BE BRAVE AND DO HARD THINGS
One of the delights (and there are MANY) in singing for the Lord is being partnered with His servants in ministry. Recalling all these years of travel, Ron and I both recount the wonderful relationships that have developed across the USA and Canada and in other countries of the world with some of God’s choice servants. Rubbing shoulders with them, sharing in ministry with them, getting to know many in depth, taking their advice, and sharing concerns and encouragement has enriched our lives so much! We have always enjoyed being at Sandy Cove. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sandy Cove, it is a delightful Bible conference sitting on the Chesapeake Bay in North East, MD. God led one of those choice servants I mentioned to begin a conference there many decades ago. His name is George Palmer and some of our earliest days of ministry were spent there in week long Bible conferences, preaching and singing. Subsequent directors there were two great friends...Bob Palmer and Neil Fichthorn.
Providing music for ladies’ retreats around the country and in Canada has given me the opportunity to hear and work with Bible teachers such as Elisabeth Elliot, Jill Briscoe, Carol Kent, Gloria Gaither, Elizabeth George, Millie Dienert, Liz Curtis Higgs, Kay Arthur, and Patsy Clairmont, to name a few. Okay, I am “name dropping”; but really, I want to tell you that these Godly women have contributed to my own spiritual growth. I have learned so much from them and they have my highest respect.
Back to Sandy Cove. One ladies’ conference speaker I worked with there was Marie Chapian; you may be familiar with her books. Her messages during that weekend were a blessing to me and so many. My mom and I will never forget a phrase that she used a number of times....”Be brave and do hard things”. In light of what God allows us to experience over our lifetimes, we have found ourselves using that little sentence many times through the years and especially in recent months.
All this to say that I have a new challenge in my life. Many of you know my mother, Queenie, as she is often called. My maiden name is King, so when my dad married her, she became his queen and thus the nickname “Queenie” was born. She has been a strength in my life, such a supporter and encourager. She did secretarial work for Ron and for me and kept my singing schedule up to date and often traveled with me. And now, this dear mom who sang to me before I was born has reached the age of 94. How blessed we are to have her. When Ron and I built our home eleven years ago, it was his suggestion that we build an apartment for her right within our walls; she has lived here at Bethany for ten years. Recently, her body has slowed and has become more fragile, her eyesight has dimmed, and now it is an honor to be her primary caregiver. This presents many new experiences for me here at home. She is stable for now but we are realizing that God could call her any time in these next months. He has her in His grip and while I confess that I have a pretty strong grip on her, too, I know that He is wise and has her best interest in mind. I value these precious days with her knowing that they are a gift from the Lord. And so, I am reminded to “be brave and do hard things” and by hard things I mean just learning to accept what she is now capable of doing and what she is NOT capable of doing any longer, and allowing the Lord to guide my every step in caring for and ministering to her; and then being willing to release her into His capable and loving hands. “Be brave and do hard things!”
God is so good in giving her to us for all these years. Letting go isn’t easy but I know the Lord is with us through it all and will supply our every need. That’s what He does!
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