Saturday, December 11, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
There is not a day that Christy does not come to my mind in some way, she has formed much of the fabric of the life that we now live. Her children and grandchildren have traces of her character, and are the fruit of her and our prayers. Even Priority Appliance Service bears the impress of her fingers behind the scenes, she was so involved in the setup of the company as far as moral principles, it was the persons that she cared about, not the business side as much. She prayed so intently for each one that worked with us. Those that have joined our ranks in the last 2 years are likely not aware of this woman of God that cared so much for the environment that they would eventually come to work in.
I the last eight months that I spent with Christy, I was amazed at how she cared so much for those that she was leaving behind. There are persons (that will not be named here), that she prayed for intensely on a daily basis, some at work, some neighbours, some friends, etc. Primarily these were persons that had not at that time come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour. From her place of communion with God and the resulting security that she had, she seemed to have a profound sense of sorrow and pain for them, knowing that they may someday step out into eternal darkness and judgment, naked and alone. To one I heard her say, “if by means of my death you could know the fulfillment of knowing Jesus as Lord of your life, I would gladly die right now here before you.” I was deeply affected by those words at the time, and still turn them over in my mind.
Christy carried another care, it was for her husband, what would become of him as a widower. In the last 8 months of her life, and of our time together we talked about everything that we could possibly talk about before being separated. I did not realize what she was doing at the time, but in many of those conversations she was preparing me for the next leg of my journey with an uncanny, almost prophetic sense of what was coming. There were discussions about our children, grandchildren, my diet, exercise, service for the Lord, and many of the things of life as a widower. I admit to not liking those discussions much as I didn’t like the idea of borrowing from the future’s troubles, the ones I was dealing with at the time were about as painful as I could handle. Probably the most difficult were the discussions in which she insisted that I be open to being remarried, she could see it, she could see the kind of person, and told me all about her. It was impossible for me to comprehend that at the time. I realize now that the Lord in His awesome wisdom directed her/us into those discussions to prepare me for what was to come. As I see it now in retrospect, Christy in her unselfish love, so perfectly set me free. She was being set free of everything here and was moving on to be entirely His in His heavenly home. I think now that she was careful to not leave me with any outstanding obligations to her. She was commending me to another lover if it was the Lord’s will. Those of you that are close to me now, know that this has happened in a way that is impossible to comprehend without the word miracle written over it all. Whatever Christy saw or perceived, or hoped for, has been exceeded in a way that deepens the meaning of mercy and grace in our souls. The words from John 2:10 speak eloquently and capture the sense of awe. “ but THOU hast kept the good wine until now.” I have always known that God is love, that he is exceedingly good, even when He allows suffering. But His goodness and grace in bring Kasia and I together now as man and wife, and as fellow labourers in God’s house, it is just so like God to do such a thing!
Kasia and I had my dad, Stephen and Jeff and their families over this afternoon and for dinner, as a little commemoration of Christy. As we talked, we sure were conscious of the legacy that she has left us. It is everywhere, even in Nathan, he was wearing a little sweater that Christy bought for Jeff when he was a little tyke, I remember it so well.
The sweetest thought of all regarding Christy is that she is actually and really conscious in the immediate presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, that is heaven, anywhere that He is.
2 Corintians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say and willing rather to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord.
Before she died she would always say "I cannot wait to see you in heaven, dancing and skipping with the Lord Jesus!"
When we went to Gramma's house, she would get out the playdoh and we would make play doh cakes and she would pretend to eat them. We pretended it was her birthday! We would even sing Happy Birthday.
She would read us lots and lots and lots of books every time we went to her house. Even when she was not feeling that well.
Whenever we had to leave to go home, we were always so disappointed. We wanted to stay there longer.
I remember Mitsy, Gramma's dog. She would run and around and chase her tail whenever we would come over. She was glad to see us, and Gramma would always laugh at Mitsy. Mitsy was Gramma's special friend, but she died.
Annie, the cat, was another good friend of Gramma's. Annie took good care of Gramma.
I used to have long talks with Gramma on the phone. Almost every time, Gramma would say "Annie's jumping up on my lap now" and Gramma would hold up the phone to Annie to say Hi. We would have good conversations together.
We would always pick flowers from the yard before coming into Gramma's house. She would say "Oh thank you girls! Let's get a glass and put the flowers in some water." Her whole windowsill would be full of flowers.
And I remember she would always smile every time I saw her. She was never unhappy. I never saw her unhappy.
She would always tikkie our backs with her "tikkie" nails!
Gramma would always stand at the end of the driveway and blow kisses and wave and blow more kisses until we were out of her sight. We never saw her go back inside because she'd always wait.
She would always wear pink and purple and light blue and dark blue. She usually wore long skirts.
I remember we would always make cards for her at her house.
And she would make us boiled eggs and put them in special egg cups, a boy and a girl and a baby. She always did it, but we wanted them that way too.
She would take us for walks on the dike, as long as she was able to walk.
She always made blueberry smoothies every time we'd go to her house.
Melissa has no memories of Gramma, so she had nothing to add. :(
It has now been two years since Christy passed into the presence of her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is amazing how quickly time passes. However, there is hardly a day that goes by that I do not think of and remember dear Christy. Under her circumstances and suffering I would not wish her back. She is now with her Lord which is far better. I greatly miss her bright smile, her cheerful salutation of "Grampa!!", and her devotion to her sons and grandchildren, who in turn loved her immensely. I remember especially during Pearl's long and difficult trial, Christy bestowed love, care, understanding, help, and encouragement to us both.
