabry wrote a moving book on being widowed, The Tender Scar, Life After the Death of a Spouse, which my brother found very helpful when his wife died.


    Another of my favorites is A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser


    These suggestions we gratiously contributed by Deborah Raney. Thanks Deb!

  2. Very cool thoughts, my friend. And true.