Monday, June 20, 2016

The Unnoticed Gift

I wrap my arms around her frail body—her beautiful, 92-year-old frame that’s kept breathing with the help of an oxygen tank and tubes I stop noticing after the first sentence escapes her lips.

That sentence is always, “I love you. You are so precious. I’ve missed you.”

We talk.

And she keeps breathing.

She tells me again about her husband who died when her children were young. She makes sure I never miss the part that assures me her God never left her destitute, abandoned, in need, or wondering how her children would be cared for.

Her husband died in peace, because she was at peace and told him, “God will take care of me.”

She never skips the part that reminds me that doctors gave her only months to live. She had two children. Her husband was gone. Her God was the only One who could keep her alive for them and for the many lives He still meant for her to touch. He was the only One who would decide when her last breath would be.

Since then and for over fifty years, He has given her thousands of daily breaths.

We talk. She keeps breathing. And she doesn’t let me forget that her God is the One who did that. The only One who gave her these many years to live.

When I’m with her, I can’t stop thinking about the God who keeps her breathing. She lives in His presence constantly. You can’t help but notice Him.

That’s what breathing is—a constant, unnoticed gift of life from the One Who is always with us.

The words she leaves in my ears as I say good-bye are always, “Go with God.”

Go with the God who never fails to give you enough breaths to live the life He has given you.

Go with God—the One who will give you all the breaths you have left.

"He gives to all life, breath, and all things." ~Acts 17:25


  1. This is a beautiful writing, Bethany. Thanks for sharing it and for the reminder that we need to Go with God every day.

    1. Thank you Kathy! Yes, we do need Him every hour.

  2. Bethany, I read this frequently. It is such an encouragement that mom had such a testamony to influence others to trust in a reliable God. God did take wonderful care of Rosemary. He was her Father from the beginning making up for faulty human parents who drank til violent and criticized unlovingly . God was her husband. After giving her a man who spoiled her grandly as an example of His own lavish love for her. But before her attention turned solely on to a human provider, God removed Duane so her dependence rested fully on her heavenly husband who out did any gift Duane could have given.
    God was her deepest friend, when hummans entered and exited in falsehood and deception or unfaIthfulness putting themselves above her not caring about how their words hurt to her core.
    God was her strength when her own body stayed in a state of fatique that hurt as badly as the worst pain possible.
    God and His Word were her perpetual mindset, entertainment and teacher when others chose TV, movies, and romance novels to tickle their ears.
    God's Spiritual Gift and assignment for her was to meet one on one with the downtroden, oppressed, frustrated and confused when others were too busy or self focused to guide someone to the feet of Jesus and find redemption.
    Strangely, Rosemary's thoughts gave her little peace her last days wondering if her life was lived in such a way as to bring God pleasure and glory. Her son talked to her as she left earth and entered heaven reassuring her her life had influenced others to trust in God and believe in His Salvation. Until a peace flowed up into her face signifying she was ready and she was being accepted into her Father's, Husband's, Friend's, Strong Accepting arms.
    Colossians 3
    Paul knows the people in Colossae are facing many religious and philosophical options, none of which are neutral. Notice Paul doesn’t say, “Just add Jesus to what you already believe,” or, “Factor Jesus into your philosophy,” or, “Include Jesus in this or that ritual.” The claim that “Jesus is Lord” does not allow that. If Jesus is Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of all creation, then all other teachings must give way. All people must bow before Him and only Him. So it comes down to this: since you have been raised with the Anointed One, the Liberating King, set your mind on heaven above. The Anointed is there, seated at God’s right hand.Stay focused on what’s above, not on earthly things,because your old life is dead and gone. Your new life is now hidden, enmeshed with the Anointed who is in God.On that day when the Anointed One—who is our very life—is revealed, you will be revealed with Him in glory! - Colossians 3:1-4

    Thank you so much for writing this tribute to Rosemary.

    1. Thank you, Kathleen. So many times recently, I've been wishing I could talk to Rosemary. She always seemed to understand and to know exactly what I needed to hear. Her nearness to God was such a testimony and example.