Tuesday, May 20, 2008

WHEN I'M AFRAID...

Milton, Here for Kristy:

I have asked Terry, Kristy's brother, to write an account of a most precious time with Kristy that happened Monday. As the day ended Julie, Terry, Rebecca, Jennifer in Puerto Rico by phone, and I shared in these tender moments with Kristy.

Kristy awakened this morning brighter and hungry. God's presence is in her room and His glory is touching our lives.

(This picture was taken on Saturday afternoon just before Julie took Alex and Nic back to Tampa. Julie returned and is here with us.

***

Terry, here:

Yesterday Kristy was weaker and, except for one episode, more sedate. The episode I refer to began with a bout of nausea. When we tried to give her medicine to address that, she became agitated. In her mental confusion she couldn't seem to understand why she needed the medicine, and refused it. We even put the medicine in some food and she refused that as well.

Because Kristy has had such peace and serenity throughout this ordeal, times like this are all the more difficult for us as her family. We felt so helpless – wanting to relieve her suffering, but not able to. My sister, Rebecca, left the room momentarily to call Hospice for their advice. The rest of us were standing around Kristy's bed, silently wondering what would happen next. Tension hung in the air. Then, Kristy shifted her head and with a far-away look and a weakened voice that was little more than a whisper, began to sweetly sing,

"This is the day that the Lord has made;
I will rejoice and be glad in it.
Oh, this is the day that the Lord has made;
I will rejoice and be glad in it.
Rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice in the Lord."

Instantly the tension broke and tears began to flow from our eyes as the presence of the Lord filled the room. We joined in singing with her:

"Celebrate the presence of the Lord;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Oh, celebrate the presence of the Lord;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice in the Lord."

Truly the presence of the Lord is our comfort. We will make it if He is with us. When He comes, the crushing weight of the burden lifts. We don't so much need what He can do for us. We just need Him. "Yea, though I walk through the valley…I will fear no evil for Thou art with me."

***

After this incident Kristy slept most of the day, showing little response. Later, in the evening, I stood at her bed again and told her I loved her. Then I asked if there was anything I could do for her. Suddenly her eyes shone with the light of realization, and she began to cry. "This is my time," she said. "Help me… (mumble, mumble) … not be afraid."

I said, "Kristy, are you afraid?"

"No," she said, "…but ya'll…"

"You want us not to be afraid?" I asked.

"Yes."

I said, "Kristy, do you have peace?"

"Oh, yes!" Though her voice was weak, she spoke with conviction.

About that time Milton walked in and began to tell her how much he loved her. She responded in kind, then asked us to call Rebecca and Julie. We all gathered around. Julie called Jennifer and put her on the speaker phone. And Kristy told us how much she loved us and appreciated us all, and asked us to tell all the members of our family how much she loved them.

Again the tears were flowing. What I felt during these moments was a mixture of joy and pain: Joy over her simple, sweet faith in Jesus that erupts in a song even in her darkest moments. Joy over her constant concern for everyone else's comfort and encouragement. And pain – exquisite pain – pain that stabs at your heart like a knife, because you can't bear the thought of letting her go, this priceless jewel.

Again we sang "This is the day the Lord has made…". Then, Milton led us in a prayer for Kristy and all of the family and we had a time of sweet worship.

Julie and Jennifer were able to share their love with their mother and Kristy expressed over and over her love for all of us.

Kristy spoke what has become her mantra, "God is sooooo good!", and we all rejoiced in the goodness of the Lord.

32 Comments:

At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Mimi said...

thank you for the post, i have been praying because their was not a post yesterday . Howis Krsity today. God Bless you all ,, i am praying , was praying earlier and came in and saw this post.
love in Christ to you all

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

It was a very sweet moment...

When my dad was praying and then praising the Lord, I felt all the way down in Puerto Rico the presence of the Lord. It was as if distance didn't matter. The joy and peace from that room flowed over and I felt wrapped in the arms of the Savior.

I asked mom if she'd seen Jesus and she said yes! I wanted to ask if He looked like His picture, lol but she was too weak!

 
At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Pastor, Juile, Jenmifer,
My Heart is breaking for all of you. I too remember the moments with my Mom at this time of her life. It is sweet and also bitter. I thank God that my Mom knew Jesus and was ready to go and see her heavenly Father. My last memory was when I was singing Amazing Grace with her hours b/4 her passing. I know that there are not words that can help you right now but, just to know that God will wrap His Loving Arms around you and keep you safe during the hardest time to come is all worth it. Yes, unless you have been where you are we don't know what you are going through But GOD DOES!!! Thank you for sharing these precious moments with us.

