Her room was still like time had stopped, her eyes at nothing, stared,
Until a beep from the machine, brought her back crystal clear.
She looked down at her arm and saw the IV in its place,
Just for a moment, she had gone back, to another time and space.
Tears trickled down that old drawn face, her lips began to quiver,
As she recalled the years gone by and pain that she’d delivered.
It now was clear, as she looked back; it wasn’t clear back then,
She wished to have a second chance, some way to make amends.
The angry names her mother hurled still made her cringe in pain.
And knowing that she did the same brought grief, regret, and shame.
She didn’t end dysfunction, though that had been her hope,
And life went by so very fast, change ceased to be her goal.
She looked up at the ceiling, and cried out “Are You there?
Do You care about me? Can You remove despair?
Does hope exist? Can change be known? If so, then show the way,
Hear my prayer, see my heart; I’m buried in mistakes!”
Questions filled her weary mind as she lay there exhausted,
Is it true that God restores the hurt and broken hearted?
She shut her eyes; her shoulders shook, as tears continued falling,
With humbled heart, and contrite spirit; she longed for a new calling.
The hours trickled slowly by with no response from heaven,
But a strange rest had filled her heart and peace was like a fragrance.
That restful state was broken with a stroke upon her hair,
A voice that she had longed to hear said “Mom, I’ve news to share.”
“A year ago, at my ropes end, I gave my heart to Jesus,
Since that day I’ve changed and grown, more than I can measure.
I’m learning to submit my will and die to my own way.
The chains that tightly bound us, He’s breaking more each day.”
“I love you Mom, and know your plan was never one to hurt us,
You too were hurt, and it’s been said; hurt people… will hurt people
But hope has come into my heart, revealing a new path,
We cannot change the hurt-filled past, but hopes with us at last!”
“For I can see a future paved, with a new legacy
It’s there for us if we will grow and seek God on our knees,
In God’s all knowing timing, He’ll heal each hurt and scar,
Submitting all and letting go; our lives will be restored.
“The devil brought destruction, to our hearts and souls,
But God is here to lift us up and take back all control.
We can forgive each other, as Christ’s forgiven us.
He’ll wash us clean and make us new as we give Him our trust.”
“Dear Mother, I invite you, to join us in this path,
To know that you’re forgiven and all that’s passed… is past.”
That withered hand reached out to hers, as tears rolled down their faces,
With breaking voice the elder said, “Oh…the years I wasted.”
“I’m sorry for the things I’ve done, and for the words of pain.
I wish that I could turn back time and wash it all away.
But know dear, that I love you, and I’m sorry for the hurt,
I need the hope that you have found to mend my broken heart.”
Just before the morning broke with no bells or alarms,
With peaceful heart, she breathed her last, and went to Jesus’ arms.
Her children knew that she was free from bitterness and shame,
And they rejoiced, with hands upraised, to hope in Jesus’ name.
God used her children’s hurt-filled past; took beauty from the ashes,
As they reached out to hurting souls and others who had suffered.
No troubled path, no chains that bind, no mountain sized life problems,
Are greater than the power of God who brings good from our losses.
But stubborn hearts we must lay down; to change, we must be willing,
And as we do, we shall fulfill, God’s awesome, glorious, calling.
Rhonda Shelford Jansen