Now much has happened since 2007. The Lord has lovingly given you a new love - Kasia, a newborn child of God. "God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform." It is wonderful to see how the grandchildren have accepted and loved their new "Gramma". She also has won my approval! May you both be greatly blessed and be a godly testimony to Kasia's family members and to those at Priority. The coming of the Lord draweth nigh - perhaps today!
"When this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" I Corinthian 15
Oh, we really cannot wait for the moment when we'll see Christy clothed immortal! The girls and I were talking at breakfast about what "Gramma" will be like in heaven when we see her! So gloriously beautiful, no earthly words will be able to express! Her body will be made absolutely perfect, and her soul...oh, she will be completely and utterly happy and satisfied. The joy and love she expressed for her Savior on earth will be exponentially greater in heaven, for she will be with her Beloved whom she longed soooo badly to see. And her spirit no longer hindered by any mortal or earthly thing will display the character and nature of God as only a saint of God in heaven will be able to do. She will sing and speak His praises, she will be completely enraptured with her Savior's face. She will be a direct reflection of her Maker! I know for a fact that God has a very special place in heaven just for her. And it will be very near to Himself.
We talked about how we will no longer have the same relationships we have had on earth, as those served their purpose on earth but will not be needed in heaven. Instead, it will be a thousand times better! We will recognize each other and we will remember the relationship we had on earth. But I'm fairly certain we will be preoccupied with our Lord and Savior. He will be the center and focus of our existence. Come, Lord Jesus!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
One of the fondest memories I have of Christy was during my first year after moving to Richmond. I would go over to her house sometimes if I was lonely or bored. She would greet me bundled up in several layers of clothes and the windows open because she loved the fresh air, even in wintertime! Then we'd have frozen blueberries and afterwards drink peppermint licorice tea because we were cold! But she always had bright smiles and would make me feel very welcome. Sometimes we'd get into her van and go to the mall or the health food store or the Christian book store. Other times we'd sit around and talk. I remember one time I was using their computer in the office and had to stop because my fingers were so numb from the cold that I couldn't type! Believe it or not, we didn't have a computer at our house yet, so I'd often go and use theirs. One day Jeff came in (he was still at home then) while I was typing something and gallantly presented me a ring box with a ribbon around it. Being gullible, I opened it and inside was a HUGE brown spider (one of those wolf spiders I think)! Well, he got great pleasure out of my reaction. I threw that little box with the spider in it across the room, and to this day I don't know where that spider went! That was the end of my computer time that day...for all I knew that horrid creature was hiding under some papers on the desk waiting till I was unprepared before he crept out again! I mention that because I went to Christy for sympathy and got absolutely none! She laughed and laughed, and I daresay she set him up to it for all I know! She loved to play tricks on people, especially in the earlier years. Steve remembers sitting in the hot tub in the back of the house, and suddenly a bucket of cold water would splash down on them (probably followed by gleeful laughter!). She often played tricks on a neighbour friend (Susan Parenteau) as well as others.
In later years, Christy became less "fun" as she experienced difficulties and increasing poor health, but our relationship deepened and we became close friends. The thing I miss the most is our phone chats when we would talk for sometimes over an hour and share what was on our hearts. In the first few months after her death I sorely missed this. Now, it is possible to look over this blog and remember her as she was...standing at the kitchen sink preparing fruit salad on Sunday afternoons, seeing her delight when the grandchildren came over, her happiness while tending her garden or talking to a friend about the Lord, and her sunny smiles across the meeting room which seemed to brighten the whole place up! But we'll have to wait until we reach heaven to see her radiant beaming face! Can't wait to see her amazing joy and perfect happiness as we are reunited in the presence of our Lord! :)
"What will it be to dwell above,
And with the Lord of glory reign,
Since the blest knowledge of His love
So brightens all this dreary plain?"
She would probably say something like this:
"No heart can think, no tongue can tell,
What joy [it is] with Christ to dwell!"
But we can speculate what it will be like:
When sin no more obstructs the sight,
And flesh and sense deceive no more,
When we shall see the Prince of light,
And all His works of grace explore,
What heights and depths of love divine
Will there through endless ages shine!
When God has fixed the happy day,
When the last tear shall dim our eyes;
When He will wipe these tears away,
And fill our hearts with glad surprise;
To hear His voice, and see His face,
And know the fulness of His grace!
(words by Joseph Swain)
Ah, words do not do it justice, I believe. For there are no earthly words that can describe the pleasure we will experience of seeing our Lord and Savior face to face and to behold His beauty and His glory. Right now we are just waiting for the "Rapture"....when our eyes at last shall see Whom our hearts have loved so long!
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
The journey is not over yet, so please continue to pray for contentedness and quietness of heart, I need to be in the good of Psalm 131:2 “Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.” It is good for us all to participate with our Father is His wise ways of weaning us from what His wisdom and love sees fit to remove or deny in our lives down here.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Many are asking "how is Wayne doing? he needs to keep posting on this blog a bit longer." I will give a short answer here, but in days to come will post more. I will be travelling to Manitoba with Marlin Schmidt this Friday returning next Thursday, so may write some on the road.
