Archive | March, 2017

Susan

24 Mar
Sharon.Me.Susan

Sharon, Me, Susan

I met Susan Foster Hunt when we were in the third grade. Her father had passed away, and her family had just moved to Abilene. She was visiting my home church, and I introduced myself to her and sat with her in the service. Her family eventually joined that church. We became friends.

We were actively involved with all things offered at church – Girls Auxillary (GAs; Girls in Action – a totally Southern Baptist thing!), Sunday School, choir, youth studies. We went to the same high school and carpooled together. Our summers were filled with youth choir fundraisers and youth choir trips – such wonderful experiences, funny memories, big curlers in our hair, hot school bus rides all over the U.S., laughter, singing of our Lord at various churches. We would occasionally duet together on these trips, and went so far as to do an assembly program at one of the junior highs (middle school now) in our home town. I’m sure I had visions of being the next great singing duo, but alas, it was not meant to be! It was always a treat to hear her sing a solo. She knew how to communicate through music as it came from genuine love for the Lord and people.

Susan was much more popular than I was in high school, married in college, started having children, and stayed in Abilene. She went through a divorce and eventually married a man we grew up with in church, Mark. She remained a kind, loving friend, even when our paths went separate ways and frequent contact began to wane. We often kept updated with one another through our gal pal, Sharon. My family gave me a trip to Abilene for my 60th birthday to see these two beloved friends. Just this past year I was able to see her twice, along with other precious childhood friends.

Growing up Susan would patiently lend a listening ear to my laments on boys, life, whatever trauma I was dealing with at the time, and offer advice or enthusiastic support. She was one of those people who could tell you where you messed up, yet you never felt rejected, only loved. I was not an easy person to have as a friend, particularly in those years, so to have someone like this in my life was a blessing. Proverbs 27:6a says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend,” and Susan exhibited this kind of faithfulness to me when needed.

Susan lost her battle with cancer early this morning. I cried buckets of tears the day I learned she was not long for this earth a few months ago. I still tear up every time I give my husband an update on her. I’m tearing up now typing this.

Her deep, abiding faith in Christ was always on display, particularly as she battled cancer. As long as she was able, she continued to teach a children’s Sunday School class. She clung to the promises in God’s Word. Recently she told Sharon that she hoped she was doing this right – giving glory to God through it all. I know for a fact that her life “shouted the gospel” – a phrase I’ve recently heard that truly describes her. She is leaving a godly legacy for Mark, her children, grandchildren, and extended family. Her many friends through the years are better for having known her.  I know I am.

 

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Let It Go – Part 1

23 Mar

When I was a young girl, my grandmother had a handheld mirror that I admired. Now, mind you, this mirror was not beautifully crafted. It didn’t have jewels all over it. In fact, it was quite plain. Just a unique oval shape, gold in color.  Nothing more.

I remember asking my grandmother how old the mirror was. Her reply was that it was from the Civil War. That did it for me. I was smitten and wanted to have that mirror as my own someday.

Just a side note: This is the same grandmother who, when asked her age, would tell you she was 104, though she was nowhere near that old.

Though I knew the age thing was a joke, somehow I did not connect her teasing with the Civil War declaration. I took her at her word on the age of this unique mirror, no documentation of authenticity necessary. She said it. I believed it.

MirrorI went on to inherit the mirror after my grandmother passed away. I proudly proclaimed the Civil War age of the mirror until the day I dropped it, and the handle broke revealing that the frame was made of none other than plastic! (Go ahead. Call me gullible, naïve, dense in the head. It’s true.) I had believed a “lie” about this mirror for years and acted on that belief when I declared to others its origin. Even a crack in the frame prior to the handle breaking did not deter me.

I dropped this mirror again the other day, and a piece of the frame around the mirror chipped off. (Two drops, and the mirror itself has never broken! Just the frame.) I was reminded of my steadfast belief about its history and had to laugh at how long I held on to that as fact.

It made me think of how often I have listened to the lies of Satan – lies about the Lord, His character, and His Word; lies about who I am in Christ, and so much more. It made me realize that I can still hold on to those thoughts, even when confronted with the truth. I think the Bible calls that sort of thing a stronghold. I need to let go of those thoughts through the power of the Holy Spirit, bringing them in line with God’s Word, not with what my circumstances or emotions say to me. His Word, not my experience, must be my standard for truth.

Satan does not joke or tease at the expense of a gullible, impressionable young girl. He means business when he tells us a lie, when he brings into question our beliefs, when he accuses us. He is out “to steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10a). He wants those “Civil War” beliefs to be a fortress in our minds.

So it begs the question – Are you holding onto a “Civil War” belief? Is it keeping you from seeing God for who He is and all He has for you in Christ? Let it go. Stockpile your mind with God’s Word, and keep doing so until what He says is what you believe and how you act.

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:2 The Message)

 

The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6 The Message)

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