The phone rang in the middle of the afternoon. My nephew spoke from the other end. He and my mom were back from the hospital. “The news is not good,” he said. Then he paused. I dreaded what would follow.
Mom had only a few weeks left to live.
Many times, since moving from the UK to the States, I fretted about my parents being ill or in an accident and how I would cope when an ocean separated us. Often I pleaded with my heavenly Father: “Lord, I believe you want me to live here, this far away, I’m relying on You when that time comes.”
Give your burdens to the Lord, says Psalm 55:22, and he will take care of you.
Now, the moment I feared had arrived.
I had decisions to make. I stood with my husband in the middle of the kitchen; our young children ran around us, and we discussed what I should do.
When would be the best time to go? When I could help the most, we agreed, and not too late to have quality time. How long should I go for? “For as long as it takes,” replied my husband. But I knew he was making a sacrifice. He had a job to do, and looking after three children at the same time would be a challenge.
We agree on ten precious days. I packed my bags and left.
I arrived a daughter, but quickly became a nurse, a cook, a cleaner, and a decision-maker as well. Each day brought a new change and a steady decline.
We had memorable moments, too. A request for a fish and chips lunch at a favorite restaurant, even though mom struggled with the short walk to the car. Getting some fresh air around the neighborhood—my brother pushed her wheelchair while I walked at her side.
Then my mom’s world became a hospital bed set up in the living room, and family constantly close by.
I witnessed no fear with what laid ahead. I learned faith could be strong towards the end. I heard only confidence and trust in her Savior. And, I gained courage as I listened and observed.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-9 (NIV)
Day ten arrived. I sat on the end of the bed, fighting back the tears. It was time to say goodbye.
I leaned over. Mom struggled to sit up. “I want to stand up and give you a hug,” she said. Thin, stork-like legs hung over the side of the bed. She wobbled as they struggled to hold up her feather-light frame. I grasped her frail body in my arms as she leaned into me.
“I love you,” I choked.
“I love you, too.”
I had never heard those three words said to me before, and I’d never said them back. Of course, I knew I was loved—sending lots of love, mom would say and I would respond the same—but I had always longed to have I love you said to me.
Deep peace flooded an aching heart. Joy flourished in the midst of sorrow.
And my God will meet all YOUR needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (emphasis mine.)
Where do you need strength for what lies ahead? What unmet need can you trust to Christ’s riches?
A little about Rachel Britton:
Since graduating from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2011 with a Masters in Religion, cum laude, Rachel has been using her training and experience to give women hope and encouragement. Mostly, though, they enjoy listening to her British accent.
Prior to this, Rachel served on ministry staff to women at Grace Chapel, a non-denominational church of 5,000 in Lexington, Massachusetts. She continues her involvement as a member of the women’s prayer team, and as co-founder of a ministry, Culture of Wellness.
When Rachel’s not writing, blogging, and speaking, she’s mamma bear to three lovable teenagers, and wife to Colin. Rachel finds inspiration in walking, biking and skiing the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She likes to travel, particularly back to England, and explore new places in the USA and further afield with her family.
Rachel blogs weekly here. You want to be on her mailing list – I promise!
37 thoughts on “God Meets All Our Needs”
What a great post. I LOVE the verse in Jeremiah 17 and have claimed that many times in my own season of difficulty. I cannot imagine the tenderness at leaving after 10 days coupled with an exchanged “I love you.” What a precious memory. Thank you for sharing your story, Rachel and glad I got to know a bit more about you. #rara linkup
Lisa, nice to meet you too. A friend once said we should claim God’s promises and that sounds exactly what you do with Jeremiah 17.
A beautiful story Rachel, such beautiful words to carry with you for the rest of your life, thank you for sharing your story!!
Thank you Susan for hosting, hope you both have a wonderful week!
Oh My Heartsie Girl
Thanks Karren. God was so good and as you say, I will carry his goodness with me for the rest of life.
What a peace and a blessing. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.
Kelly, blessings to you, too.
Rachel, what a powerful story of God’s perfect timing and provision for you as well as your family on both sides of the ocean. Your story here was such a blessing! Thanks so much for sharing it!
Thank you for your encouragement, Pam.
What a dear blessings, Rachel. I’m so glad to have found you at Abounding Grace with Arabah Joy. I’ll be back again. Many blessings to you, sweet friend.
Happy to meet you too Carolina
Rachel, This is such a beautiful testimony. I love how your mom wanted to stand up and give you a hug. I love how you shared that despite her body failing, she still had confidence and trust in God. My parents are healthy, but just the thought of losing them makes me cry. I’m so glad I have Jesus to walk with me through whatever lies ahead in my future. God bless you!
Valerie, enjoy their health and build happy memories. Jesus gives us strength for whatever lies ahead.
Rachel, your words bless so many. Thank you for sharing here with us today. Hugs, Susan
Susan, thank you so much for letting me share. It’s been my honor. YOU are a blessing.
Susan, thanks so much for hosting the linkup.
Rachel, what a beautiful story of God’s grace. I’m floored that you got to hear your mom say “I love you.” That is pure gold. God does meet all of our needs. Thanks for your testimony here.
Betsy, it’s such an honor and pleasure to have you join us here. Thank you. Hugs! Susan
Betsy, you’re so right. It was pure gold – a gift to share.
A touching story. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.
Thank you Dianne
Rachel, what a beautiful story of God’s provision for exactly what you needed in those final days with your mom. He is so faithful to us, even in our most difficult moments! Blessings to you today.
Thanks Kristine. God is so faithful and he can bring beauty to any situation.
You brought tears to my eyes and brought back my own memory of the first time my father told me he loved me… right after I was diagnosed with cancer.
Oh, Denise, how exquisite is the timing of The Father. Hugs, Susan
Grateful you were able to have those days, to hear those words, to remember the knowing of being loved and have it confirmed when time was now a dear commodity. Thanks for the reminder to say it more to show it in extravagance as often as possible. My father-in-law passed unexpectedly the 3 weeks ago and the memories of small conversations are filtering through my mind and I just hope he knew he was loved. I did tell him, but sometimes it took showing more than telling. 🙂
Dawn, I hope God will remind you of the ways you showed love to father-in-law and fill you with comfort as you mourn your loss. Thinking of you during this hard time.
Beautifully expressed! Thank you for the authentic looks at the comfort and joy that Christ provides in the midst of deep sorrow.
Thanks Jed. We have an amazing God.
This is such a touching tribute to a wonderful, faith-fueled mother. What a loss, but I absolutely love this: Although a body was failing, faith was flourishing. Beautiful!
Thanks Candace. A reminder of 1 Corinthians 13:13 – now theses things remain: faith, hope and love. 🙂
Joy in sorrow and hope in the midst of mourning! You’ve blessed me, this morning, Rachel. Thank you!
Glad to be a blessing, Michele. 🙂
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