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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

An angel on earth....

Many of you have read my post about my brother, Tim, and his sweet bride, Lane Ann. She has been battling colon/liver cancer since October. They were suppose to help with my two youngest boys while I was in Uganda to bring Josie Love home. Lane Ann was having pain in her abdomen and so they were not able to help. As the pain continued they decided to check it out and during a lower CT scan they discovered many tumors. They seemed to be shrinking in the beginning, but it is a REAL aggressive kind of cancer, and have returned with a vengeance. They left last friday for a week at the beach. We just received a call from my brother telling us that they are coming home, headed to Vanderbilt, asking if we could we help with his kiddos.

Tim and LaneAnn have taught Mike and I what it means to TRULY walk by faith. At times, we have thought that they had lost their minds. Tim was a pastor of a church and the Lord very clearly called him to leave his church and start a ministry called "Disciple the Nations". He left his church (and all of the comforts...salary, insurance, housing allowance, etc....) and walked towards his calling. Through the years Mike and I have watched the Lord provide OVER and OVER for Tim's family. If we have said "UNBELIEVEBLE!" once, we have said it a dozen times. I don't know that I could have ever stepped out that first time in faith if I had not experienced the sovereignty of Christ through my brother.

To go back even a step further in time. Tim has ALWAYS been there for me. He took me hunting , trapping, and fishing my whole life. He has ALWAYS been a spiritual rock for me. He has shown me what a man of God looks like. The way he treated girls gave me a REALLY HIGH standard on what to strive for in a husband.....do you get the picture? Do you understand what he has meant to me my entire life? There are really just NOT enough words to describe my love for him.

fast forward to this past Friday afternoon....

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

These are the words that I had the AWESOME gift and opportunity to speak over my sweet sister-in-law. I first cupped her face in my hands and eye-to-eye told her what her life had meant to me. I wanted to affirm in her the godly example that she had been for any one person that has ever come in contact with her. She has preached in prisons and shared her heart about Christ time and time again with "the least of these". She is a warrior.

While laying in her hospital bed, I read this scripture over her, and washed her feet. I have never washed anyone's feet before, but I know it is a biblical way of humbling yourself and showing someone how special they are. I am not sure what cleansed them most, my tears or the water that I was using. Then I rubbed in some yummy smelling lotion, while I prayed and thanked God for her life. It was one of the highlights of my life and you could feel the Holy Spirit in every inch of that hospital room. It wasn't until I was through that I could even hear the sobs of my mother and brother....

These are the times when we get just a small glimpse of what heaven will be like....


31 comments:

ASH said...

How beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us.
"By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff" (Heb. 11:21). I love this picture of a godly man worshipping to the very end of his earthly life. It sounds like your sister-in-law has lived (and is living) a beautiful life of worship. I pray that my life is characterized by the same!

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

OK, Suzanne, my day has already been a struggle just being a Mom to so many little ones and my heart has been clinging to who I am in Christ -His grace is enough. Tears have been sitting on the shelf of my eyelids all day.

This took me over the edge. BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

I once invited six women to our home when I had truly given my life to Jesus two years ago and it was the most beautiful experience! Humbly OH YEAH! Worth ever tear shed in that room!

Then I did the same thing to my mom while she was dying in the hospital last year. She was too sick to even know I did it - but ONLY by God's grace could I after the kind of relationship we have had - not good. She lived and has since completely walked away from God.

My heart breaks for her.

As I read your beautiful post about LauraAnn - I kept hearing God softly whisper this is the example you need to be for your children so they too will desire to be this woman for their children. Seek Me - Follow Me - Listen to Me - Hear Me and I will provide all that you need to be all that I created you to be.

THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART for sharing this today. Thank You GOD for a woman like Laurie Ann and Tim as a godly man! What a wonderful testimony of greater things to come!

Praying for your family Suzanne! I can only imagine how deep the room was with His Spirit that day!

Love and hugs,
Jill

Josette said...

Since you last posted about them, I have followed their blog. Since the last couple of posts, I have been thinking of them constantly and lifting them up to the one who loves them the most. I have been so touched by their amazing faith. Continuing to pray for them. Thank you for sharing this post today.

Laura Ferry-Jimenez said...

I was just thinking this afternoon that it's a shame how we show people our respect and honor them with love AFTER they have died. What a lucky sis-in-law you have to know that she has affected so many and loved by many more. may God continue to bring your family peace.

love and prayers, - laura.

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

Ugh, I was crying too much during my comment I misspelled her name twice - SORRY Suzanne and Lane Ann!

I just was on the ministry site - she is gorgeous!

FYI - fix your links to Tim and their ministry.

Love,
Jill

Jennifer said...

As I sit here with tears streaming down my face I have to think this is one of the most truly wonderful moments a person could experienc on earth. Your sister-in-law sounds like an amazing woman. We all know there are not enough women like her in the world. Thank you so much for sharing this very special moment with me. It really makes me realize I am no where near where I need to be in my life. I will be praying for your family. ((HUGS))

Jenn in GA said...

your act was a beautiful act for a beautiful sister, given out of the beauty God has created in both of your lives.

Marie said...

It's with tears rolling down my face that your post today brings me back to a special day with my mom 2 1/2 years ago. Taking care of her, washing her, her feet, is our way to tell them how much they care, how much we love them, how much they have impacted our lives in a truly blessed and selfish way. I have been reading your blog for quite some time and have read your brother's and sister-in-law's journey. My husband and I are moved every single time. I read out loud to my husband, its our special time. It confirms us that what we did, the care we gave our mothers (my mother in law died last november) was not only the thing to do for them but was a truly blessed time for us. We prayed, cried, laughed and talked with them, precious moments. Your family are in my prayers,

Marie-Claude, Montreal

Anonymous said...

