Today, I remember Jenny. ( I often remember Jenny because God used her to ‘show me’ that His grace is sufficient!’NO, even more than that, God used Jenny to help restore ‘joy’ in my life!
I must record a moment in time, because God wants me to remember the very last song we sang…
First, the ‘we’- Jenny and myself (and my friend Gail and a man from Jenny’s church). Second, ‘the moment’ – Jenny, the friend God gave me to help lift my ‘pity-ful’ thoughts out of the ash heap to soar in a sky of blue. Yes, the friend who suffered so many great losses, even the loss and ability to feel or move any muscle below her neck for close to 6 years. Yes – Jenny was paralyzed within a 24 hour period from some unknown ‘virus’ at the age of 35, completely from the neck down, along with a respirator to help her to breathe for an unheard of 6 years! Jenny was a living miracle!
(Take a moment and imagine losing the feeling and ability to move anything below your neck for even one day, let alone almost 6 years!) Anyway, back to the moment- God knew – but we didn’t- that this moment in time was to be our last day to talk and sing. This moment after being in the hospital almost 3months, separated from her home and her beloved 3 daughters and her husband because the ‘home health care benefits expired’- this young 40 year old woman beamed with joy when I pulled out my ‘baby Taylor’ to play the hymn, “My Jesus, I Love Thee.”
This was no performance to be remembered for perfection, but this was a moment of precious and purest of praises. None of us knew this would be the last song. But God did. And unless I write this down today and record this moment, it might be forgotten, but God wants me to remember…
He wants me to remember so I can be reminded forever that He is in control. He is the Great Conductor. God knew that about 15 hours later, Jenny would suffer lack of oxygen and go into a coma for a short time, before going on home to Him. God’s the only One who knew, but we can know the song…we can know the song that she had on her mind, because we sang it together on that day, and God was with us because He inhabits pure praise:
“My Jesus I love Thee; I know Thou art mine. for Thee all the follies of sin I resign. My gracious Redeemer, My Savior art Thou. If ever I loved Thee, My Jesus, ’tis now. (William R. Featherston)
To think that the ‘Great Conductor’ had Jenny and I reading together the few visits before in the Song of Songs, the Song of Solomon where we both discovered just how great His love is for us.
No words can describe how rich and personal and remarkable our times together with God and His Song of Songs were! We sang the words, “I know Thou art mine” in a most deep and rich way. Like two school girls that had been ‘kissed’ by Jesus:
“Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold you are fair! You have dove’s eyes…” (Song of Sol. 1:15). “
I will never forget, Jenny struggling to speak after I read those words. She said, “Jenny ! My name means ‘FAIR ONE!’
God brought us together to hear Him speak so gently, so intimately: “The voice of my beloved! Behold He comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills…behold He stands behind our wall; He is looking through the windows, Gazing through the lattice. My beloved spoke to me: “Rise up, my love,my fair one, And come away. For lo,
the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. the flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come…” (Song of Sol 2:8-10).
God spoke so clearly.He speaks so tenderly and timely, He IS a very present help in times of trouble! Speaking directly to His ‘fair one’ His Jenny and even me! She was no longer in a hospital bed, her Prince had called her by her name!
So, back to that last visit and the song : We sang on that monumental day: “I love Thee, Because Thou hast first loved me, And purchased my pardon On Calvary’s tree. I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow, If ever I loved Thee, My Jesus, tis now.”
Jenny and I, through our previous times together were touched by the Lord, and to even sing about the thorns on our last song together, Oh how He knows about our thorn!
“Like a lily among thorns, So is my love among the daughters.” (Song of Sol 2:1).
And here on our last time together, and with friends we sang words giving thanks: “I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow,...” and we meant every word as we sang, “If ever I loved Thee, My Jesus,tis now.”
These were not just words, they were spirit and we were worshiping our Lord in Spirit and in Truth and He was with us on that monumental day. He inhabited that amazing praise on that particular moment and He enveloped us all in His love, especially my dear Jenny!
All glorious! This moment tucked away in the ugliest hospital room ever, with circumstances dimmer than the darkest grey- was all Glorious- because the Lord was with us- and especially my dear Jenny!
The next two verses are so amazing, in that of all the hymns, this is the one that God chose for me to bring on that precious day! God is in control:
“I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death. And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath; And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow, “If ever I loved Thee, My Jesus ’tis now.” Only God knew that the last breaths were approaching.
But this brings me the greatest of comfort, that God chose this song, because I will always wonder, “Lord, was Jenny hearing this song in her coma? So much mystery that only You know, Lord.”
But here are the words of the last verse we sang, so amazing, beyond glorious -truly God’s on the Throne: “In mansions of glory And endless delight, I’ll ever adore Thee In heaven so bright. I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow, “If ever I loved Thee, My Jesus, ’tis now.”
I’m thankful that God had me bring my guitar that day, I’m thankful for the song He chose. TO think that He was willing to wear that crown of thorns so we could wear a ‘glittering crown on our brows’! And when we get there, we will lay those crowns down at the feet of Him who loves us so.
So, if God has you go ‘outside the box’ and grab that hymn book, psalm, or even to grab that guitar ,to bring to someone whose been broken, you might just witness, as I did that day, a monumental moment that you will record in the journal of your heart forever.
God brought healing to all of us on that day! Especially for my dear Jenny!
‘In His presence is fullness of joy’ the Bible teaches! No matter what happened in the past or is going to transpire in the future-God has a plan, and it’s something we can hold on to!
Lord, I miss Jenny so much. But I thank You that she is whole and alive forevermore. Soon and very soon we will be together again. Thank You for her life. Thank You for Yours! “If ever I loved Thee, My Jesus, ’tis now.”
I have the wrong title on this ‘book’ (I suppose I could write a book about all God did for us in bringing us together for a short time…). This story should be called: God’s Amazing Love!