Nearing the End

Lois’ journey is almost complete. I am confident she can see the rest and glory waiting her. We are praying Psalm 116:1-7:

I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he or he heard my heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.
The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me;
       I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, save me!"
The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.

Last night Joy, Peter, Kari and I gathered around Lois to pray for her and for each other. As each one of us prayed, we were reminded that the Lord is gracious, full of compassion, overflowing with goodness. What an awesome privilege to pray together as a family knowing we will all meet again in Glory!

Yesterday it became evident that Lois could no longer swallow pills. When the Doctor was here (yes, we have a Doctor who makes house calls!) he ordered liquid morphine which Lois does not even have to swallow; its absorbed in her cheek. During the night we gave her the morphine about every two hours but her breathing is more labored this morning and we’ve started giving it every hour.

Hospice brought in a hospital bed but the last response we got from Lois yesterday afternoon was that she didn’t want to be moved. She is still on the couch. There has been no measurable urine output since Wednesday evening and her muscles have more tremors due to the increased toxicity.

I can remember several times over the years, during a President’s final days in office, when there was a lot of talk about building a legacy. A genuine legacy can never be purposefully built or earned or bought. Authentic legacies are bestowed by the people whose lives have been impacted. Last night, when Lois’ children gathered around her and prayed with thoughtful, selfless, meaningful words, the priceless legacy was evident.

Even though we all went to sleep knowing Lois might graduate to eternity before we woke, there was peace and understanding and confidence. Our hope is in the Lord.

Now we are waiting for the final breath. It could come at any time or take a while but we know our time with Lois in this world is measured by hours. Pray with us that the end would come quickly. Pray with us, “Lois, be at rest once more, the rest that comes to your soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”

21 thoughts on “Nearing the End”

  1. Jim, I prayed that very thing this morning before coming to the computer…now with tears in my eyes I pray she will see Jesus face to face very soon! Thank-you for being willing vessels for God to use and encourage others through this journey! Again…you are in our thoughts and prayers…

  2. We have been praying this as well. We are so glad that you are together and joined in Christ’s loving arms at this time. Love to you all.

  3. Jim and family, our thoughts and prayers are of course with you. What a testimony my dear friend, what a testimony for us all. We love you and though there are tears, we rejoice in what God is doing in even this. “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” [Deut. 33:12]….soon, Lois will experince this and what a beautiful comforting thought with all that she has gone through. May we all be secure in this God who is so good.

  4. With tears falling freely, I rejoice for Lois. “I Can Only Imagine” will be a reality and she will dance, she will stand in awe and she will sit at the feet of our awesome God. Thank you Jesus for what you’ve given.

  5. Jim,
    I am praying also that Lois will rest in the Grand arms of Jesus very soon. I want to thank you for being so open with all of us during this most difficult time in your lives. The testimony of your family and the peace that you have is so amazing. Only Christ can provide this. Lois will soon be free from all that has ensalved her in this world and peace will flow over her beautiful soul. We recently had a young mother friend pass away from a twelve year battle with breast cancer. Her will to live was so strong. I believe that she did finally come to know Jesus and all is well with her soul. Some people have a difficult time understanding this, but my heart smiles everytime I think of her and how peace is now hers. In and out of the hospital she touched many lives and she will never be forgotten. This is her story. It is not the one that they would have hoped for, but it is her story. A story of strength, love and life.
    Your story also has touched many lives and I also rejoice that Lois will dance at the feet of Jesus as so many of us long to do someday. Our stories continue on here on earth and I also will continue live as a disciple of Christ. Live as an example of Jesus and love, live and value every moment I am allowed to do this. Thank You again for being an amazing testimony of the love and peace that Christ can provide. May God give you the strenght you need at this time. Bethany Goodman

  6. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints” Ps 116:15
    As all of you are saying goodby, there are myriads waiting for Lois, even the Lord. Glory! I am in prayer for all of you. Jane

  7. The time has come for the “ultimate healing” to occur. With grace Lois lived, now with greater grace she has faced the final enemy and been victorious. For Lois, to live “was Christ”, and to die “is more Christ”.
    The crown of life awaits. Love to the family and you, Jim.