Hi Suzanne, I was blessed to find your blog from Katie's and have been following Tim & LaneAnne since you mentioned her situation. I am lifting all of you in prayer & wish there was more I could do. You are a truly special family & I am honored to 'know' you through your blog. In His Grip, Jami

Sarah Ward said...

This so beautiful. thank you for sharing. I'm continuously praying for healing for Lane Ann's body, for you brother, and their children. I'm also praying for you and your family-I can't imagine how heavy your hearts are. Praying for comfort, strength, and peace for you all.

KT said...

suzanne
thanks for sharing your story of how you are caring for her and for sharing how your brother has ministered to you. what a blessing.
Love you

Perry's said...

I have been following your blog for awhile but started reading LaneAnn's blog after someone else's blog was talking about her and had a link. I have continued to follow her journey and have learned so much about faith from her (and your brother). It was amazing to figure out that she was your sister-in-law. What an incredible example of love you shared with her...and humility. I'm praying for all of you!

Kendra said...

Suzanne,
thank you for reminding me how small my problems are. I will be praying for your entire family. Peace to you all.

Kendra

Jill Funkhouser said...

Beautiful. What a wonderful family!

Anonymous said...

So precious... Could almost imagine sitting in that room with your family. Sorry that this part of your family's journey must be incredibly painful, but as I read the amazing ways that God is showing Himself ... I am so thankful to Him for obviously showing y'all that not only is His grace sufficient, but it is a beautiful thing.

love, Jill Joiner

Goodness and Mercy Mom said...

Dear Suzanne,

I'm a frequent visitor to your blog and am just seeing this post on Lane Ann. The tears flow as I read about you washing her feet. How beautiful!

I remember you mentioning her in the past and prayed for her then, but I will continually pray for her now. I lost my mother to cancer 6 years ago and a friend to cancer in Feb. I know how heartbreaking this loss is for family and friends.

Love just radiates from her face in the pic you posted. The impact of her life and the legacy she will leave behind will most certainly be greater than that of many who were able to live to their 80s. Yet it's not much consolation when we lose someone we love in the summer of life--never getting to enjoy their autumn and winter years.

I'm still praying for healing for Lane Ann. I'm not able to find their family blog but I will continue to check back here so please keep us updated.

With a Heavy Heart,
Kathie

The McBrides said...

Suzanne,
This brought sweet tears to my eyes. The LOVE that comes from God and flows to others is indescribable. I read that same passage to my Grandmother as she was dying. Such an honor for you to be used that way with a true woman of God. We will be praying for your whole family... LOVE you!

Kathy McKinney said...

Suzanne- My heart breaks with you as you say goodbye to Lane Ann. I'm so touched by your act of love for her. It's so clear that all of life...and death...is about faith...faith to believe that what God says is true. One of the holiest times of my life was watching my sweet mom die from cancer. She embraced death, just as she had embraced life, as a beautiful gift from her loving heavenly Father. I will be praying for your family and your brother's family as you experience this grief...grief with hope in the reunion to come. You are dear to me!

Sophie said...

Suzanne,
What a beautiful post, and how blessed that you have such a precious relationship with your brother and sister in law, she sounds like an amazing person. I'm crying for her situation and the struggle of having to deal with this but rejoicing in the Lord's presence in your lives and how He is glorified in your lives through your love and humility. Your brother is lucky to have a sister like you.
Praying for your family and God's healing touch for LaneAnn and your broken hearts.

rtfgvb7832 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful servant's heart you have my friend. This memory will be etched into your family always. My heart aches and my eyes are filled with tears for your brother Tim and Lane Ann. The strength and faith they are showing in the midst of pain is truly a beautiful reflection of hearts that are aligned with our mighty, sovereign God. Praying for each of you as you cling to the One in whom all hope rests. "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." Heb 6:19.
Love you- Amy R.

Jodi said...

Wow, Suzanne, do you know how Blessed you are to have that kind of relationship with your family? Truly blessed indeed.

Praying for your sweet sister-in-law, who sounds more like the 'sister-of-your-heart'

Jodi

Amy said...

Precious example of Christ's love- but then again- so is your ENTIRE life. Thank you for being who you are. Praying for your beautiful sister-in-law. Amy

Kristi J said...

i just asked my readers to pray for your sweet sister in law...what a beautiful post for her...praying, kristi

Over-Caffeinated X 4 said...

Beautiful!

Ondrea

Mike Harder said...

Suzanne,

Tabitha and I are praying for your brother Tim and LaneAnne. I couldnt imagine going through what he is going through. Just know that you are all in our prayers.
Christ is all,
Mike

Maria and Family said...

I am so sorry ....what a beautiful thing you did. prayers for her...

theheartofachild said...

This is beautiful! I your testimony about your relationship with your brother it to my boys as a realization of what they can be to their younger sister!

On my mission trip to India, the leaders of our church had the privilege of washing the feet of the pastors and leaders in India. So, in part I can understand the power of your testimony here. The Holy Spirit was SO STRONG one of the gals knees got healed. Although I know Heaven is God's complete healing, I am praying your sister-in- law be healed here on earth (as it is in Heaven)! Amen.
Jenny
www.needhamfamily5.blogspot.com

Blessed Mom of Four, Now Five said...

OH, Suzanne, I felt the Spirit, simply reading of your humble act of faithfulness to your Savior. What an awesome privilege you were given to minister to your SIL. You will all be in my prayers.

Doug and Monica said...

Thanks so much for introducing me to Tim and Lane Ann through your blog several months ago. I have read about their journey and have been so provoked by their walk. What a beautiful gift you gave her. I hope to run this race with the same perserverance and faith that they have shown.

Ashley said...

What a beautiful representation of Christ's love. I am so very humbled by your servant heart.

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suzanne
I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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