I am doing very well, my heart and mind have been filled with praise and thanksgiving to God for all the way that He has led Christy and I in the last 30 years. It is just so awesome to reflect on the privilege of Christy's company and her spiritual companionship through the years, I have so many beautiful memories. I have pictures of her everywhere, and the casket lid is here in my living room, that may seem weird to some of you, but it is a comfort to me. It has a scripture painted in gold, "in thy presence is fullness of joy, at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore" Psalm 16:11, along with many other precious verses are slowly healing me.
I am enjoying the quiet here in this house by the ocean, it is very peaceful. I do not have any problems sleeping or being lonely at night, except when I read Christy's journals before sleeping. For about 10 days I was reading one journal a night and crying myself to sleep, but have quit now, there will be another time when I can do that.
I am cooking very healthy as Christy taught me (all organic of course :) not eating at restaurants hardly at all. But I do need to get back to Pilades and more importantly back on my bike soon, as I am a backslidden cyclist, I put my bikes away for the last couple of years while nursing Christy. She was always after to me to go out and ride to blow off steam, but my time with her was more important to me. It was a very small sacrifice. Will aim for ~30km a day to start, by summer I need to be able to do 130 km once a week without hurting. I am praying about spending a week cycling through the Okanagen valley with a light pack, a bible, and a credit card in the late summer.
I am keeping busy with lots of things around the house that have been neglected. I also need to spend one-on-one time with our technicians at Priority, it has been a long time that I have been away from them. Everyone at Priority has been so incredibly supportive. We also have some new techs lined up as possibile candidates to start working with us, this is a large undertaking.
It is late, must quit now and hit the bed.
Here are some lines from a poem at my Grandma (Vivienne's) funeral.
Grieve not because the eyes that looked upon you
Shall never see your face on earth again,
Rejoice because they look upon the Saviour
Who gave His life to ransom sinful men.
Weep not because I walk no longer with you,
Remember I am walking streets of gold,
Weep for yourselves that you awhile must tarry
Before the blessed Lord you may behold.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
This song was sent to me by a dear sister in the Lord, I have enjoyed it so much and wanted to share it with you here. It seems to be a scriptural expression of the heart of our Lord Jesus in His desire to have us with Himself, it also reflects on Christy's desire to be with him.
It was a long journey through the dark valley for us, but as we learned to participate with the Lord in what he was doing with us, there formed a sweetness that was, well, almost romantic, this song adds the music to our experience. I feel the loss of my sweet companion in the journey keenly, but have been filled with joy truly unspeakable. I can now say that I know with Peter what it is to walk on water (walking on water has only one purpose, that is, to get to Jesus). Christy heard the call of her Beloved to come away into His awesome presence, I now hear the same call to walk the rest of the journey leaning on Him more intimately. 'In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul' Psalm 94:19.
Monday, November 12, 2007
My heart felt sympathy and love goes to all her nearest and dearest
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
The entire Coleman family wishes to thank all who came, sent flowers, made donations to the SA Rotary Hospice, took part in the funeral or graveside, helped, contributed, volunteered, or otherwise participated to make the event special and memorable and a true tribute to Christy's life. Nearly all who came loved and appreciated Christy, and she loved them sincerely. She would have been overwhelmed, overjoyed, and amazed at the outpouring of love everyone showed. A very clear message went out at the service demonstrating Christy's great desire that there would be those who would come to know her Lord Jesus as a result of her death. If she knew there would be just one soul who came to Christ because of her death, she would have willingly died just for that one person! May her wish come true, if it has not already.
Heart of flowers and photo of Christy as a bride - this is, after all, what she is going to be, part of the bride of Christ!
Wayne chose to leave his ring with his beloved Christy. Notice she is wearing (it was her desire)
a little bracelet that her granddaughter Abbie made for her some time ago.
The last earthly goodbyes
The Men in Blue - the Priority team - had the honour of being the
Monday, November 5, 2007
I met Wayne only a short time ago when he was on the hunt for a car, perhaps an inanimate object to take his mind off of the tragedy in his life, even for a moment or two. We talked frequently on the phone and about Christy's illness.
I never got the opportunity to meet Christy but I could tell that she was always there in Wayne's mind and thoughts. Our meetings were brief as he needed to be with her as much as possible to make her final days here as comfortable as possible.
Celebrate her life with you Wayne, and do not dwell on what you do not have the power to change. Be strong for your sons and their families. She is no longer suffering and has gone to a better place.
Fly with the eagles Christy....
Tom Carter, on behalf of the BC 8's www.wuffer.net
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Like most men, I find it hard to say or write anything of substance when it comes to expressing feelings about the loss of a friend or loved one. Society seems to frown upon men showing any sign of "weakness", as it were. But after sitting and listening to you at the service and seeing the outpouring of love from you and the reciprocation from all that attended, I feel better equipped to express how I feel about you, your family and Christy.
We met probably ten years ago Wayne; two skinny, middle aged cyclists riding down the road, eyeing each other like dogs circling each other on a street corner, each looking for a sign of weakness in the other. After a suitable test of each others strengths we became casual, but good friends, especially when we discovered we lived not two blocks from one another. About the same time we met, I had been noticing a very lovely woman walking our neighbourhood streets on a daily basis; always with a long flowing dress and a kerchief on her head, walking square shouldered with a grace and lightness of step I had seldom seen before. She was quick with a smile and unafraid to make eye contact with me, a total stranger on the street. I had no idea who she was and was pleasantly surprised to discover she was your wife after one of our rides one day. Our rides morphed into walks with our dogs, Chloe and Mitsy, and exchanges of knowledge and labour (you were always there to help with any and all of my technical problems; I, not so much for you). I was so amazed at how insightful Christy was. She could read the pain on my face as I went through a bad patch with my then teen-aged daughter and offered advice and support which helped me through that period. That was her mission in life and she fulfilled it well. Her smile and countenance were enough to disarm the entire military of any war-mongering nation. It is such a shame we could not have broadcast the serenity of her soul to the whole world and perhaps brought about ever lasting peace. She touched all that met her and left an everlasting impression on people, something that very few in this world are capable of doing.
