Many of us will face this New Year without some of our loved ones.
This thought awakened something within me. It was part of my morning prayer as I talked to God for almost two hours. Then I received a phone call that appeared to be a misdial. The caller asked for an ‘Elaine.’ I replied there was no one here by that name. I suddenly remembered about my sister-in-law in another state who has this name. Then I said, ‘Please, what is your name?’ she was already saying goodbye. She gave me her name and it sounded familiar… Carol, but I could not place it. I then told her my name and my brother’s name whose wife was also named Elaine. She said that she had listened to one of my church services. Then it clicked—I could almost see her…
Carol said maybe I was meant to call you and the conversation we were meant to have began. She told me why she was calling my sister in law. As she was speaking, I asked God within myself, ‘Lord, what is this really about?’ It was like Carol had heard my request.
She told me how her son’s house had caught fire and burned down. Everyone had escaped—her son, his wife, an older child—but her 7-year-old granddaughter did not make it out. I felt her pain as if I was living through this. Every part of my being was crying out to God. I now knew who I’d been interceding for with God that morning. I told her about my conversation with God. It was a ‘why God?’ conversation. The answers I needed from God had to help and start the healing process for those whose loved ones are no longer with them..
I told her I was just talking to God and praying about love ones who seemingly died too soon. Then she admitted again that perhaps she was meant to call me. Carol became alive, animated as she recanted stories about her beautiful granddaughter Asjernea Alandria Carol Thomas. She told me her son, had given her late granddaughter her name as one of the middle names. I felt Asjernea become alive and it was like I could hear her voice, see her smile and feel just how much she loved Jesus. Carol recalled the times she took her to church and how Asjernea would tell her how much she loved Jesus. Asjernea was loved and she loved freely…
I told Carol about the conversation I had with God. We are born to die but we live and act as if we live here on earth forever. This ‘forever’ mind-set only applies to our soul/spirit. In the book of Ecclesiastes we understand the seasons and times.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 Amplified Bible (AMP)
A Time for Everything
There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven—
A time to be born and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
Knowing that life has it’s times and seasons. We will not say words in anger when they are tempered by the fleetingness of life; we refuse anger and the grudges it brings to enjoy one more moment of the breath of life.
The value of life is not something to be quantified, how long a person lives is not the pivotal portion of their lives. But rather what their lives meant to us and others qualified a purposed life in God. I told her a person living seconds, minutes and days as newborns babies could have quality lives that served God’s purpose in His plan, not ours. Even in their seemingly short lives they brought love, change, direction and life to this dying world. Living brings life to the world. A smile etched in in the sweetness of their season becomes someone’s memory carried in their hearts until they are united again. A memory, solidified in the moment where it changed the essence of our being into a life giving force.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 Amplified Bible (AMP)
God Set Eternity in the Heart of Man
He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.
Knowing we are born to die challenges every decision we make… our regrets becoming less and less… nonexistent. Will I leave you with a smile or a frown, even in my hour of pain? You—your life is valuable to me, you have changed my way of living. I’ll put down the cellphone, the iPad because the quality of the moment we share matters. I won’t lower the volume on the television—I’ll turn it off. I’m living in the now and your existence has taught me how to live. Because of you, I’m grabbing a little more of life and giving others memories of me.
Our loved ones never leave us nor do they cease to exist. They are more real now than they have ever been before. They are a part of our genetic makeup, they have changed our DNA creating in us the best that life has to offer. Where before there was no life, they haven given us life. A life that lives with every breath we take. I cannot grieve for you because I have to celebrate you. I honor you through living a better-purposed life; your life has made mine worth living…
Hebrews 12:1 King James Version (KJV)
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
I was blessed to talk with her Father Anthony Thomas who also spoke of Asjernea’s great love of family and God. He mentioned how she would call him everyday to say, ‘I love you.’ A little vessel pouring out so much love to everyone she encountered, love flowing even in her supposedly absence.
Asjernea Alandria Carol Thomas still lives. She lives in God. She lives in everyone that she poured her great love of life into. She even began to live for me in the detailed stories of her love for Jesus. I’m honored to have known such a beautiful loving little girl who loved on purpose, a tender child who touched and changed many with her love. As often as her story is told she will continue to live for all who hear her testimony of love…
Asjernea Alandria Carol Thomas, is survived by her mother Rhonda Sudol; father, Anthony Thomas; stepmother, Tabitha Merry; grandparents, Cathy and John Sudol, Carol Thomas Wright, and Ernest Thomas; four sisters, Taylor (14), Alexis (11), Alandea (10), Aviana (1); two brothers, Anthony (16) and Alexander (8) as well as her other aunts, uncles, and many friends.
God is Love, Love conquers and covers it all…
Written by Pastor EuGenia Harris…