ONE YEAR OF AN ANGEL GAINED.

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    HELLO! I was looking through photos and quotes and messages and found a little note I wrote. It was about my weekend away at author and speaker Beth Moore's conference and leadership meetings. This weekend unexpectedly turned and the rest of it involved my sweet Grandpa. There were a chain of events that lead up to his first stay in ICU. This has not been revised or edited. I wanted to just keep it as authentic and real as when I wrote it. The emotions were so real. and the Hope was even "realler" {I know that's not grammatically correct}, but the outcome made me stronger. 

     

     

    Written on 2/24/15

    "Planning and packing for Beth Moore, I experienced much excitement and joy!! To be able to get together with my sisters in Christ Fellowship and listen to wisdom that flowed from these leaders fascinated me!! I love this kind of stuff!! I wanted all this knowledge and wisdom to strengthen me one day so that I could speak like these woman. I wanted doors to open up!

    Well that night as I was making dinner and singing out loud and dancing silly with my boys, I got a text message from my mom, telling me that my grandpa was sent off in an ambulance and I needed to pray for him. I asked why. She said he was vomiting and may have had a stroke. This was his third stroke! In six months I might add! She said It didn't look good this time. Meanwhile as I laid there praying with my boys,music turned off and dinner burning. I debated going to Beth Moore. as I was "van" pooling to Seattle for three days with my sisters....About 30 of us were attending, and I was leaving that next morning.

    I decided to go . As I got up, dropped my little boys off at my dear friend's house, I arrived at church to meet up and then take our church van to the events. I told them what happened and we held hands and prayed. I was amazed at the love and wisdom each one had. They never knew or met my grandpa, but they prayed as if they did. We jumped in the van and left. My stomachs hurting but I felt peace and comfort; it was ok somehow.

    During the weekend events, I listened and I had a raw emotion in me and desire to completely let it all go. I had given the worship leader of Life Way ministries my most intimate prayer request, one I never had admitted before. And just in the first hour of the "you lead seminars" I started weeping. I thought oh man, if I'm only one hour into this and crying I'd hate to see myself the last day! I knew though the lord was ironing some wrinkles out, so I trusted. We sang hill song without borders and I cried more. It just kept happening.. And I figured it out, i needed to see him on my way back. My grandpa. There was pruning going on in my soul and the lord was working on something. He had a plan.

    During the Living Proof conference Beth Moore spoke of courage and praying for what our deepest needs and desires were. I needed courage. I am a woman designed and called to be courageous, but I let the fear of others stop me. I knew I wanted my grandpa to know his Savior. I prayed for courage. I prayed for strength. I prayed for confidence in Him. I deeply wanted others to see not who I am, but WHOSE I am.

    By the last worship song and message, my dear friend and driver of our van, felt in her heart that we all needed to go together to see my grandpa. She didn't want me to go alone, as it would've taken longer to go get my car and drive to the hospital. It would've been backtracking. She felt we needed to stop by on the way home. When she said this to me, I started to feel the tears welling up in the back of my head and coming out ...I actually wanted this.

    We all jumped in the church van on a mission!! We made it to the hospital just before the nurses would've moved my grandpa to another room . they waited down the hall for us to visit.

    While the rest stayed in the chapel area , I had one friend praying with with us and then she left to be with the other ladies. I was left alone with him, and that is when I fell down to him and grabbed his hands. As he looked up at me in complete dependence, He looked scared and weak. He seemed to want me to say something, say more. That is when I realized I was given the authority to speak of His grace. I always had it. I am fully capable to speak of our savior and his love for us, and to open up a new chapter. A chapter that brokenness has been cast away.

    I spoke of our lord as if I was given a script. It flowed out freely and smooth and in complete boldness,compassion and humility. I cried over the death of our savior and what that demonstrated to us as sinners. I spoke like a woman on fire for our Lord. As I stood there, I shared to my grandpa, my story. I admitted I was a mess who needed the Lord, and with out him I was lost. I spoke of the all the good He did in my life and how much I changed because of him; the light I could see and the Wisdom that sprouted from it. I mentioned that God will never take that salvation from us once it is ours. I felt him hold on tighter after I said that, As if his questions were just answered.

