September 20, 2021 – “Life’s Surprises!”

    I have had many surprises in my lifetime.  The earliest was being in a prayer circle with my grandparents, uncles and aunts, and my parents.  I knew I shouldn’t open my eyes during the prayer, but finally I did, and the memory of that kneeling circle of prayer I still remember.

Mother often liked to pose pictures, and this is my Dad, with head bowed, after one of his heart attacks.  I remember the German Prayer he said at the supper table each evening while I grew up.   Komm, Herr Jesus, sei unser Gast. Segne, was du uns bescheret hast. (O Lord of Joy, please be our guest and take this food and make it blessed as to you we pray.)

As a young adult, the sweet surprise, came while I led singing in a revival meeting.  This new group of Christians prayed and I listened as they prayed for many things. Then I was humbled beyond measure when I heard someone praying for me by name.

When I read Mother’s book about her family and read that my Grandmother Suderman always prayed for her grandchildren by name and ‘those who come after’. Nach Kommen…this gave me more understanding of the words in the Bible.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. Ephesians 1:3-4.

Then we are to pray for those who have not yet been born. Each of us spend time with God before we are born. To me this scripture became an eye-opening understanding of joy. For you formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14.

Another surprise happened as I watched my Father die. With his last breath, he smiled. I wondered who he saw in that moment. Then I found this verse…He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.  Ecclesiastes 3:11.

Mother taught me so much about the beauty of scripture, the blessedness of faith in Jesus, the wonders of the Creation of the heavens and the earth. She particularly loved to teach His Word, play songs of praise, and put music to Bible verses. She often talked about Psalm 37. She once told me in the middle of her bout with pulmonary fibrosis that she dreamed she went to the top of a mountain and looked down into the glassy sea below. Angels came and told her it is not time yet.

As she began grasping for breath, I reached for a Bible and began with Psalm 37 and continued to read until my friend told me she could no longer hear. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.  Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and He will act. Psalm 37:3-5.  These three verses summed up her life.

         The next surprise happened as I watched over my husband, as he went into the world of Dementia. He was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. He began his descent by realizing he could no longer drive, he could no longer do our taxes, and he slowly he forgot family… our children, his grandchildren, and then told me he wasn’t married to me, and had another wife.

When I could not physically care for him, I visited him in the nursing homes. We spent our time talking about Jesus and Heaven.  Then we listened to hymns and held hands. Suddenly I realized that music and Jesus were blessings to him, and He never forgot his faith in Jesus.  I remembered how often he read from his electronic Bible, his gentleness and love for others. And his service to his country during World War II.

He told his story to his cousin, who wrote it in his book, The BootHill Coffee Club by Ernie Frazier.  Ernie gave me permission to re-produce Ed’s story on my website.

We celebrated sixty-six years of life together and enjoyed Life together. With four children and twelve grandchildren, plus nine great grandchildren and two great- grandchildren, we have been truly blessed.

         The latest blessing is knowing I will have a license to drive for my 93rd year in life.  The blessings from God each step of my life have been the greatest fount of blessing surprises.

May God go with you, every step of the way.  Remembering the joys God has given me. The blessings He showers on me, will certainly continue as I trust in Him.