Nine years ago I very unexpectedly lost my grandmother. One night I was staying at their home. She was completely fine, then in the middle of the night she was running around speaking fragments and stammering like a crazy person. I knew something was terribly wrong. I woke up my dad and grandfather and they rushed her to the emergency room. When they screened her body they realized she had stage 4 colon cancer as well as the cancer had spread to her liver and pancreas.
Oftentimes we cant begin to understand why God would allow a beautiful soul like hers to go through this. We don’t understand in the spiritual why things happen like they do in the natural. I went to the hospital every single day. I saw her talking and eating. I just knew this is something she would bounce back from. I never expected death. I saw her laying in a hospital bed in her bedroom and nurses coming every few hours to check on her and giving her morphine because of her pain levels. I was 18 years old and reality had not set in that she was about to die even though she was in hospice. I determined that I wouldn’t allow that to be the outcome.
Three months to the day she became sick, my grandmother passed away. She was my rock. She was the balance in my life that was always steady and constant. She loved the lord and would weep to him in prayer nightly. I didn’t understand why she did that (as a senior in high school), but I definitely do now. She was pure and she was the only light in my life. When she passed, the flood of emotion I experienced was unbearable. I had a panic attack when I saw her laying in that white casket. I couldn’t breathe at all. I was so upset with God. I didn’t understand why he took this precious being from me.
A few months went by and the puppy she bought for me was the best stress relief I had. I was supposed to be planning college. I was supposed to be figuring out what I wanted to do in life. Instead I was bitter with God. I had no direction or plans at all. My little sister kept me busy most days, but the pain was always there like a dull toothache. One morning we were up and I was getting my 8 year old sister ready for school. It seemed like a pretty normal day, but I walked outside and called for my precious Mattie to come to me. I called for her for over 5 minutes. This was very unlike her. I walked around the front yard and there she was laying in the front yard in excruciating pain. We later found out someone had beat my dog as a gang affiliation ritual. Needless to say, I told my dad the situation. I tried to pick her up and bring her inside bit she yelped in pain. I laid beside her while my dad rushed my sister off to school so she didn’t have to witness the way my poor puppy looked. I called the vet and they weren’t open for another hour. I sat there helplessly and held her as she gasped for air. I wept so hard. All that emotion that turned to bitterness was now let out. I cried and cried until she passed. My heart was calloused. I built up this giant wall. I was determined that nothing would break me like that again.
Immediately following that incident I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I packed my bags and moved to the beach to clear my mind. I lived there about a year and ended up coming back to Georgia to begin college in Atlanta. Years went by. I fell in love, got married, rededicated my life to Jesus, had four beautiful babies and never looked back. We moved back to Georgia from California because my husband decided to leave the military for the ministry, and through all the ups and downs over the last few years. Here I was at the church he placed us at the time, less than ½ a mile from my grandparent house. I would drive past my grandparents house, and still have bitterness.
I was praying to God like normal, and out of nowhere the Holy Spirit was all over me, I began saying “heal me!!!! Heal me from all the things I thought I laid down that I haven’t. Break me for your purpose and your will.” I was ugly crying in my dining room and my kids were all staring at me confused. A few minutes go by and I feel this overwhelming desire to listen to a song called “in the hands of the potter”. It’s ministered to me for weeks. I am scrolling on my music list and realize they have a visual album. I click that song and within minutes its about a young girl whose grandmother suddenly gets sick. I begin to feel tears flood my eyes. She takes care of her grandmother and takes her place molding the clay. She makes beautiful pots just as her grandma had. Then once her grandma passes she feels bitter and runs away. Sound familiar? God knew exactly what he was leading me to. If that wasn’t an exact copy of what took place with me, the clay part sent me over the edge.
When I was in 5th grade my art teacher had us make a mug out of clay. I enjoyed it so much my grandmother went to the craft store and bought up all kinds of the malleable clay. It almost resembles play doh more than what an actual potter would use. She bought it with the intention of it being something we bonded over, but instead I was “too busy” with the life a middle schooler lives. She ended up always leaving it out, but it was never touched. I would see it, even in high school, but scoffed because I couldn’t believe she wouldn’t put it away. God knew what he was doing. Of all names, hes given me “The Potter’s Daughter”. God knows everything. It’s amazing how a distant memory can be so amplified as God is ministering to you.
All those years were memories I suppressed and didn’t want to relive her passing. The emotion almost felt overwhelming, and I refused to break that wall down. Well, God had different plans. It was time! Sometimes we think because it doesn’t sting anymore, that we are healed. That isn’t always the case. God exposed all of it to me. He exposed my bitterness, anxiety, unforgiveness, and my pain. I wept for over an hour. The ministering that he did to me was unlike anything I had felt. I could feel my tears leaving my body and as they came out, the more peace I felt.
I went downstairs and grabbed her bible she left me. It has been boxed up for over 7 years. I haven’t really opened it, ever. It was my great, great grandmothers and its falling apart. Literally it looks like it survived World War 2. I open the very front page and look down. I see my name written in this bible. The ironic thing is that I wrote my own name. I was maybe around 6. My e is like a 3 and my y is completely backwards. Then under my name my grandma has written 1/9/19. This past year when I wrote this was 2019. Again I was crying so hard I couldn’t see. How is this even possible?. That’s right around the time our home became our home. Everything was shifting in this house around that time. My husband started getting very serious about God. My children were starting to realize their callings. We began renovating this house and making this our home. It was such a beautiful time. I searched my messages, my pictures, my facebook for something specific on that date. What could it mean? I could not find anything, literally anything at all. Isn’t this how God humbles us? I scratched my brain for hours over what that date could mean. I went back to the Bible and realized this teeny tiny corner was flipped up. I pulled it down and there it was. Not 19, but 1998. Suddenly it made complete sense.
God showed me I saw exactly what I needed to see. This past year has changed our lives. This past year has changed me. Sometimes we see something and expect this large profound answer and all it takes is God saying, “you are walking with me closer this year than the last. You are with me. You are my child. You are fearfully, and wonderfully made. I know the hairs on your head and the exact video you need to see, at the exact time, to heal deep wounds. I have the tears you’ve cried in the palm of my hand and today child, you are walking in the fullness I have for you”. God has a way of speaking life when the world sees nothing but death. Our spirit is a new creation, but our soul has to be sanctified. He cleanses us where we are, then he molds us. Just like the potter, he molds, he shapes us, he breaks us, then he mends us to who we are supposed to me. He has a plan, even if that first step makes absolutely zero sense, take that step.
(2 Timothy 2:21)
God continue to shape me, continue to break me, continue to love me and teach me how to be more like Jesus daily. Allow these broken hearts to be exposed. Sometimes a wound that’s open is so painful but allow your Holy Spirit to touch the exact areas needed for your miraculous healing. You are the healer, not just in ailments, but in full healing. You want our test to be a testimony. You want our trial to bring comfort and peace to those going through what we’ve conquered in you. You are the reason we can walk with our heads held high. You are our confidence. Expose us lord. Heal us. Mend us. Forgive us. Bless us. We cast our cares on you, and on you alone. Minister to us, and meet us where we are. In Jesus name I pray, amen.