Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Transparent.

*If you ever read anything I've written or will write, I pray this post is it.

Last week a little 7 year old boy named Judah had a dream of his mother walking with him, hand in hand, in Heaven. Mid-way through their walk the little boy realized he was no longer strolling with his mother. Instead, he was watching his mommy walk with God.

And let me tell you about this God walking with Judah's mommy. He is real. He is on time. He is good. He is mine.

Seven months ago Judah Reeves' mother, Ramey, was diagnosed with brain cancer. In March and May she had surgeries to remove the tumor attacking her right hemisphere. Ramey fought hard and had the most unbelievable faith that God would heal & restore her health. I've rarely seen such true & honest belief in our Lord. Ramey lived faith with every breath.

Today at 12:42 pm, eastern time, God healed Ramey Reeves. Instantly following her final breath Ramey was in His presence, healthy, healed, and whole. This, my friends, is what Love looks like. This is what true beauty encompasses. This is true Christianity. It's not religion. It's not judging...it's not finger-pointing...it's not exalting oneself. It's not haughty, arrogant, prideful or rude. It's not Baptist or Methodist or Catholic. It's not Democratic or Republican. It's Christ--His Name is all over Christianity. It is Love with a capital "L." It protects, hopes, trusts, and perseveres. And it never fails. Not for one second.

Early this morning I received a call from a close friend wanting me to know that Ramey was nearing the end of her time on earth. I stepped into the shower and had a good, long talk with God. I cried. I laughed. I prayed. I sang praises. And then I had a good, long listen to God. It goes both ways, folks.

Sitting down at Miss Pretty Pink a few minutes later I learned some precious, precious news. A fellow bloggy buddy announced her pregnancy today. Very happily I rejoiced with her. God knew her news was what I needed this morning. He's good like that.

A few hours later I learned of Ramey's ultimate healing. I was, in turns, both relived and sorrowed. My heart cried, "But Lord, what about Judah? He's just 7! What about John? His beloved soulmate is no longer with him here on earth." And my soul cried, "Thank You, God...she is free...she is with You. It's all Your children ever hope for."

Not long after the initial shock of losing Ramey, Mrs. R wrote to ask if I'd seen her most recent post. I hadn't...nor had I done my usual "blog rounds" as of yet. Immediately I clicked over to her site and enjoyed the first bright spot of my afternoon. Again, He's good like that.

Today has been full of tears...raw emotion...joy...laughter...and hope. This is not a typical Lula-ish post, I realize. No tampons, no fried green tomatoes, no vampire shout-outs. But this is me. Love me or leave me...this is me in all my nekkid glory, stripped bare, devoid of any outer shell. For today at least. And I'm thankful.

I'm thankful to serve a God who not only heals and calls His children Home, but also continues to wrap His loving arms around these children He keeps on earth for a little while longer. He has taken care of me today. He gives new life, in the form of rapidly-growing child in the womb of my fellow sister in Him. He allows me to laugh at a friend's 2 minutes of fame in the midst of a figural and literal storm. (Did I mention the monsoon we had this afternoon?) I can't stress how good He is. More than anything, I had to share this with y'all today. I hope you don't mind.

Judah, I do believe your mommy let go of God's hand long enough to do this:

This is what Heaven looks like. Her name is Ramey.

64 comments:

Scott said...

This is such a wonderful post. I am so blessed to have Lula as my wife and I love her so much!

Kim said...

You are so good at expressing how great our God is! Scott is blessed to have you as his wife and I am blessed to have you as my friend!

Mommy Cracked said...

What a beautiful post.

Kelley said...

Precious...just precious!

Tori said...

Beautiful post Leigh.... thanks for sharing it with all of us.

Jessica said...

thx for the comments on the recipes. loved seeing that this morning. hope u had a great day.

Heather said...

Lula, I love your funny posts...I share them with my co-workers, my friends, and my sister. But today's post was just...poignant, beautiful, it simply touched my heart. Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt, faithful post.

Insane Mama said...

Lula- God Bless you for being so open. I love you in your nakidness... You know I started blogging in May shortly after my grandma died, I was there when she passed and I felt her soul join God in Heaven... Faith, that's what it's all about. Faith that God will listen and care, and speak. Thank you

Drama Mama said...

That makes me so sad-but it was a good post nonetheless

Sidney said...

