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I want to pay tribute to my mother. My reason for doing this is two-fold. First, she is worthy of tribute for her service to the Lord and her family; and second, maybe I can help someone walk with the joy of the Lord through a similar situation in their life.

A Precious Jewel
My mother was indeed a precious jewel. In fact, her name was Jewel! She was a blessing to everyone with whom she came in contact. If she had an enemy in this world, I do not know it. If she even thought someone was mad at her, she would make it right. Mother was loved by everyone who knew her. Since her death, I have received many cards and letters from people telling me how much she meant to them.

She had been the prayer coordinator for our ministry from its inception. The truth is, she kept us all in line long before we went into the ministry! She helped pray Happy into the kingdom of God, and was standing beside him laughing with joy when he received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Every written or phoned-in prayer request was sent to her.

She prayed for hours every day for the needs of people, an intercessor who loved praying. Many of the letters were streaked with her tears, because she truly loved people. Her intercession for Happy and me, as well as the body of Christ, will be greatly missed. Her prayers were effectual and fervent, full of love and power.

My mother was my best supporter. She was always there to cheer me on. When I first started my television show, I was so nervous and felt so inadequate. But she called me immediately after the show, just raving about how wonderful it was. I really thought it wasn't, but she thought it was and made me feel good about it!

Mother was also my best critic. She was bluntly honest. I could depend on her to tell me the truth about anything and that was good, because so many people won't tell you the truth. They are afraid they will offend you. But she could get away with it, because she was my mother!

Mother was my dearest friend, my shopping buddy, someone with whom I could share my hopes and dreams. I could always depend on her. I have three sisters, and each of us had a unique relationship with her. She was not partial to any of us. We were her girls. All of us at different times had written her poems, sharing how much she meant to us. She had them framed and hung them along the hallway in her home.

An Unexpected Event
On December 1, 1993, I had two of my sisters and mother on my television program, which would air the week of Christmas. We sang Christmas songs and talked about Christmas memories from years past. Mother told me afterwards that she did not want to do the program at all, but that it was something we girls would always have in case something ever happened to her.

Well, she didn't even get to see the show. She had a massive heart attack on Saturday, December 11, and went to be with the Lord after bypass surgery on Friday, December 17. Her heart had been so damaged from the heart attack that it could not heal itself. She never regained consciousness after the surgery.

This was quite a shock to us. Mother and I had been shopping the day she had the heart attack, and we didn't even know she had heart problems. She was so full of energy and looked much younger than her years. She turned 75 the morning she died, and the doctors said, "It was a miracle she lived through the heart attack." They felt it was because she had a young body.

Each one of us have had to walk through this kind of adversity, and I am happy to say that God has indeed been our "tower of strength." I have always known the Word was alive, but I never realized just how much until the Word walked me through this sorrowful time - without sorrow.

I was dreading the memorial service. I listened to the Word over and over the whole time I was getting dressed. I walked into my living room and put on Kenneth Copeland's "London Praise" tape and worshiped the Lord along with him. I walked the room praising God. I felt His presence.

I Hate Death
At one time, I looked up and said with anger, "I hate death." God spoke right back and said, "I do too. It is my enemy." It shocked me, even though I knew that was true. Death is the last enemy to be put under Jesus' feet. How God helped me! I saw we were in this thing together and He was there to see me through it. He had walked through it before, and He was going to walk me through with His strength, which was His joy.

The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:13b "that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." We have hope and believe in the resurrection, so we are commanded not to sorrow. Isaiah 53:4a says, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows." Because he has paid the price, we don't have to bear grief and sorrow. We give them to Him. We cast all our cares on Him, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

I am not saying that this is easy! But I am saying that it works, if you apply His Word to your particular situation. Do not let the devil keep you from enjoying your life on this earth and doing what you are called to do. Cast your sorrow and grief over on Him. You can trust Him, because He is faithful and His Word is alive.

The Word actually felt tangible during my time of sorrow. Quite frankly, it has stayed with me ever since.

Source: Learning to Trust God's Faithfulness by Jeanne Caldwell
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Jeanne Caldwell
Web site: Agape Church
Pastor Emeritus, founders and pastors of Agape Church from its founding in 1979 to 2014. Happy and Jeanne Caldwell. In 1979 God spoke to Happy & Jeanne Caldwell to build a spiritual production center in Little Rock, in order to take the good news of Jesus Christ to the city, state, nation and world. Together, they founded Agape Church, a strong spirit-filled body of believers. Through a deep sensitivity to the Spirit of God, and anointed teaching - the lost are saved, the sick healed, and thousands have been blessed. In 1988 Happy and Jeanne answered a direct call from the Lord to take His message beyond Central Arkansas. They founded VTN - the Victory Television Network. This network of 3 full power TV stations is carried on over 200 cable systems and is bringing the Gospel into more than 1.2 million households. Jeanne's ministry transcends nationality, race, culture, and generation as her passion to see women transformed into ladies who are pruned, polished, and perfected by the Word of God and her down-to-earth presentation assist others to have a personal encounter with God's Word.

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