We lost touch when you moved from our neighbourhood in 2004, partly because we were both so absorbed in our businesses and partly because we were separated by a greater physical distance. When I frist heard the Christy had been diagnosed with cancer, I felt that no mortal disease could ever conquer that woman. She had the strength to overcome anything. And even when I received the news from sources over the past few months, advising me she was slipping nearer to death, I could not help but think that this was impossible. Christy would pull through because she was the miracle woman! No need to worry. Alas, when I received your e-mail last Monday, I freely admit I wept in my office, as I am sure many others did. You were so very lucky to have spent many years next to her Wayne, for she was an angel.
I am pleased you created this blog as it has given many, like myself, the opportunity to express our love for you in a way that is at once contemplative and comfortable. Not all of us can make our feelings known face to face.
with best wishes,
I was truly sorry to hear about my cousins Christy's death, but in saying that I know that she has gone to a much better place. Jill and my prayers will be with your family today, although you are joyus that she is with the Lord, it will be a very large loss for you and your family's.
I remember many fine holidays in Whiterock in which we spent with Mary, Christy and Paul. Although I was the youngest, I was always made to feel special by my cousins. Christy always had a warm, caring, fun loving personality and a deep love for our Lord Jesus, and although I have only seen her a couple times since my childhood this did not seem to change. I can see by the pictures on her blog that she was a wonderful wife, mother and grand-mother. Is their a charity that a donation could be given to in memory of her? My family would love to contribute something in memory of her.
Calvin, Jill, David, Emily and Grace Haws
We certainly will be praying for you and yours that remain behind for a few brief moments here until that grand day when we will all enter the Father's house. May the Lord stand by you and strengthen you.
Our love from Cochabamba, Bolivia,
Bob and Barb Thonney
Friday, November 2, 2007
November 1, 2007
My son Wayne
I have many thoughts coursing through my head, and sleep does seem to escape me.
My thoughts go back to last Lord’s day evening, I was driving home after the Gospel Meeting, and when I got to #4 Road, I had to make a right turn and join you at Christies bedside. It was an amazing time, you holding her left hand and I her right. I recall saying to Christy, “If you can hear my voice, squeeze my hand.” There was no response. It was so difficult to hear and watch her struggled and off and on breathing. I was so relieved to hear that her breathing calmed as she left this scene, to be forever with her Lord the Saviour. I recall on leaving her bedside, leaning close to her ear and saying, “Christy, this is Grampa, I am going to say Goodbye, Goodnight, I will see you in the morning.”
About an hour after leaving, my grandson Jeff, called me to say that “Mom had gone home to be with Jesus.”
Wayne, I pray most fervently, that on Saturday, that the Lord will give you the spiritual strength, to deliver a suitable and compelling message to those whom you know will attend, and have a great lifesaving need.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Christy, I’m sorry I missed your call on my birthday, but I’m so thankful that you were able to take my call in the hospital after your fall. Nancy and I pray for you, and dear Wayne. We will all be Home soon, together in the presence of the Lord Jesus who gave all to redeem us.
It was a privilege and an honour to build your casket. Every inch of this project was done with love for the Lord Jesus, for you and your family and the saints, and for lost souls – with blood, sweat and tears. I built everything myself and did the upholstery as well. I felt very much dependent on the Lord to design and carry out this work. As the painting unfolded under my hands I had a great sense of the Lord’s guidance. I’m so glad yours was my first casket. There was just enough material on the particular roll to cover the interior. I believe the Lord chose that fabric just for you. I was a little discouraged that the work had a handmade, homemade look to it but now I’m thankful that it does, because it was made by me, just for you, from the Lord, in weakness and dependence.
It’s interesting that the casket idea was given to me a year before by a Christian brother who owns a high-end antiques business, but I never got around to actually starting one, as I was greatly discouraged from this vocation by various factors. The idea was still in my heart, and prompted by a Christian football movie Facing The Giants, I told my wife I wouldn’t waste any more time starting an art casket for sale as the Lord seemed to indicate that the door was still open to pursue this vocation of handmade caskets embellished with artwork (Rev, 3:7-8 I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it). Wayne called the next day to order yours. It was an incredible experience to see the Lord’s hand at work in our lives, fitting all the pieces together for His honour and glory.
So many people in my area have been affected by your going Home, seeing the casket in various stages. People would hear about it and call to ask if they could come over and see it. I met a Christian brother on the Internet who had built a casket for a Christian friend and he encouraged me to put it on a woodworking website. Thousands of people have seen it and heard your story, and of your faith in the Lord Jesus. Christian brothers on the woodworking website have also been praying for you.
My neighbours and family members have heard the gospel by seeing the lid with the verse that you chose, Psalm 16:11 In Thy presence is fullness of joy… and the verse I chose, John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life… and by hearing your story.
Your going Home is a very precious occasion to the Lord and He is using it mightily and faithfully. I am humbled and thankful that He chose me as His instrument to be a part of His taking you to be with Himself. I sorrow with many tears but I joy in the Lord that you will be with Him, and free from your pain.