  8. Our hearts are heavy with you and yet full of hope knowing that Lois will soon have full release of the pain. Our hearts also beat with yours in love and the oneness we have because of God’s Love. We are with you in Spirit.

  9. Our hearts are sad for us here on earth who have to do without Lois. But we rejoice that she will be pain free and in the arms of God soon.
    We haven’t known your family long but we are so thankful that we met.
    Lois will be greatly missed.

  10. My prayers are with you. May God be gracious with her. My son was just telling me about you and Lois at Tri-State when he would go. You made an impact on him. God bless you and your family at this time. She will soon be with Jesus and with a healed body.

  11. Jim, Joy, Peter, & Kari,
    Your friendship has meant so much to me. Thanks! And thank you for your testimony. You are in my prayers. I am so glad that I was able to be with you all last summer. Much love, Bettye Lou

  12. Thank you for letting us share this journey with you. What a freedom to know that Lois will soon be with Christ! I will continue to pray for your family and for the peace that only the Lord can give. Love, Julie Wigle

  13. All of you have been in our prayers. Thank you for taking the time to keep us all updated. I do not know how I would handle this situation but I would be leaning toward “Self” and circling the wagons and trying to keep the world out. Thank you for your time and commitment to not doing that. Outside of prayer, I don’t know what else to say. I have certainly hugged my wife and sons a lot deeper lately.
    We love you and have fond memories of good times.
    mike

  14. We have been praying and weeping for both sadness and joy all day. We love you all and cry out to our Father to fill the space in all of your lives and hearts with the comfort that only comes from above.

  15. Jim . . . Frosty called to let us know . . . and we’ll call Shirley (who is presently with Emma up at the Mayo Clinic) You know that we all simply continue to pray for you and yours — for that sustaining gift of grace God’s Holy Spirit has been so clearly granting to both of you day by day throughout Lois’ difficult journey. We thank God with you that journey’s end is “Victory” — a new beginning — and pray that all deep-felt tears will become that “shower of blessing” implied in Jesus’ promise: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” That you and Lois have been so willing to share your faithful response-in-the-Lord to all of this so openly has been a precious, precious gift.
    Thank you again!
    Dave Nolte

  16. I whispered several times this morning, “God please softly whisper Lois’s name and call your child home peacefully” I will praise my God upon ever remembrance of Lois. She set up residency in my heart a long while ago, and there she will stay. My prayers will continue for you Jim and your precious family. I thank HIM for HIS grace and mercy in carrying you through! Because of HIM….

  17. I Praise God for the strength and sense of peace He is giving all of you. He will be there through all of this. I Praise God for the blessed pleasure to get to know her in the short time. Her faith and sense of peace has been very evident and I am sure she has left a legacy to all those she has met. My prayers are with all of you during this time and I know God has His arms around all of you. He is faithful!
    Marianne

  18. Again….HE is faithful and steady…..pray sustains…..especially the few vital days to follow. It will be hard to adjust to the fact that SHE is not a part of my prayer time……family you are the next few days ahead
    Your friend in Christ,
    Pastor Phil

  19. I praise the Lord for being allowed to share moments in this life with you as a family, Lois and Jim as friends. Because our pathes have crossed my life has been richer everyday. My heart longs to impart some of the comfort that you gave to me at the time of my loss. Yet the miles prevent me from being present to hold your hand or sit and share stories with you. Know that my prayers will be with you and my tears will mingle with yours. Not tears for Lois who has now entered into the presence of the Lord, but tears for you as you learn to face each day without her gentle presence. I will wait to call until things have had a chance to settle, but know that I long to talk with you and if you want to call you can.
    Father God I thank you for the life of Lois and the gentle witness of your love to her and through her. I lift up before now her family, Peter Joy and Kari, those beautiful grandchildren she adored and enjoyed, and ask Father God that you would surround them with an awareness of Your presence and comfort. I ask a special measure of grace and mercy for Jim and that You Father will continue to be his source in every moment of the day. In Jesus name Amen.

  20. I have been blessed just by reading you accounts of Lois’s final days and the loving comments made by thosr who knew and loved her. She has a loving legacy and God can use her life story to reach other souls. Mary Lou

  21. Dear Jim–I read this to put my own life in perspective. Easter brings true celebration. He is risen and we will eventually join Lois in that heavenly reception.

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