Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Merry Katherine’s Valentines Day Present For Me, 2009

Merry Katherine gave me another Valentines Day present this year. I stumbled across a c.d. she had made. She knows my heart, and she knows just what I need to calm a large part of this aching mother’s heart.

One of my big fears for her before she was killed on 8/2/06 (besides the obvious safety issue of a child with her high-energy, high-risk behavior) was that she would wander so far away from God in her acting-out that, without realizing it, her heart would harden more and more until she wouldn’t turn back to Him. (Her heart was already icing up somewhat toward us, her parents; she seemed to be living so many lies that I think she was starting to believe some of them.) Sin itself is destructive and alienating; it blinds you to God’s truth that could save you from its ultimate destruction. I could see her heart getting more and more hardened, and she was becoming more and more brazen in pursuing what she wanted despite its destructiveness.

So when she was killed in the midst of her rebellion, as a mother my next biggest question was where is she? Is she okay? Which means, Is she in Heaven with God? There are many questions rolling around in my mind of course—you go over and over the “what if’s” and the “why’s” all the time, but the “safety and security of her soul now” has been the most agonizing question for me.

So finding this cd on the 10th of February was a delight for me, to see where her heart was with God—she hadn’t totally tuned Him out; she was struggling with needing Him, yet not obeying Him, while still recognizing His provision for her . . . which she recognized was her “Only Hope”.

I did wonder why I didn’t find her “gift” on Valentine’s Day this year (like I did last year), and the scary thought crossed my mind that maybe God knows I’ll need to be dealing with something else that day. . . the next day 2/11/09, I discovered my handicapped brother had pneumonia, couldn’t breathe, was choking, but was not strong enough to cough up the choking congestion. His wife called the ambulance for him to go to the hospital because he couldn’t breathe. After getting to the hospital and getting some intravenous antibiotics in him, he began to improve, but the next day, 2/12/09, my older sister called me, crying, and said, “Come home.” So we drove the 5 hours to Georgia that evening, and we were in the hospital on 2/13/09 to see him in the Intensive Care Unit; for twelve days now, we have been taking shifts in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit with him so someone in the family would be with him around the clock. . . . So God knew I would need to get Merry Katherine’s present on the very day that I found it!

The cd I found had songs on it that revealed her heart to me. These were the songs that were on it:

Life Means So Much by Chris Rice
Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus) by Chris Rice
Only Hope by Caedmon’s Call
Masquerade by Caedmon’s Call
Sara Beth by Rascal Flatts
Everything You Ever Wanted by Hawk Nelson
Heaven’s Bright Shore by Alison Krauss

Here are the lyrics of one of the songs on Merry Katherine's home-made cd that showed this grieving mother what was really in her heart toward her sweet Savior and Shepherd:

My Only Hope
Caedmon’s Call
(Found 2/10/09 on a cd Merry Katherine had made for herself)

Depth of mercy, can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can, my God, Your wrath forbear—
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?

It's my only hope,
You're my only hope!
It's my only hope of Heaven—
At the cross forgiven!

I have long withstood Your grace,
Long provoked you to Your face,
Would not harken to Your calls,
Grieved You by a thousand falls,

It's my only hope,
You're my only hope!
It's my only hope of Heaven—
At the cross forgiven!

There for me the Savior stands,
Shows his wounds and spreads His hands,
Face to face before the Son
And like Isaiah I'm undone . . .

Depth of mercy, vast and free,
So much deeper than the sea,
God of love, You heard my cry,
Now into Your open arms I fly!

It's my only hope,
You're my only hope!
It's my only hope of Heaven—
At the cross forgiven!

Jesus was her only hope of Heaven (just as He is my only hope). With Him in her heart and crying out such songs to Him, I know my precious baby is now safely nestled in her Heavenly Father’s arms where I’ll someday see her again. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for such a precious Valentines Day gift, sweeter than anyone could ever give to me!



Cas said...

Merry Katherine's faith falls into the authentic category.

AprilP said...

Oh, my sweet Aunt Angie....I am just in tears reading this!! What a wonderful reminder of the reality of God providing our needs and being the ultimate Comforter. He is always there, knowing our every need and heart's desire. That is so amazing that you found that CD--exactly when you needed that assurance of her salvation. I know whenever I've asked the Lord to give me a sign from Mom, He ALWAYS does...some have been huge signs (Kannon) and some small (Barbie plates from Steve for my birthday one year--SO not HIM either, that's how I knew). God knows our deep sorrow and how to help us through these times without our loved ones. He is so amazing! Love you!! April

Grieving Mother/Therapist, Angie Bennett Prince said...

Dear Cas,

Thank you for your reminder that Merry Katherine's faith was indeed authentic!

As her youth pastor shared, Merry Katherine was very honest about her struggle with God. I know such honesty effectively opened her heart up to Him for Him to meet her in her battle, reveaing Himself and His great love for her!

What a great and compassionate God we serve! He heard his little lamb's cries, and met her where she was, in her honest point of need!

Thank you, Cas,


Grieving Mother/Therapist, Angie Bennett Prince said...

Dearest April,

I so appreciate your precious heart! Thank you for your tears; your sharing in my pain over Merry Katherine means so much to me.

It is absolutely amazing to me how God holds us in our pain, carries us in our weakness, and comforts us in our heart-wrenching sorrow. He IS so sweet to remind us that our precious loved ones are very tuned in to us. In many ways, they feel closer than ever; have you noticed that?

I love you so much and am soo soo sorry you lost your precious mother; I grieve over her all the time too. She was one of the most precious people I know, and she always was loving to me. We had some really good talks; she was so real, so funny, so kind, and so loving.

She adored you, April so I know she must have been thrilled at how close you and she were becoming. I'm sure she loves watching over you now, and over all your little (and big) ones. She was such a wonderful grandmother to Connor while she was here, so I know she must be mothering and grand-mothering you all straight from Heaven! I believe now, she can be even closer in heart to each one of you.

Always, in His comfort and love,

Aunt Angie

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