Christy, you have been a tremendous blessing to me, as has been your dear husband and family. Great are your rewards. Perhaps I will not get to talk to you again on this side of Heaven, but I will see you up there as God has promised to those that love Him.
Until then, your brother in the Lord Jesus Christ,
You do not know me much just yet. I am the sister of your precious daughter-in-law, Susie. I am so glad that you are now in Heaven with our Lord Jesus! I am so glad you are forever released from your pain and suffering that you endured so patiently here on earth.
Tons of Love,
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
If any wish to view her body it will be available for viewing at the above address anytime after 9:30 am on Saturday prior to the service.
All are welcome to stay for visiting and a lunch following the ceremony. At 2:30 there will be a procession leaving the meeting room for the interment at Sunnyside Lawn Cemetery:
14850 28th Ave.
Our sincere thanks to all for their support and prayers,
The Coleman Family
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Christy’s memory to the Salvation Army Rotary Hospice House at:
6460 Number 4 Road,
Richmond, BC, V6Y 2S9
Wayne and Christy felt that this Hospice where Christy spent her last days was like a quiet refuge in the storm.
“Good Mourning My Love”
I Thessalonians 4:13 …that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope…
I drive a transport at night to help support my woodworking business until it can become profitable. My load delivers across the street from a large facility for city buses from the region. When I leave the industrial park I meet dozens of oncoming buses finishing their runs. They display a French and English sign to indicate their status. The English sign says Out of Service. The French sign has only one word, Désolé.
As the empty buses roar by, I almost shiver. The word désolé brings English words to my mind such as desolate, barren, waste – and from the dictionary, bleak, stark, blasted. I’m not much for listening to the radio when I’m driving so I do a lot of thinking, praying – and feeling. This French word can also be linked to feeling forlorn, black, afraid, sorry(be regretful).
Susie talked about the hole in her heart, an unfillable hole, and that Christy is irreplaceable – there is none like her. I understand and feel that emptiness, that almost barren, waste place in the heart, the loss of the earthly presence of our dear sister Christy, one who mothered me in the Lord for so many years over the three thousand miles that separated us. A hole in the heart that only the Lord can fill. A space that needn’t be filled with grief and despair.
I am presently completing a casket for a local man whose wife belongs to the Lord, but he has waited his whole life to make the decision to accept the Lord. He has brain cancer and with the disease and the treatment has a profound loss of his faculties. His wife stays by his hospital bed faithfully trying to pray and encourage him into the Kingdom. I am easily reminded of the condition of the lost before the Lord when those empty buses pass by and the word désolé flashes before my eyes time after time – désolé – desolate, without Christ. What emptiness.
My dear wife Nancy has only met Christy in person once, when she was visiting in our area, but has talked to her on the phone and has grown to love her. Of late when I come into the house from the shop, Nancy will be sitting at the computer reading Christy’s blog, crying, copying the articles and photos onto cd for keeping. Last night before I left in the transport she said that she hadn’t found 1 Thess. 4:13 in the blog so I suggested that maybe we should contribute.
When I came downstairs this morning my wife’s dictionary was on the computer desk, open to the words desolate and despair, highlighted in magic marker. Under desolate she had highlighted the description, wretched because broken-hearted, without hope, and unable to be consoled or comforted. Under despair were underlined, a feeling that nothing good can happen, and the word discouragement. Don’t these descriptions characterize the world’s sorrow in death? They can also be ours without the encouragement and promises from God’s Word.
On top of the dictionary were notes she had made from her morning devotions. At the bottom of the note she had written a “good morning” salutation to me, which had been misspelled Good Mourning My Love.
Nancy is slightly dyslexic when it comes to backing vehicles up and putting letters together, but as I wrote my thoughts down and looked at her notes I realized that I was to have good mourning about Christy’s passing, as in
I Thessalonians 4:
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
I had the privilege of talking to Christy one last time in the hospital and was delighted that she recognized my voice right away. The nurses were bathing her and we weren’t able to talk long. It was to be our last goodbye down here. I shared Hymn 109 from the Little Flock Hymnbook because earlier I’d heard churchbells in our little town playing the tune, and the words Thou Lord our all must be came to my heart as I got closer to the sound and recognized the tune. Jesus was and is Christy’s all.
Jesus! That name is love,
Jesus, our Lord!
Jesus, all names above,
Jesus, the Lord!
Thou, Lord our all must be;
Nothing that's good have we,
Nothing apart from Thee,
Jesus, our Lord!
As Son of man it was,
Jesus, the Lord!
Thou gav'st Thy life for us,
Jesus, our Lord!
Great was indeed Thy love,
All other loves above,
Love Thou didst dearly prove,
Jesus, our Lord!
Righteous alone in Thee,
Jesus, the Lord!
Thou wilt a refuge be,
Jesus, our Lord!
Whom then have we to fear,
What trouble, grief, or care,
Since Thou art ever near,
Jesus, our Lord!
Soon Thou wilt come again,
Jesus, the Lord!
We shall be happy then,
Jesus, our Lord!
When Thine own face we see,
Then shall we like Thee be,
Then evermore with Thee,
Jesus, our Lord.
Monday, October 29, 2007
It's because of the Blood we're saved.
Because of His Blood, sweet sister,
It's because of His Blood you're now free.
Your name graced His lips as He hung there.
My name on His lips as He took on my stains.