    Guys I Could go on and on, BUT I won't. As soon as I mentioned the action on our part he seemed relieved. I told him all we need to do is give it to him. He takes it all.. The guilt the shame the reputation, the confusion, the lies, etc. He takes it and actually took it already. His death left us with only one thing; our free will, the will to accept it. We have the Free will to recognize our need for a savior, to humbly repent and confess our sins and hurts and pains. By accepting his forgiveness from jesus' death, we are given a deposit of that price that was paid, we have the Holy Spirit forever living in us.

    After I spoke I stopped for a second to see him still looking up at me and then went on.. I Prayed if there was anything burdening my grandpa that he would just give it over now. I asked that he repent if he doesn't know our savior. That God is able to make beauty out of that which is broken. I asked him to accept Christ's forgiveness demonstrated for us. He closed his eyes voluntarily, clasped his hands together,and bowed his head... For about a minute. Seriously didn't know if he was still alive he was so still.

    He started to weep. When he opened them he wept more and, looking straight into my eyes reached up for a kiss. He is Still not full of expressions and words his face and head swollen. I asked him if he accepts... He said "okay" but I asked him again, he said "ok" to make sure I heard, I asked him a third time... "yes.... Yes I do. " .... I swear I could hear a trumpet sound!

    Just then the nurse walked in as if the trumpet stopped and the time was over . I stepped a little back... And noticed he got pretty sick and started shaking, he tried to get up. I stepped back and cried, mentioned it to the nurse in the from whose back was to him. She was on the monitor preparing for vitals. As I walked back even more, just outside his door frame, I cried even harder, but these tears were mostly happy ones this time. I felt comfort . he is going home in a new body, a new everlasting one. And he did too I could see it.

    As more nurses ran back in as well as his girlfriend May, they all said this was the first time this happened since the accident three evenings before. He kept his eyes on me the whole time, I was the farthest away but he knew who I was and never turned his eyes off of me. I walked away as they tried to get him on his chair to move him.

    I left that hall and my dear friend was around the corner praying for me and grabbed me to hug me . I told her he accepted Jesus. Did God really just use me? I was in complete submission? Did I not doubt this time? What on earth happened this weekend at Beth Moore?

    I grabbed another friend & went back in with as she took our photo together. I totally forgot about pictures! I showed him our picture on the back of the LCD screen of the canon, he smiled and said "ok Hun" (as he said that often, even before his strokes. ) and reached up from his wheel chair to kiss me.

     

    Today , two days later he's recovering from Pneumonia he caught that night. He developed a lung infection and an allergic reaction from the medication. He is still there, confused but able to walk supervised. He doesn't know where he is, but knows his name and birthday (although not birth year). He is confused but one thing is for sure, he is going to his heavenly home and there is no confusion there.

    I share this because we walk this world either in darkness or light. There's no grey. Those who have light have a privilege. We have treasure we need to share.

    I'm called to woman ministry yet I doubt my ability. This conference I attended reconfirmed the authority we have been given. Men and woman. We are strong, able and courageously built. We are his workmanship. We woman, have a gift of intuition and can can feel emotion around us. We are intended to nurture and to love. I knew my grandpa had a need to feel loved and he was directed to Jesus. The Lover of our souls. Ladies, share this light with others. Love someone who you feel called to love. We are a lamp stand that he has lit for us, not a candle as a candle is consumed off of itself. We have living water, from a source that is a never a ending, non-consumable fire.

     

     

    I have learned that as a leader and a woman of God, it is not who I am but WHOSE I am. It is not the perfect image that speaks, but it is the IMPERFECT realism that speaks. This is more of a testimony than having it all together. Complete transparency enables others to truly see not who WE are, but WHOSE we are.

    Ephesians 1:15 -23

    "For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people,16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way."

     

     

     

    Before leaving that hospital I wrote a little note of it all in the chapel:) I also took a photo of it.

     

     

     

     

    I would have never known a trip to Beth Moore would open up so many doors. Never doubt the value of the Holy Spirit. A seed was planted because of it....

     

    (picture of a flower outside of his hospital window while leaving.)"

     

     

    My Grandpa passed away 4 days after writing this letter Which marks one year TODAY. And TODAY, although personal, I felt compelled to reminisce in His loving memory.

     

    Grandpa you are missed and loved and this experience taught myself, my family, boys, so many life lessons. I becoma a little braver and stronger. And you are in peace now.

     

    xo Ashley

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