Beautiful Love of God Through A Beautiful Human Heart

A woman I have never met face to face but has been a part of my life for almost a decade has said her goodbyes to family. She is currently in a nursing home and from all accounts may be nearing the end of her life. Her daughter is posting updates and each one breaks my heart.  We met online in a blogging community that started on MSN Spaces. I began blogging in mid-2006 and it would be a year or more before I would meet Nita.  MSN closed their blogging portion down in late 2010 and several of us migrated over to WordPress or Blogger but most of us ended up on Facebook. Those of us who were regulars in our blogging circle eventually found each other over on Facebook and began following one another. Facebook was a whole other ball of wax. It was not as intimate or blogger friendly and had to keep your posts short and sweet. We also got to see more of each other, picture wise!

pic1-a47When we were on MSN Spaces we each had our own approach to sharing bits and pieces of our lives and those crazy words that run through our minds, especially in the middle of the night. We were somewhat masked over there on our blogs. We could pretty much write what we wanted, post the pictures we wanted without much interference except for the occasional comments left by our counterpart bloggers. Those were the ones we made friends with and frequented their spaces to see what they were thinking that day or experiences they wanted to share or a memory from the past. Sometimes a funny story or maybe a sad story and I think there were a ‘vent’ or two.

Several of us shared some painful days on there, loneliness, the celebrations in our lives or a stirring from some inspiration. Many of us had faith in Jesus Christ in common. Some of us had, single parenting in common and some were just very talented, interesting writers.

1One such friend, I found was Nita. She and her daughter were both on there. I found a kindred spirit in Nita. She was from across the pond, England. She was a mother, grandmother, and sweet lady with a heart for the Lord and loved her children and grandchildren fiercely. How do I know this? From her correspondence and her many comments left on my site.  I found her comments endearing and so very encouraging. I came to know her daughter, Amanda, as well. I remember it was about the time I was becoming a grandmother for the first time and it was a precious thing to share with others, with her. She loves being a grandmother and it showed in her posts, pictures, and comments.

As I was reading the latest Facebook post about her status I thought back to when I first met her online. It all seems a lifetime ago, spending time writing words, sharing lives in cyberspace. To me, it was a Godsend. It brought me out of isolation and gave me a place to find some healing.  To journal out loud so to speak. I was fortunate to find others who were encouraging and kind.  Each one of them impacted my life in such a way that restored my faith in humanity. If that sounds cheesy well so be it. When you have been disappointed and damaged by another human you tend to withdraw from others. I did not want to be that person. Bitter and isolated from life, from the world. So I reached out. And she did too.

Nita was one of those humans.  Even though we never met face to face, we both said we would meet in heaven someday. Both of us were heartbroken that they were shutting down MSN Spaces because of the connections we had made with the circle of ‘humans.’  She always had words of encouragement and always left something to let me know she was ‘listening.’ But more importantly, we were communicating and fellowshipping across thousands of miles, across an ocean in between us.  How amazing is God to give us friends from so far away?

One day I wrote a post called “Filler’ Up,” it was about the guilt you feel in the choices you make as a parent and experiencing pain and regret so deep you can’t even breathe. God gave me the verse Jeremiah 17:8 that encouraged me in my faith. I was inspired to share it with others on my blog. Nita’s comment humbled me in that what I was going through I was not alone and God allowed both of us to see that and praise Him together.

“hi shell, as so often, I can relate to much of your blog. I needed to read that scripture this morning, so thank you – I have many things to be anxious about, children, grandchildren, my own health, where our place of worship should be.  I could go on, but I won’t, I prayed and tried to put it all in a carrier bag this morning and leave it at the foot of the cross. So from one anxious inadequate guilty feeling mother, grandmother, child of God, too, it seems another – OVER TO YOU LORD- God bless you and yours – nita.” – September 30, 2010, Comment on Filler’ Up

After all isn’t that what we needed. To agree to see God in the midst? To confirm that we both needed to turn it over to God? To let Him lead us in our lives as mothers and grandmothers? God did not create us to be islands. Isolated and off on our own. He created us to be in fellowship with Him and with others. He gave us holes in our hearts that only He could fill. And sometimes He uses others to help fill those needs. To be needed and to be wanted. To be of use, to have a purpose. He created us for love. To love and be loved. Make no mistake we are to go to Him first for those very things. And once we do He fills them. And I think in some cases He fills them with a kind word from a stranger or sweet comment from a fellow blogger!

“ The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

 Zephaniah 3:17 

On another blog, she commented that she was excited about the journey ahead in her life, though a little worried too, aren’t we all? What she said told me our experiences are universal. When we take time to share them with others we move them to think about their life in light of the scripture or the truth in it. She gave me an insight into her heart. She encouraged me by revealing her willingness to have faith in her day to day walk with Jesus. Which by her words was very real and exciting.