He stood in your place, He paid my debts.
He knew what He needed to do.
What was it like for Him, Christy,
To leave His throne room in Heaven,
Humbling Himself to a death on a cross,
Full of suffering, pain and shame?
It was His Love, my friend, that drove Him there,
A Love so profound, I cannot grasp.
To take this death, my death, upon Himself
As I spat in His Face and mocked His Name.
He waited, He's patient. He never gives up.
His Grace, through Faith I'm forgiven.
Now, He holds me close and hems me in,
Forever before, behind and beside.
This is the God you have loved, my Christy.
The same God whose Love He's made real
Through His Daughter, beautiful Christy,
Made just like her Glorious Dad!
I love you, my dearest Christy,
Because of His blood we're Sisters.
And though you've gone Home to be with our Friend,
Some brilliant, astonishing, magnificent day, together again we'll be .
by Deborah Brebner
Christy has been a huge encouragement in my life – a beautiful picture of Christ. When we spent time together, we loved to talk about the Lord we share and, especially towards the end, she would ask me to read Scripture to her while she lay in her bed. In the hospice, as I read she wrote in her journal the Scriptures she liked, so she could review them later. As I read the Bible to her, I could hear her lovingly repeat some of the passages, so I knew when the Word was speaking to her heart. I don't think she realized how much these times we shared blessed me. Sometimes, I loved to whisper Truth in her ear – the Truth of God's love for her. Sometimes it seemed like she couldn't grasp that God would love her so much. She had a real humility about her. The first time she went into the hospital, I went to see her with the hopes of being an encouragement to her. What a surprise for me, since I was the one that left uplifted and encouraged! After that, it was never a surprise to me that I came away filled with the promises of God, and assured of His greatness. During our last visit, when she was still able to communicate, she was failing but encouraged me to keep up my Mandarin classes and kept asking me to practice on her, the words I'd learned so far! So sweet - she always thought of others first. I never once heard her complain about her condition. She downplayed it and made the burdens of others seem more important.
I will really miss her, she's taught me so much. Wayne, Steve and Susie, Jeff and Heidi, Walter – my prayers are with you. Be encouraged. I know you are. Thank you for this beautiful blog so we can share in her memories.
Love always, in Christ,
Christy was one of my very best friends on earth. Yes, and she was my mother-in-law! But she seemed almost more friend than mother-in-law. I loved her dearly and will very much miss her friendship, but even more so her prayers and petitions that she constantly sent up on our behalf. She was a woman of prayer, always praying for each one that she loved and cared for. I remember so many times asking her to pray about a certain thing and most times I saw very positive answers to those prayers. I really believe the reason was because she prayed with true love and earnestness, and believed that the Lord heard and would answer. Christy was one who loved much, and lived her love in word and in deed. She loved her grandchildren as few grandmas love their grandchildren...to the point of doting, adoring, and spoiling! She was one of the extremely rare people that I have known that have manifested the love of God in her life in such a way that it was evident to all who knew her (unless they were blind). She had the character of Jesus Christ shining through her. And that is what she wanted. She wanted to give glory to God through her life and be a witness and testimony to all around her. Through the grace of God, she has.
This verse came to mind quite a bit in the last days/weeks before her death and also after. I shared it with her on one of my last visits, and she really enjoyed it.
"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Isaiah 60:1
Finally Christy has heard the voice of her Beloved saying "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away." Song of Solomon 2:13. And she went gladly!
We will see you soon, Christy! Anytime now we may hear the Lord's great shout and the beckoning voice of the archangel, and the triumphant trumpet from God Himself, and we will be "caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord!" I Thessalonians 4:16-17. Doesn't that just thrill you? I can almost hear the great shout now! Victory is coming, when death will not hold any more threat or sting for us who believe in Jesus. Come, Lord Jesus! We've waited so long...
By Susie, her daughter-in-love
Dear brother Coleman,
We sorrow with you and lift you up to the Lord in prayer. We are sorry for you and your family’s loss but rejoice at her gain.
Dear brother go forth and give the gospel in the power of the Spirit of God. I have had the privilege of preaching the gospel at the funerals of members of my family. It was difficult, but non-the less moments I will treasure forever. I consider it a great honor to have had the privilege of preaching the gospel at the funerals of my grandmother, my grandfather, my mother, my father and my brother Lyle. The Lord helped me and He will help you dear brother. I experienced great freedom in telling those who came to the funerals, about the shared blessed hope I had with my loved ones and rejoiced to tell the Old, Old Story one more time.
There was a strange mixture of joy and sorrow, I’m sure you will experience it as well. Joy at knowing where my loved ones were and sorrow at the tearing away. Joy at knowing I will see them again, sorrow because I missed them.
As you stand next to the precious dust in that coffin point your loved ones and the saints up to where she is, with Christ and point those lost sinners in the crowd to the cross. We will be praying!
Soon and very soon we will meet our Saviour face to face and then we will be reunited around the throne of God with our loved ones. Glory be to God in the highest!
I was comforted as the Lord brought to mind these and other familiar verses.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3
“…underneath are the everlasting arms…”Deuteronomy 33:27
“For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” Isaiah 41:13
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Be encouraged in the Lord, He is faithful who promised.
“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;” Ephesians 3:16
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” 1 Peter 1:7
The lord knows…he really, really knows!
“For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14
May the Lord bless you and keep you, may He send peace into your heart.