In His Loving Care,
Ellen

 
At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am praying that God continues to give you strength as Kristy comes to know more and more of His glory.

A friend

 
At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No romantic thoughts today or celebrity comparisons. Just a word to say that God is still God and He always will be God!! Let His Spirit and Glory rise within you!!! He is still a great rewarder as we seek His face.

You are loved today!

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger Kim said...

What a sweet testimony of God's grace and mercy in difficult times! Please know I am praying for your family daily. Your testimony has changed my life!

Kim

 
At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, what a testimony to God's goodness! You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Patty Smith Hall

 
At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Faith is soooo wonderful. God's love can carry you over mountains. The peace that surrounds you has covered all of us.

Thank you. God bless.

 
At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus.

When my dad was in this same time of his journey "home", his favorite song was "I Can't Even Walk Without Holding His Hand". He loved Gospel Music, so we had it always playing softly at his bed side. The presents of the Lord hugged us all as we stood by his bedside.

"God, hug all of Kristy's family. Give them sweet peace as they trust in You. Hold their hands as they walk this part of the journey with Kristy. In Jesus Name."

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger Shana said...

praying - with love, shana

 
At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I read your post today, I immediately thought of this song. Here are the lyrics:

In Christ Alone"
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Praying for you...

Judy Hampton
Southern California

 
At 11:39 AM, Blogger Mary Connealy said...

How hard to rejoice in a day so difficult. And so wise.
And so wonderful that she's thinking of you and your feelings when she's in the midst of so much.

 
At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am reminded.....

"In times like these we need a Savior,
In times like these we need an anchor,
Be very sure, be very sure - your anchor holds and grips the solid rock!
This rock is Jesus, yes, He's the one -
This rock is Jesus, the only one -
Be very sure, be very, very sure
YOUR ANCHOR HOLDS, AND GRIPS THE SOLID ROCK!!!!"

All these old songs, from way back when - just flood my memory at times. I know the songs are doing the same for each of you, as you are dealing with these tender moments.

I'm thinking of all of you, and praying.....ALL THE TIME.

Love and Prayers,
Cathy (Tennessee) <><

 
At 1:48 PM, Blogger Lisa Taylor said...

Bro. Dykes, Julie, and Jennifer,
Everyday we read your updates. You have meant, and do mean, so very much to our lives! Mike and I have continually prayed for Kristy and each of you. You have ministered your family's journey of faith around the world through this blog touching many, many lives. We are very thankful for your witness to God's grace and faithfulness. Please know how much we love you as we continue to lift you up to our Heavenly Father.
Mike, Lisa, and MaryLisa

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger Blissful said...

Love to you all. Glory days to a faithful servant and blessed woman. God is rejoicing.

 
At 2:29 PM, Blogger nanatrish said...

You are in my prayers everyday. I know we have never met in person, but through your sweet, intimate blog I feel like I know your family. You are so gracious and kind. Remember so many people are praying and love you guys! Trish

 
At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton and all, your calling goes forth even in your darkest moments. You must know by now that this blog will be the ultimate testimony of Kristy's dream. My heart grieves for all of you and I send love and prayers to you all. Keep holding on...standing tall...and trusting our precious Jesus. One day all the stories of what your family has done for all of us who are standing with you will be revealed. Sending love and prayers every day.
Annette (Barr)Grahl SEBC class of 1971

 
At 2:44 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

I love and share Kristy's conviction about her time and knowing the Lord is waiting for her. She does know that, you know.

Anyone who has had a near death experience can tell you. I did. And when I was in the midst of it, so was Jesus. I wasn't afraid and was so aware of Him. I felt bad for my family if He was going to take me home then, but I was SOOO okay with Him coming for me.

He decided it wasn't my time to go home, but it lift me knowing when that time does come, His children are not afraid, but filled with His peace.

I pray you'll find comfort in this.
And also in the fact that Kristy has ministered to so many through this. More than she may ever have been able to reach without this trial.

God's peace to you all.

 
At 3:54 PM, Blogger Shana said...

thank you Jesus, for this beautiful, precious family

 
At 4:30 PM, Blogger One Mother with Cancer said...

What a beautiful testimony. Even as she faces death, she still worships the Lord!

I will keep your family in my prayers.

 
At 5:39 PM, Blogger Pam Meyers said...