“All the detours, roadblocks or roadside emergencies are necessary for us to appreciate the actual destination.” – somehow, Shell, that sentence stands out to me most from your blog – I am feeling tonight that on my journey with the lord, all the detours and roadblocks and the endless roadside emergencies have been necessary – as will be the ones still to come, for me to appreciate the actual destination. Please, keep blogging about your journey, I for one always appreciate your blogs – I will also try to put mine into words. Tonight I feel excited too, if a certain trepidation, but Jesus travels with us, before, with and in front – what a marvelous thought.”  – May 2, 2010, comment on An Unexpected Trip

One of the things I miss about our blogging community was the intimacy with which we could discuss the thoughts or our insights. There were times when life would stop for a few minutes, in the night, when the loneliness was overwhelming, you could turn on the computer, go to your blog and read the comments left by someone who had spent time with your words. It provoked a thought or an emotion in them and in return they would leave a gift, a comment about what touched them or what they saw from their side of the life. And that, for me, was priceless. And they won’t even know how healing that was for me. I share that now because I wished I had shared that then.

I had written a post about Easter and the week leading up to that day. My life had gotten so busy and so full of the ‘cares of this world’ that I had not stopped to think about what we were going to celebrate. Nita had read it…she wrote several different comments on that one so I knew something spoke to her…and I can’t help think about the journey she will take soon…and her words from one of those comments echo what I know is in her heart but she cannot currently say…

“I have been left feeling this Easter that I just cannot fully comprehend, the incredible, the indescribable price my Savior paid for my sins on that cross – I cannot fully comprehend the room he has secured for me in heaven, with no more tears, no more pain. I cannot seem to get my mind off of circumstances and self-comfort and onto Him and have faith and realize that we are in a battle (well I do realize that) and we are fighting from victory, not to victory,  but with his help, I will!” nita  – April 3, 2010, comment Step He took To The Tomb

Did you catch that? “We are in a battle and we are fighting FROM victory, not to victory!” Wow! She gave me the truth right there and that my friend was a gift straight to my heart that night! And can I tell you that God makes no mistakes in whom He brings into our lives. If you need encouragement, a friend to help you stand against the battle or if you need to hear a word ‘fitly spoken’ to lift you out of your pit, He can and will bring ‘humans with skin on’ into your realm.  Or He will use a laptop computer and blog.

Having prayed for Nita this past year, I selfishly prayed I could talk with her and let her know what a blessing it has been to have her in my life, even if it has been from afar, by computer only. What a privilege it has been to see her pictures and hear stories about her life and family. And to be able to see God do some amazing things in their lives. I hope she knows she is loved by so many. So many are praying for her and posting their love for her!  And that she is woven into my memories, my story.

In her words from one of her first comments to me, “We have Jesus to hold our hand and the Holy Spirit to light our way,” here is the context…

“hi shell, wise words, as I read them it reminded me among other things to watch my tongue, sometimes it gets the better of me, also I am sometimes judgmental, or appear that way, without really meaning to – it is a journey, full of pitfalls and mountains and as a friend of mine would say, learning curves – praise God, we have Jesus to hold our hand and the Holy Spirit to light our way – God bless – nita”  – August 30, 2007, comment on Words, We All Have Them

What a great encourager and a sweet friend.

god-heartWhile I can’t sing it and they would not want me to, I dedicate the words to this song to her and her family. May God give Nita peace and comfort, may He wrap his arms around her loved ones! Thank you, Nita, for all your words of love, wisdom, and encouragement to all of us!

Lyrics for You Are My God by Nicol Sponberg

Breathe in breathe out

That’s all that I can do now

Hold on somehow

My world has come crashing down

And I cannot understand

How this could be your heart

Still I’m lifting trembling hands

Help me trust in who you are

 

You are my God

Here in the darkness in the night

You have never left my side

You are my God

Even when I can’t see your face

I know I’m held in your embrace

You are my God

 

I’m weak I’m torn

My tears like rain fall to the floor

But peace my Lord

You have whispered in this storm

And this is still your plan

That you would have my heart

Help me rest in who you are

 

You are my God

Here in the darkness in the night

You have never left my side

You are my God

Even when I can’t see your face

I know I’m held in your embrace

You are my God

 

Where else can I go

And who else can I turn to

Your word is eternal life

And I’m not letting go

I’m holding on to you

 

You are my God

Here in the darkness in the night

You have never left my side

You are my God

 

Greater than all the world combined

Let everything else be left behind

You are my God

 

I long to be lost in your embrace

I’m turning my eyes up to your face

You are my God