Tonight at the celebration service for my precious Aunt Robin each of her children shared beautiful words honoring Christ and her life lived for Him. Molly specifically referred to the story we are all still a part of here.
All week I’ve been reminded of my childhood. How gentle and loving she was. How joyful and full of life. How imaginative and funny. The woman could tell stories. I’d say I don’t know where she came up with them, but I simply know her mind has been full of wonder as long as I’ve known her.
I found myself thinking back to our more recent relationship as I’ve grown into an adult. As I’ve done so it became more difficult for her to know how to reach me where I was. The wonderment I had as a child had faded and life had it’s challenges. If you’ve followed me at all over the years it’s been no mystery that mental illness has been a big part of my life. As I’ve been mulling it all over , what was the healthiest thing to do ( I ask sarcastically of course)? Pull up old messages from her reaching out.
I’ve got to tell you, Satan wanted a win with that one. I read her words poured out in love and encouragement and began to selfishly wonder if I’d let her down, if she knew I loved her and how much she meant to me. I began to grieve as one with no hope. All the while her words have sought to jump from the screen to remind me what it truly is to humbly follow where our Father leads.
“Bekah, I am so proud of you for taking the difficult step of seeing a counselor! I know it’s a process, but i feel the counselling will help you work through a lot of issues. This morning when I was praying for you, I pictured you as a little girl…hiding behind your mom, hanging on to her clothes and sucking your thumb… It made me think that when we take steps with God, we don’t step out on our own, but we just hold to the hem of His garment and follow Him where He leads us. He goes ahead of us to prepare the way, and we just hold on to Him and follow, trusting that where He takes us is best for us…because it is! Love You!”
The imagery this creates is so simple yet profound. I can picture that girl too. She’s lived in fear for most of her life. But can I tell you such a beautiful truth dear hearts? I chose that fear. It didn’t choose me. And there is life more abundant. Hiding behind our savior vulnerably at times is the only we ever truly step out on faith. The acknowledgment that absolutely nothing can heal our brokenness. If only we could tug at the end of His robe. Just a moment, touch Him. Be healed from whatever ales us.
In Luke 8 this scenario plays out. A women was bleeding for twelve years. She had exhausted all efforts to find healing. Spent all she had. She fought through a crowd that was nearly crushing Jesus as so many were there to catch a glimpse , a word. She caught the end of His robe, and immediately her bleeding stopped. Jesus said ” I know that power has gone out from me.” When she realized she was found out she was on her knees before Him. And the most precious words came from his mouth, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in Peace.”
All she had to do was believe. And it wasn’t a belief that shouted the strongest of faiths. Dear hearts, she had been at this for 12 years. I almost imagine it as a last ditch effort. She’d heard these stories, the miracles. There was nothing else. No thing. No one who could take away her pain. Maybe, just maybe this Jesus could. There is absolutely nothing wrong with approaching Jesus with this desperation. In our desperation we find ourselves in the most painful yet beautiful place we can be, acknowledging our humanity and our desperate need for Him.
Aunt Robin knew this well and so desperately wanted me to know it to it’s fullest capacity. For the glory of God and the honor of her legacy, I sure hope to do just that in every word formed on this keypad in front of me. And while she didn’t receive the earthy miracle as this woman did, the healing she experienced far transcends anything we can imagine. It’s as if that day she laid down to rest she was tugging on to His garment, Her Heavenly Father whispering, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in Peace.”
In peace she went and in peace we continue to live our part of His story until it’s complete.
If you don’t know peace. If you don’t know grace or freedom, I believe Robin Bowman would tell you there’s no extravagant way to come. Simply to come , hold on to Him and follow. Trusting that where He takes you is what’s best for you. I’d love for you to know this peace. A peace that yes, I wrestle with here on earth. But Praise be to God it never fails me even when my faith is one of utter desperation.
Reach out and hold to the hem of His garment tonight.
And know that He offers so much more than just that if we are willing to let him lead.
We are already , but not yet.