Beautiful post, and so thankful that He speaks through you.

Heather said...

What would we do without the knowledge that God is in Heaven...waiting with outstretched arms? How do people live in this world without the knowledge of Him. Praise God that you know where your friend is. And I will pray for her family.

Angie said...

Rest in peace Ramey. Beautiful post Lula!

notsosahm said...

You have a perfect way with words. Thanks.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I can't imagine going through struggles without the Lord to lean on. i can't imagine going through triumphs without the Lord to share it with. What a emotional day for you my sweet friend, and what a beautiful post.

Kelly said...

i listened to her sing at her myspace page yesterday...very touching. i'm sorry for your loss, judah and john. http://www.myspace.com/rameyreeves

Caroline said...

Lula, that post brought tears to my eyes. We cannot even comprehend the greatness that awaits us in Heaven. Its gonna be amazing!!!!

polly said...

I start the morning by reading your comments.. You have such a way with words..Thank you so much for sharing this morning...Think we were all able to feel the pain and the joy you were speaking of. You are a very talented young woman..Can't wait to read that book you write one of these days!!!luv you, Paulette

Pinky Roth said...

I was so sorry to hear about your Liberty friend, Ramey, but as you stated, she is not suffering anymore and she is completely healed. Her life was such a testimony for living for Christ and all his glory. I will be praying for her family and friends.

Love,

Mom

Kat said...

I love stopping by Lulaville. There is always something for me to take away. Whether it's laughter. Or knowing we seem to share the same brain on somethings. But this post my friend is the most amazing thing you've written. Poignant and precious...

Sunshine said...

That was so beautiful. I love the "ultimate healing" parts. That is SO TRUE, and I can't say I've ever totally thought of it that way. I mean I have the faith and I know we're good as new up there, but what a sweet way of looking at it. It's so true. And it's like I'm hearing it for the first time...again. Hearing it that way. I loooove the picture.

Teri said...

Thank you, thank you so much for sharing. Your friend Ramey will live on in the hearts and minds of all those who knew her, and now of all those who have been introduced to her by you. Beautiful.

Christine said...

What a wonderful post. It left me quite teary, but it was worth it.

Of course, now the strange men sanding my floor are staring at me - but I just lauged and looked away.

Melissa Lee said...

Oh, Lula.

John Deere Mom said...

Through the tears and goosebumps, I finished your post. It was so well written, and I am alaways amazed at how strong people's faith can be through times like these. I tend to get so angry and I question how God can let that 7 year old (see, crying again...) continue on without a mommy. It's just about more than I can take and I don't even know this sweet, sweet woman. Reading about your conversation with God and hearing how you believe Ramey is free now is inspiring. Thank you.

KimmyJ said...

Lula, I have goosebumps and a lump in my throat. This week would have been our daughter's birthday if she were still with us on earth. But she also is in heaven and she will take your friend by the hand and show her around. That's how it works. I have written a post to dedicate to our daughter this week, but have not been able to post it yet. It still hurts really bad. But I wrote about this circle of LIFE as well and will introduce her to her cousins that have been born since she passed. Life is sweet and beautiful, but it is nothing compared to what is in store. God Bless you and yours. As far as love you or leave you - you are in the first category for all of us!!!

CaraBee said...

I am crying right now. Such beautiful writing and a wonderful tribute to what I am sure was an amazing woman. That picture - it says everything.

Swirl Girl said...

that was such a beautiful expressive post.

I am not a Christian, but I totally appreciate the tribute to your faith and your friend.

It's a much more healthy way of dealing with loss.

I am truly sorry that you HAD to write this, but selfishly glad you did.

swirl girl

Kimba said...

I could hardly finish reading your post through the tears in my eyes. Our God is so good. So perfect. So loving.

I can't begin to comprehend the perfection and beauty of heaven. I will pray for God's loving arms to be wrapped around this family and that He will gently carry them through their grief and pain.

Gina said...

Beautiful. I got scalp tingles just reading it.
I am reading "Same Kind Of Different As Me" and as the wife is dying, she asks her husband if she is "terminal".
His answer? "yes we are all terminal." A terminal is somewhere that you wait to go somewhere else.
I am so glad that Ramey's somewhere else was into the arms of God.

Debbie said...