Your brother & sister by such great grace,
Sam & Zebo Ludvicek
This is a zoomed in portion of the lid of the casket that brother Phil Brown custom made for Christy earlier this year. Not surprisingly, Christy's last five sentences that she spoke Saturday afternoon as she descended into a coma were "I'm going to be with Jesus." By faith we can say that she is gone to be with Jesus because she trusted in Him. This gives us great peace at such a time as this. We physically see a dead body, but with the eyes of faith we see that her spirit is departed and at this moment is present with her Lord, awaiting the resurrection of her body. She is experiencing right now the reality of those words in Psalm 16:11 - "Thou wilt show me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy..."
Sunday, October 28, 2007
The Lord took my dear Christy home tonight. She had been in a coma all day, the family was in and spent the afternoon with us. When they left I read the Scriptures to her, (they say that the person in a coma can hear) Christy’s breathing became increasingly laboured into the evening, it was very hard to watch her like that. I asked the Lord to free the sweet prisoner from her body, then I told her to just let go and Jesus would take her. Within a few minutes she was much calmer, but was breathing only twice a minute, then one last small breath at 8:58 PM. Very peaceful, seemed so easy….. for her.
I will not go into how I feel right now, no words seem to be available that work properly. Lots of tears. Grown men do cry by the way.....
Judy and I have visited Christy and Wayne numerous times in the last six months or so at their home, hospital and hospice. Each time we visited, we talked about life, dying, what it would be like to be with Jesus, our families and so on. I felt we were visiting an angel, someone who was so close to Jesus that she was almost touching Him. In August, we went over to their home and Christy wanted to go for a walk on the dike. We were concerned that it might be too much for her but she really wanted to go. She took her walker and walked about a mile down and back, drinking in the beautiful scenery, sounds, and smells. On the way back, we stopped for a rest and I noticed there were some ripe blackberries along the trail. I picked a few and offered them to Christy. She enjoyed those blackberries so much. She treated them as a gift from God that He had grown for her so she could enjoy them there that day. I will always remember Christy every time I see and taste blackberries. Christy was always so sweet, thinking of others, a peace-maker, close to Jesus, and always enjoying each moment given to her. We will miss her and her sweet smile when she is gone. She has been an example to us all. She has fought the good fight and kept her eyes always on Jesus.
Chris and Judy Coleman
(Chris is a cousin to Wayne)
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Ohhhh, I am finding this so very hard now, Christy is only rarely able to respond to any conversation now. And when she does it is only a word or two like, "Oh, honey" and a big smile to go with it. She sure can smile nice. Sometimes there are garbled words that I can't make out.
I miss the intelligent conversation that I am so used to, the companionship; I am realizing that part is over now. Maybe I have taken for granted the privilege of having someone so sweet, so close for all these years. As this disease progressed, Christy steadily lost mobility and the ability for us to do things together went with it. But we still had each other, that is what has been so great for me, I still had her, sharp, witty, loving, and devoted, her. Now the interface (so to speak) isn't working, she is moving on. The last bit of intelligence from her lips was, "I am going to be with Jesus," she said it over about 5 times earlier today. She is in the in-between place of being more occupied with Him than me, it is as it should be, she is almost there.
So as I think about Who she is going to, and where she is going, and that this is really about her being fulfilled, my pain subsides.....
As I recall the tender mercies of the Lord thru all this valley of the shadow of death that we have walked together, I realize that the same Lord who has upheld Christy and I so far, will carry me closer than He ever has on the other side of this loss.
Now I express another ohhhhh, this time because the comforts of the Lord Jesus flood my soul, I am soooo thankful for His redeeming love. Now I can go home to bed.
As I wrote you earlier, this type of salutation I reserve for very special persons, of which you qualify.
When you were first diagnosedwith this disease, cancer, I said and thought, I am not prepared to lose my dear Christy. My prayer was that the Lord would completely eradicate the cancer from your body, of which He could, if it is His will. As time went on, it became evident that this was not going to happen. Now when I visit you and see the effects this disease is having on you, it grieves me deeply. However when I realise, and see your cheerful acceptance of what is taking place, I marvel, and it is a profound lesson to me, as to how a child of God can suffer in so sweetly and accepting all from a loving and merciful God. We are also greatly encouraged by the Lord's promise of coming for His own blood bought people, and Christy, consider the changes that will take place, 1 Corinthians 15: 51 - 58, 1 Thessalonians. 4: 13 - 18, and also Philippians 3: 20 - 21. I know you are very conversant with these wonderful passages, but just imagine the reality of "Fashioned like unto His glorious body" The Lord does take his people individually, but how wonderful when He will come and take His Bride to those courts above, "Forever with the Lord". Perhaps today. "Even so come, Lord Jesus"
"Dad, Grampa, father-in-law, etc.
Friday, October 26, 2007
We are so glad we got to visit you both again in June. Christy, you asked me then to pray two things for you: that you would not be grouchy, and that you would be a testimony to those around you for the Lord. I am awed at God's answers to those prayers, to think that even in your pain and immobility you can smile and say you are here to "thank Him and praise Him for everything He's done." What a wonderful fragrance it is to the Lord to see you still rejoicing in Him and praising Him! It is a powerful testimony to us as well as to those around you. We know your confidence is not in yourself, but rather in the Lord Jesus, who came to earth to die so that you could go to Heaven and live. "Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine" Isaiah. 43:1. We know He is holding your hand.
