This is my 26th blog post for the Write 31 Days challenge, which I signed up to four days late. Would you like to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree? See below for how you can go into the draw to win this wonderful prize.
As you will have seen, especially in yesterday’s post, my mother’s beautiful life and testimony are strongly interwoven with my journey into God’s Love. The love my mother poured out into me, was very much the fruit of her conscious decision to abide in the Vine, in the love of her Heavenly Father for her, especially in the last few weeks of her life. In doing so, she served, as have others in my life, as the hand of Jesus upon my life.
Yesterday, I shared some of the ways in which she lifted me before her Heavenly Father in prayer. This love she showed me, grew from the moment she knew she was expecting me (and perhaps even before!). When she was pregnant with me, she felt the LORD impress upon her heart that the baby she was carrying would be a girl. She felt called to name me Anna, something she once again shared in her final handwritten birthday card to me, less than two months before she passed away. Her thinking and co-ordination skills were severely affected by the tumors ravaging her brain and yet she put all her focus into lovingly penning these words:
“You were named after Anna, who had been waiting in the temple to see the son of God. He came and she recognized him immediately.”
When I was growing up, she loved to tell me the story about how her doctor would laugh at her calling me Anna and would say something like: “Yes, I once had a Josephine that turned out to be a Joseph.” to her. But my mother trusted the One who whispered her these secrets, before technology would allow parents to discover the sex of their children before they were born.
If I look at what is recorded about the prophetess Anna in the Bible, I feel God’s hand and love upon my own life, as I see Him drawing me to many of the same things that made the Biblical Anna’s heart beat:
Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.
Like Anna, my heart yearns to share of the love God has been showing me to other people. Just like the meaning of my name, grace, I feel called to share the Gospel of God’s powerful grace with others. And I have felt His strong hand upon me in leading me to share my own testimony to His Love on this blog. I would not have started this blog or the 31 Day challenge had it not been for His persistent nudgings to do so.
Up until today, I have kept my blog a very private blog, with no photos of myself or others. However, throughout this past week I have felt called to share my story more openly, to be the light He calls me to be (Matthew 5: 14 – 15):
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven…”
And in so doing to allow Him to use me as His hand of love, just as He has channelled His Love through others into my own life. For those of you who have been supportively following me in this Journey into His Love, would you join me today in praying for God’s protection, comfort and strength as I step out in faith by sharing my blog publicly via my Facebook page and by adding photos of myself, as I claim the truth of His Word:
Matthew 10: 26 – 27 (The Message)
“Don’t be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don’t hesitate to go public now.
Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life – body and soul – in his hands.”
My Mum and I with Olivia, my youngest daughter, a few short months before she was welcomed into her Heavenly Father’s arms
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