This is my most favorite post of yours EVER. I clicked on that story last night after reading your email about her passing, and I just wept. The Lord prepared Judah's heart for his Mama to be healed in heaven. I mean I really wept after reading that knowing that the Lord's hand was in all of it. I have been thinking about you and that sweet family today, and praying for peace for all of you.

LaQuintamomof3 said...

Blessings to you. Beautiful post. Tears in my eyes. I feel God's grace today.
Thank you for reminding me about the important things! You are precious!

LaQuintamomof3 said...

Blessings to you. Beautiful post. Tears in my eyes. I feel God's grace today.
Thank you for reminding me about the important things! You are precious!

ugagirl30 said...

All that I can think of is "What a day of rejoicing that will be"!!! My kids cry all the time that they never want to die or want their parents to die. I always tell them the same thing... what a wonderful and glorious day it will be when we see God's face. A precious, precious God.

LisaPetrarcaBlog said...

This brought tears to my eyes. On the 4th of July (the anniversary of my brother's death), I Blogged about his abrupt return to his Father in Heaven.


Thank you for sharing Ramey with us! I will be praying for her son, family and you!

Your faith is a TRUE inspiration to all of us.

mandyafp said...

that was beautiful. i'm so thankful to have the same eternal hope that ramey had...and i'm on the jealous side that she's there...singing with/to Jesus face to face! She is a beautiful picture of heaven...and I LOVE that picture of her!

Kimba said...

Would you mind if I link to this post on Saturday?

Kaley said...

Beautiful, Leigh Anne. -
I also wept as I looked at Ramey's site though I never knew her.

Kim said...

I never knew Ramey, but she was surely a wonderful Godly woman! I have cried everyday this week about everything, but when I read this I really believe it was tears of joy as well as sorrow. Joy because she is in a MUCH better place, and sorrow because I can't imagine that little boy without his Mama!

Sarah Pomerleau said...

Leigh...this is beautiful! I LOVE YOU and LOVE YOU MORE!!!!!!!!!!!

Cookie said...

I read your comment on Gina's blog. Truely funny about the boobs!! So I thought I'd check you out and yes I have been here before. I'm so glad I came by today. I do believe this is the BEST post I have EVER read!! I'll be back! God Bless!

Ben & Hillari said...

I read your posts nearly every morning & this one was beautiful. I read it yesterday morning, and for some reason I woke up at 3am today and was praying for them. I know it was the Holy Spirit working, because I usually sleep pretty well. I was up and immediately reminded of this post and the family going through grief right now. Somehow I didn't mind being up so much knowing that God had a particular reason for me to be up!

Hillari

Jaci said...

Your post made me cry. She looked like a wonderful, fun friend. The picture made me smile--I'm glad you chose it. I hope her son remembers his dream of his mom holding God's hand always.

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi
I found you through A Soft Place to Land. This is a beautiful story. Thanks for taking the time to post it and for the reminder of our heavenly home!

Jenkins said...

I saw your post on a SITS blog. Thought I would pop over and here I found a beautiful blog. This is a wonderful post. Barely able to read it through the tears. Dealing with loss is unbearable but knowing that the Lord is taking care of her is wonderful.
Thank you for sharing.

Katy Lin :) said...

this. is. wonderful. i was jumping between smiling huge and bawling like a baby - thanks for sharing this

Mrs. S said...

What a terrific post. It's so much more than that, it's the gospel spelled out. Love. Thank you for being so honest and speaking so frankly about the God I lovingly call Abba. He is good. We may not always understand that He does heal all wounds, just some have to go to heaven to receive that medicine.

Angela said...

I know it is hard to find the beauty and love of God in the pain like you have. I don't understand why some have earthly healing and others don't. I just know God knows what is best for us all--and who am I to ever question that? I like knowing I have an omnipotent God in control, don't you?

Thank you for sharing this heartfelt post. I'll say a prayer for her husband and son.

-Bridget said...

I'm bawling. What a bittersweet post. Your love for her is very evident.

Merrie said...

Halfway through this post, an Amy Grant song came onto my iPod.

"I have decided I'm going to live like a believer..."

God bless you for seeing and hearing what He wanted you to hear. That's huge in the most difficult of times. Praying for you and for Ramey's loved ones.

Amy said...

