It’s my birthday…remembering “Wow!”

Last year on my birthday, I visited my friend Jenny at her house. A few days prior, I had called Jenny and her nurse answered the phone. She told me Jenny would call me back. You see, Jenny was paralyzed from the neck down-she couldn’t answer the phone. Jenny couldn’t move her arms or her feet, or anything for the matter. She couldn’t scratch her back if it itched, she couldn’t wipe away her tears or the tears of her girls. Jenny couldn’t even blow her own nose or straighten her hair the way she likes it- oh, but my Jenny, she called me back.

I said, “Jenny, my birthday is May 3rd, and for my birthday I’d like to visit you.” She answered in her gentle ‘Jenny way’, “Wow!”  I’m not sure, but I think she actually said, “Wow!” because by now, we both really loved our times together, (because of His presence),so I believe the Lord brought us together to have moments of heaven here on earth! (Who wouldn’t want ‘a bit of heaven’ on their birthday?)

I can always hear her say, “Wow!” because when we had time together, she would often be still and say, “Wow”! as we would read His word or discover something amazing about Him. (Of course Jenny would ‘be still’ but no, she was so still that there was  no distraction to the touch of God’s grace being poured out on her, and somehow God allowed some of that grace to be ‘splashed’ on me.)

So, maybe the reason we loved our time together is because it wasn’t just me and Jenny, with the strings of the guitar and the strings of our voices lifted together in praise to Him, He would meet us every time!

You would probably think that I would visit Jenny to ‘cheer her up’. But it was the other way around. You see, she encouraged me in everything. Jenny was praying for me about the ‘book’ I was writing. God had told me, “Toni, ‘write for yourself in a book the words that I have spoken to you.’ (Jer. 30:2). Well,  I always toldJenny , “Jenny, you are the ‘feet’ to this book. And she would smile her sweet smile and say, “It will get written.”

Well, I believe the book is being written- not how I thought originally, but perhaps in many little books. But this birthday, this day ,the Lord is ‘speaking to me’ some words. He is ‘showing me the way’ because I ask Him everyday to do so. God spoke to my heart this morning, “Toni, I want you to write the book that I am writing in you. The book is your life, through each day, through the power of My Spirit: “…above all things, have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8).

Do you know what my thought is? It is “Wow!” (Yes, present tense not past.) “Why?” you might ask. Because, THAT is the book that Jenny wrote! God let me have time with Jenny so I could read the book that He had written in her.

All of a sudden, a verse in the Bible is finally making sense to me, John 21:25: “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”

God is speaking, He is showing me the way, He is saying, “Toni, I want you to write the book that I am writing in you.” It’s not so much the pen to the paper, or even the feet on the go, (because Jenny’s feet had no ‘go’), but the book that God wants us  all to write- each individual story, I believe- is the work of love that He does ‘above all’ somehow in these broken vessels of ours pressing on in this broken world; He fills us with something we just DON’T HAVE- namely , ‘a fervent love for one another’.

So, the book? The story? The testimony? It’s HIM. And because of Him, because of His love poured out in our hearts by the Spirit, which ‘covers a multitude of sins’ and moves in us a ‘fervent love’, there is a story! All I can say right now is “Wow!” Which makes me think of my dear, sweet friend now in heaven, who still is the ‘feet’ to the book. I had a chance to read the ‘book written in her’, now it’s time, day by day to write mine: “Above all things, have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.” 

Well, I know I cannot do this! But Jesus can do this, because all things are possible with Him. So I pray, “Lord, help me not ‘quench Your love’ with clouds of my messed up thoughts and emotions. Help me write the book Lord, each and every day, the book of ‘fervent love for one another because love covers a multitude of sins.’ May the ‘clouds be rolled back like a scroll’ and the title of this story be called, “Here Comes the  Son!” “And Lord, will  You give Jenny a hug for me and tell her that I can feel her prayers for me as well as Yours and assure her that she still is the ‘feet’ to my book, and that it IS being written – one moment at a time, just like hers was!  In Jesus name, Amen.”

And you know what’s funny, I can hear Jenny even now! She’s saying, “Wow!” only this time, she’s dancing…



Author: tonirypkema

Wife to 1, mother of 11, daughter of 1. "The most amazing woman in the world." -Jared (son)

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