Friday, March 30, 2012

Liz is dead

Last night Liz died. Two weeks ago they moved her to Mulago hospital in Kampala, and the last report I had from her aunties was that she was improving with more consistent dressing changes. Then, yesterday a friend of mine visiting Kamapala went to visit her at Mulago. He found her when she had been transferred to the ICU ward and he was not allowed to enter and speak to her. He said that she had gotten worse and frequently wasn't in her right mind anymore, constantly talking but not making any sense. Last night I prayed for her again and woke this morning as usual to go to language lessons. After my lessons, I found out from my friend Sharon (who started this whole thing with me) that Liz had died in the night. Knowing that crying isn't acceptable here, I had to flee the room before sobbing into my hands. Later this afternoon I got confirmation from her aunt that she is dead, and they are moving her body even now from Kampala back to Mbale. Tomorrow I will go to her. To be with her family and to grieve my friend.

In my head I ask myself, why does this hurt so bad? I knew her for only a short time. Just 5 weeks. But in those 5 weeks the Lord bound my heart to hers and I learned to care for her with His own love and compassion. I just knew she was going to be well. I just knew the Lord had saved her from her own hand because He had an amazing future for her. I just knew that inspite of the inadequate medical care, the disgust and judgement of those around her, and her own internal battles, the Lord was going to do a miracle and heal her!

So what happens when the miracle doesn't come? What happens when Jesus delays and instead of bringing healing, allows death? Like when Mary and Martha spent 4 days weeping and mourning the loss of Lazarus after begging Jesus to come and heal their brother. Like Mary, I simply want to fall at His feet and cry with Him. To mourn sickness and pain and death. To weep and to pray for His comfort and companionship.

Because I know that this is all for His glory. That He is accomplishing His good and perfect plan even through death. And right now, I just need to be with Him. To cling to Him with perfect confidence and assurance that He is good. Realizing that maybe the bright future on earth that I had imagined for Liz wasn't good enough, and even now He has a more perfect plan in motion.

As I go to her family tomorrow, I'm lost. I was never very sure what to say to them when Liz was alive, and even less now that she's gone. But I know my purpose in being sent to them before was to be the living, breathing love and compassion of Jesus, and that hasn't changed. So would you please pray? Pray the the Spirit gives me words of healing to speak, and silences the words that could damage. Pray that my face, my tears, my words, and my actions would all be used to demonstrate the love and mercy that He would so love to offer them as well. And pray with me for His return. For the day when there will be no more death or pain, and He will wipe away every tear from our eyes.

8 comments:

  1. I will certainly pray for you my friend and sister. I will pray that even without words, your presence there will "be Jesus" to that family. Sometimes life is like the underside of a tapestry. We see the knots and snags and strings, but Jesus sees the picture on the other side. I love you.

    Catherine

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  2. My heart is so sad, Melanie--yes, I will pray for you to know His presence fully in these days, and to have the strength and wisdom to continue showing His love to Liz's family. Much love to you!

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  3. Also praying. I wish we could just give you a hug too. God is using you now in the lives of Liz's family too. You are such a blessing Melanie, and God has filled you with His love! - Dees

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  4. My heart breaks reading this, even more than when reading the original reports of her pain. I pray Liz trusted in her Savior, and that she is finally free of that pain...and now I also pay for the pain in grieving that you and her loved ones are experiencing. Love you, friend.

    -Lauren

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  5. Eleanor (Williams) ThornMarch 30, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Melanie,

    I just learned about Liz today, after I saw the link to your blog on Facebook. I read through all your blogs about her and tears welled up in my eyes, for her and for you. Know my heart is grieving with you and with her family!

    I do not know why the Lord decided to bring Liz home rather than healing her wounds, but I am confident it is no coincidence that it took longer than usual for her to be moved to the hospital in Mulago. Though they could minister to her body better there than at the Mbale hospital, the Lord was far more interested in Liz's soul, and I have no doubt that is why He kept her at that hospital and brought you into her life. She needed to see and know the unconditional love and acceptance of her Savior, despite all her sins, far more than she needed anything else. You were faithful to show her that love, Melanie, by His grace, and I know the time you had with her was not in vain--it was for His glory in Liz's life, in your life, and will be in her family's life as well.

    As I read your blog, Isaiah 57:1-2 came to mind:

    "The righteous perish,
    and no one ponders it in his heart;
    devout men are taken away,
    and no one understands
    that the righteous are taken away
    to be spared from evil.
    Those who walk uprightly
    enter into peace;
    they find rest as they lie in death."

    If Liz trusted in her Savior, she was made pure and righteous before her God, and perhaps He decided to take her home to spare her from the social, mental, and emotional pain that may have awaited her even after her body was healed. Jesus loves Liz and you so much; His compassions never fail and His ways are too wonderful for us to fathom.

    I have prayed and will continue to pray for you and Liz's family. May you find shelter under His wings and comfort and strength in His arms.

    With love in Christ,

    Eleanor

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  6. Oh Melanie, I am so sorry too. May God's wisdom that He gives liberally be with you. Praying for you for strength. I am so sorry. :'o(

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  7. Praying for strength for you, sweet Melanie Melody, and that God will carry you through this difficult time. May her family see God's strength through you and seek for Him in the midst of this trial. God bless you. I love you. In God's all-encompassing Love <><

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  8. I am praying for you -- for comfort, for wisdom, for compassion. God's will is rarely done in the way we hope or expect, but His will is done nonetheless. May He give us insight. May He give us peace.

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