I have not read your blog before today. I've seen your name before because I lurk around Mindless Junque (I'm a true lurker, I enjoy other people's blogs but have yet to establish my own). But what an amazing post. Hold on, I have to wipe my eyes and blow my nose. Okay, I'm back. Seriously. That post touched me. Especially the picture of your friend at the end. I lost my mom 1 year ago. Though she was ill, her death was not expected. We all thought she'd pull through. But I too, rest in the comfort that she is with our Heavenly Father right now. She accepted Christ 14 months before she went to be with Him. I love my mom so much. I bet she is friends with Ramey.

-Amy

Melissa said...

L, I feel your pain and joy. This last week at camp, we lost a 17 year old boy and his mom in a car crash. Both saved and now with the Savior. They will be missed. Camp was certainly a different experience for a lot of the campers. Ramey sounded like a sweet reflection of our King. Can't wait to meet her. Love ya and have missed ya!

Z's Mom said...

I finished this post with tears...just like everyone else. I don't know you...nor did I know Ramey....or her little boy, Judah. It doesn't matter....because we are all still God's children. I will keep Judah and the rest of his family in my prayers to get through this difficult time. Thank you for sharing....this is truly a beautiful post.

Gramma 2 Many said...

I hope I can see clearly enough to type this. This is the most beautiful testimony of God's love for us. Your use of words leaves no doubt in anyones mind. I hope just one person is touched enough by what they read here that they are able to see their need for Jesus and salvation. If so, Ramey's death will not have been in vain.
A few times in my life I have actually heard God speak to me. One time was when I lost a young friend who had a 9 year old daughter. As I was yelling at Him that her work was not finished, I heard Him say to me, "Do you really think I would have taken her if her work was not finished?" It shut me up and I was immediately comforted and able to accept that our next meeting would be in Heaven.
Judah, your mommy is waiting for you.

Tiffany said...

This is such a beautiful post and you are such a beautiful creature. And don't even get me started on how beautiful Ramey is. I just spent an hour on her site watching the slide show and reading her journey.

I think I need to go curl up with my boy while he sleeps. Thank you for sharing her story.

Love you girl.

Karen said...

What a beautiful post and a fitting tribute to you friend, Ramey.

Sean said...

Hey Lula,

My name is Sean Nelson and I started the Pray For Ramey site. I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing this about our wonderful friend Ramey. I will miss her so much, but look forward to singing with her again. Grace & Peace! Sean

Tracy P. said...

Lula, I just stopped by to look at what you've been up to and found this post. I love it from the prologue to the joyful leap at the end. Look at all the people God has spoken to through you. Thanks for being still and transparent. (Oh, yeah, that was the title of your post. Almost missed that.) Beautiful.

Stephanie said...

Wow... this brought me through a wide range of emotions myself. On my first visit to your blog I laughed & cried!!!!

I am glad you stopped by my blog so that it brought me here. I hope your friend and his son are doing ok and I am soooo sorry for your loss. I have some special prayers planned tonight and will include Ramey's family in those.

Lauren Horsley said...

Hi Lula - I came over here after reading your motto on Mrs. R's blog and was so touched by this post. I'm so grateful for bloggers like you who aren't afraid to bare your soul in hopes of uplifting and teaching and loving the rest of us.

I'm adopting your motto, by the way. I'm puting it on a big sign over my bed so I don't EVER forget it.

Marrdy said...

I haven't visited you in awhile, not since you got to meet Paula and was I ever jelous! But I am catching up today and want to tell you how touched I am by this post. This was so beautiful and I needed to see this today. Thank you!

kallay said...

first, happy birthday SITS queen!

this post gave me chills. i love the ebb and flow of life that God provides and your post illustrates it to a T. great post.

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Sad that Ramey didn't beat that Cancer but so happy that she knew the Lord and is rejoicing in his presence. As you say, God is Good and will take care of her family, I'm sure.

Congrats on your SITS day!

Kari @ p.s. love.love. said...

Beautiful post for a lady I have never met, but one day will get to see in Heaven - and what an honor. He is good and faithful. And what an inspiration to always hear those who fight the good fight and take a stand to believe God and His Word no matter what the circumstances. Ramey sounds like a beautiful soul to have known. What a great friend she had in you.

Heather said...

This is a beautiful, heart-warming and heart-wrenching post. Thank you so much for being so open and real with us today.

We thank God for you.

Happy SITS day.