Sunday, September 26, 2010

what a year of change

jack, beth, mom, tracy, zac, jason, eddie--10-4-08

            What a year this has been. My mother, Frances Mae Carson Willis, at age 82, went home to be with Jesus on April 30, after a three-year decline mentally and physically due to dementia. Our youngest child, Jason Willis Miller, graduated from high school on June 6 and left our home on September 10 for college. We also lost our two dogs to cancer within eight months of each other this year.
Philippians 3:10 from the Amplified Bible has become my daily prayer throughout this season of change. “For my determined purpose is that I may know Him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, recognizing, perceiving, and understanding the wonders of His person more clearly and more strongly.” God has answered that prayer. I am progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through this season of change.
            My mother moved in with me, my husband, Jack, and our daughter, Tracy, following my father’s death in 1989. My parents had no life insurance, no investments, no savings, and my mother had never worked outside the home. For many years, it was a blessing to all of us. She was there for Tracy after school or when we had to work late. When our son, Jason, was born in 1991, she was a great help, and it was a joy for our children to have their only grandmother living with our family. As osteoporosis fractures in Mom’s spine began to cause her more and more unbearable pain, and pain management medications became stronger, dementia began to take over her mind.
            God met me at the point of my need, answering my prayer through giving me a heart to set my alarm for 5 a.m. each morning so that I would have quiet time with Him and His word each morning before I faced the day. Each morning as I awake and before my feet hit the floor, I begin asking Him to speak to me through His word. After putting on a pot of coffee, and settling down at my kitchen table, I open His word, and listen for His still small voice to minister to me. I have written a journal during these various seasons of change over the years, and how a specific Scripture would be just what I would need for that day, that moment in time.
            As my mother’s mental and physical health began to decline three years ago, God answered my prayer by helping us to find the funding for a wonderful assisted living facility nearby that provided her with the care and security she needed. I was able to go there daily to see her, interact with her caregivers, and help with her care. Mom would often ask me to pray with her, and it was such a comfort to both of us as we would come before the throne of grace together, seeking the loving arms of our Great Shepherd. He walked with us through the valley of the shadow of death as she lingered for several days in the palliative care unit at our local hospital before Mom stepped out of time and into eternity with Jesus, our Savior and Lord.
jason at college
            Mom’s last year on earth was also our son Jason’s last year in high school. One of the last things Mom was able to articulate prior to her homegoing was that she prayed that Jason would be able to go to the college that he wanted to attend. God has answered that prayer by helping us to put together the financial aid needed for him to attend college. God has met me right at the point of my need, even in this season of an “empty nest.”
            God is into the details of our lives, as He has answered my prayer to know Him more deeply and more intimately, He has met my needs moment-by-moment. Even to the point of leading us to a little beagle-mix puppy who had been rescued from abandonment just days after we returned from taking Jason to college. Our little beagle, “Cookie,” has filled our empty arms with love and joy. How kind, what compassion, to meet us right at the point of our need! Even though this has been a season of great change, great loss, I can truly say, my determined purpose is still that I may know Him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, recognizing, perceiving, and understanding the true wonders of His person more clearly and more strongly every day.  
our sweet little "Cookie"
(c) 2011 beth willis miller


  1. Dear Beth,

    Your strong faith is so strongly communicated in your writing that it truly blesses my life. Your level of honesty and integrity to daily pursue the Lord motivates me further to be the Christian witness that God desires for me to be.
    I have been going through a season in my life of desiring to truly exemplify the love and compassion of Christ. I want people to see Christ in me, and not see Randy. Any goodness and grace in my life is due to Christ in my life. God continues to be soooo good to me. Thank you for taking the time to write your blog. You are an inspiration to me.
    Randy Eplin

  2. Randy and Lori, Thank you so much for your comments...I have such great admiration for the way you both are walking out your are an inspiration to me, that "by faith" you would move your family to Estonia to be in the center of God's will for your lives...all for His Glory, praise His Holy Name...many blessings, beth


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