Thank you for sharing this special time you've had with Kristy. This morning I was reading in Mattthew of when Jesus came walking to the disciples on the waves and they were frightened. He told them to take courage because it was He and not to be afraid. Peter asked to walk on the water and he did as long as his eyes remained on Jesus. When he looked away he sank and cried out for Jesus to help him. IMMEDIATELY, Jesus reached out and grabbed his hand. Kristy doesn't have any fear because Jesus is with her holding her hand and Jesus is saying to all of you to take courage, it is He, don't be afraid.

 
At 6:19 PM, Blogger Arlene said...

Praying for you and sending love to Kristy and the entire Dykes family.

 
At 7:55 PM, Anonymous Carrie Turansky said...

Dear Friends,
I read this post with tears in my eyes and my heart with you there. All around the world a chorus of prayer is rising for Kristy and her dear family and loved ones. Praise God for His grace and peace in the midst of the storm. We send our love and will continue to cry out for God's mercy and comfort.
From Carrie in NJ

 
At 9:25 PM, Blogger Ava Tanner said...

Bro. Dykes, Julie, Jennifer and family:

What a beautiful and very touching account of what I know to be very hard and painful. Kristy's faith in God has never waivered, but has shown what she has wanted her life to show, which is a true reflection of Christ. We can do nothing in our own strength, but in Him we can do all things.

God be with your family and bless you during this difficult time. We will continue to pray for you.

Dave and Ava Tanner

 
At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Lisa Buffaloe said...

Kristy and your sweet precious family,

My prayers continue for the peace that passes understanding, the presence of the Lord, and comfort for you all.

In Christ's Love,

Lisa

 
At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie and Jennifer,
You both are such precious daughters to our beloved Kristy and Milton. Your Mom is so proud of you and the women you have become. When I've looked at your wedding portraits up over her bed, I think of my own wedding portrait adorning my Mom's bedroom wall. Mom's are so proud of their children, and as children we stand tall in cherishing our Mothers. Your beauty reciprocates that of your Mom; starting way down deep inside and flowing to the outside, showing in your every move and every single smile. Both of you are a true reflection of such an awe-inspiring lady. I don't believe that anything happens in our lives by accident when we are christians, serving the Lord. Just as Kristy shared at church one Sunday, "There is a reason, God has a plan, and we are to carry out that plan as He sees fit." So much love, so much tenderness...it's all there for the world to see. Thank you for being "Kristy", for trusting in Jesus, and sharing your God given beauty for all the world to see. I look forward to seeing you in person one day, sharing "GOD BROUGHT US THROUGH THE GREATEST STORM OF OUR LIVES."

I am praying for you tonight. May God bless you richly and deeply, beyond your comprehension. My prayers are faithful for your precious, dear Mother. You are so blessed to have such a wonderful Mom and Dad, just so blessed!

 
At 11:27 PM, Blogger DayleShockley said...

Such bittersweet days are these.

Praying, as always.

 
At 12:20 AM, Blogger Deb said...

We remain in prayer for Kristy & family. Though we've never met, from time to time the Lord recalls Kristy to my mind and then I know it is time to pray. We'll all party one day and rejoice together before our Savior, as friends and sisters and brothers.

 
At 12:26 AM, Anonymous Dad Dykes said...

Milton, Kristy, Julie, and Jennifer there is comfort and assurance in the words of this old hymn.

Jesus Will Walk With Me'

Jesus will walk with me down thro' the valley;
Jesus will walk with me over the plain;
When in the shadow or when in the sunshine,
If He goes with me, I shall not complain.

Cho. Jesus will walk with me; He will talk with me; He will walk with me; In joy or in sorrow, today and tomorrow, I know He will walk with me.

Jesus will walk with me in life's fair morning, And when the shadows of evening must come, Living or dying He will not forsake me, Jesus will walk with me all the way home.

All our family and extended families love you and are continously in prayer for you.

God bless and comfort you.

Dad and Mom Dykes

 
At 5:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was sure by now that You would have reached down and wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again I say "Amen", and it's still raining
As the thunder rolls I barely hear You whisper through the rain, "I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God that gives and takes away
I'll praise You in this storm, and I will lift my hands
For You are who You are, no matter where I am
Every tear I've cried You hold in your hand, You never left my side
And though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm.

 
At 7:41 AM, Blogger Lee said...

Praying for you all.

Lee

 
At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton, I pray that God will continue to hold you, Julie, and Jennifer in His loving arms, to comfort you, and give you peace that passes all understanding. Kristy's faith and trust in God through this trial is touching lives and will help many through difficult times. What a testimony!

Thank you, Milton, Julie, and Jennifer for sharing these special times with Kristy. Your testimonies are also reaching into the hearts of many.

Praying for your family,

Lavada

 

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