|About the year 2000|
Aren't they cute?
My princesses and brides to be.........
See the little one on the left? That is my Emily. She is about two or three in this picture. I want to take you back to a significant day for both of us when she was about that age. She has graciously allowed me to share the following circumstances in hopes that it will somehow edify you, as well, Dear Reader........
My husband and I were leaving the neighborhood with these two little cherubs in the back seat when we heard a blood curdling howl. It was Hayden, the one on the right side in our picture from the past. I quickly turned around to find my oldest holding her nose and crying, while the little stinker in the carseat stared unremorsefully ahead. "She bit my nose!" Yes, Emily had bitten her. Hard.
Biting. This was a new, lovely, little habit she had learned from a buddy in the church nursery. We had been trying for several weeks to rid Emily of this habit, but she had been finding it extremely effective in managing her sister and the temptation was apparently too great to resist. I'll save my opinions about church nurseries for another time.......
Scott and I looked at each other. We had had enough. He turned the car around and pulled back into the driveway. "Come on, Emily." He gently removed her from her carseat. He walked her to the front porch and told her to wave good-bye as I took my place in the driver's seat and left with Hayden to the birthday party. I'll never forget the look on Emily's face as we pulled out of the driveway. She was stunned (so was Hayden for that matter). Tears ran down her face as she expressed her first symptom of remorse - but it was too late.
I felt sick as I drove down Dorchester Road. I fought tears of my own. It was then I heard the Still, Small Voice.
"How do you feel, Jennifer Wand?"
"I feel sick, Lord!"
"Remember this feeling."
".......The great sadness you feel when you must leave someone behind. I have no desire to feel it either."
I suddenly thought of the parable of the ten virgins from Matthew 25:1-13:
Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: "Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!" Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, "Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out." But the wise answered, saying, "No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves." And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, "Lord, Lord, open to us!" But He answered and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you." Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
Emily never bit anyone again.
I realized that there was a far more important "party" ahead in our future and that some would, like Emily in this case, be left behind. Those left behind would suffer far more despair than waving good-bye on a porch and feeling regret for a few hours. No, their grief would be on a far grander scale and last an eternity - in great contrast to the eternal rejoicing of the faithful saints. The Lord continued,
"I have called you to move the lukewarm to greater heat."
I never forgot those words. The Lord allowed me to feel a mere taste of the great sadness He feels when it is simply too late. Since that time, in addition to serving Him as a mother, I am prodded by a burden to maintain my passion and to fan that of others. When I lose that focus, He reminds me........
What does it mean to keep your lamp trimmed with oil? You can find Scripture after Scripture in the New Testament where the Lord Jesus warns His people to "abide in Me," to "build on the rock" and not "on the sand" by obeying Him and not just hearing Him. He teaches of a wedding feast where those who were invited make excuses not to attend and the Host invites those society most despises - for they are willing to come and so are "found worthy" by their determined Host. Jesus warns the Church of Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) that if they remain lukewarm, He will literally, "vomit them out My mouth". A lack of passion makes Him feel sick. You must maintain your first love of Him and stoke the fire of the faith you have been granted, lest you find you never belonged to Him in the first place. Many believe that "the Coming of the Bridegroom" only refers to His Second Coming. Dear Friend, your life is but a vapor. He could "come for you" at any time through death and not find you ready. Stop sinning, abide, and obey.
|Several years later|
Aren't they beautiful?
This time Emily is the one on the right. Hayden's nose has recovered nicely.
|My seventeen year old, Hayden, at the drama party|
(She will portray the hilarious Mrs. Bennet)
| My almost fifteen year old overcomer, Emily was there too!|
(She will portray the sweet and lovely Jane)