You are both always in our love and prayers,
Bruce and Bonnie Imbeau
"How much lighter trials become when we realise God's grace is twofold. It is not only the happy ending, it is also the peace we can feel during a painful journey, when we trust in God - all the way" - Doris Haase.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Just over a year ago, we had the most wonderful time in Richmond with the two of you. The time we spent together was so very special to us and you made us feel so welcomed. The tour around Richmond, the lunch at that Portuguese restaurant and the lovely time of fellowship will always be cherished memories of our time there. So much has happened since then and, although we know that you would not have planned things this way, it is such a comfort to know that the Lord is in control and "He doeth all things well."
The enclosed photo is one that I took in 2005. The love you displayed towards your grandchildren was clearly evident. (The scripture text in the background is most appropriate.)
We know that you are looking forward to being in the presence of the Lord, Christy (as we all should be: looking for His coming at any moment), because “in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” Ps. 16:11. Please know that you are prayed for often in many places around the world. Our little assembly in Bermuda has been remembering all of you in our prayers for many months and we will continue to do so.
With much love in the Lord,
Lance and Margo Furbert
For the last four or five days Christy has been sleeping a lot more, and when awake she has notably lost significant mental clarity; she's very confused, and yet very happy in her spirit. She seems not to be able to carry on much of a conversation at all, except for showing great delight and pleasure that she has been spoken to or visited. The staff here at the hospice have noticed it and advised the doctor. He spoke of more drugs to help with that condition, but I am concerned about this, and would not want to trade her present peaceful situation for an attempt at more alertness and possible negative side affects of anxiousness. We will review the situation tomorrow.
I have seen this before, this inability to connect the dots in conversation... in my dear Mom as she descended into the darkness of Alzheimer's, except in her case there was a lot of fear connected with it. In Christy's case there seems to be perfect peace -- it is incredible, really! She at the present has no comprehension of what is going on around her, apart from her desire to be free of the body and be present with Jesus, this she is able to speak of somewhat.
The morphine dosage was increased 40% yesterday as the pain has been building. This seems to have worked, as only one breakthrough injection was needed in the afternoon yesterday.
There is coming a day when no heartaches shall come,
No more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye;
All is peace forevermore on the happy golden shore--
What a day, glorious day, that will be!
What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face--the One who saved me by His grace;
When he takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day, that will be!
There'll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain, no more parting over there;
And forever I will be with the One who died for me--
What a day, glorious day, that will be!
Truly we are ALL waiting for that glorious day, now not too far away. "Even so come, Lord Jesus!!"
With very much love in our soon coming Saviour,
Steve and Val Hallowell
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
My first knowledge of Christy was when Kristelle returned from a trip out west and told me that Jeff Coleman's parents were a noticeably in-love couple for people their age! Later when I met you both and then stayed in your home myself, I could see that she was right. I always appreciated that about both of you, that you were so affectionate with each other, especially as I was dating my soon-to-be-husband when I stayed at your house. It meant a lot to me to have your example during that week. So now, as we hear that the two of you may be separated here on earth one day soon, our prayers and thoughts and love are with you both in a very special way.
Monday, October 22, 2007
With lots of love and prayers in His Precious Name
Bart and family
There have been people in my life over the years that have had a profound effect on who I am today. Of course the greatest and the Master builder behind it all is my dear loving Saviour.
Some of these people He has sent have been to me as the mighty men of David and have gone to great lengths and effort to provide refreshment, guidance, and fellowship. This character of people has been made evident to me through my extended family, the saints here at the Richmond assembly, as well as other dear brothers and sisters in Christ. It is the Coleman clan in particular I have on my heart today. I will attempt to share a little of what I can remember about the time I have been able to enjoy with them.
It was autumn about 4 years ago, after about 2 months of praying and much searching that I found myself heading to the Coleman house for the first time. I had only spoken for moments on the phone with Wayne prior to this and didn’t know what to expect.
It was dark outside and could not see the house numbers very well. So I went to the house with the appliance repair van in front of it and knocked on the door. It was a very nervous time for me, as I had been drifting far from the Lord for many years and was apprehensive about returning to the assembly. Well a very young couple came to the door, much younger than I had expected ( expecting Wayne and Christy ) with the information I had been given from a dear brother from Washington. Soon finding out that I had apparently gone to the wrong house, but they were also going to Wayne and Christy’s for dinner. This young couple turned out to be none other than the sweet Jeff and Heidi Coleman I have grown to deeply cherish. Once we were inside I saw for the first time our dear sister Christy’s wonderful smile. She warmly invited me into her kitchen to sit down and wait with them ( as Wayne was running late ) : ). She was cutting up onions I recall and it was making the tears run down her cheeks as she spoke so kindly and so personally about the Lord Jesus. I just felt comfortable being there although I hardly knew why I was there at the time. Then we had a wonderful, lovingly made dinner which was followed by a chapter from Gods Word and some discussion. When brother Wayne asked why I was there or wanted to come to the meeting all I could say was, to know more about my Saviour. The verse dear brother Wayne used that gave me great comfort in coming back to the assembly was “…go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9. He could see the fear I had and simply said, come and go as you feel, no pressure.
So I would like to say to any who may have drifted away from God, and fear embarrassment, or uneasiness about returning. Don’t fear, but come and “delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee.” Isaiah 58:14
Well as the years went on I really enjoyed the time I have been able to go over to Wayne and Christy’s home and go for walks along the dyke. We would talk together about the Lord Jesus, what He has done for us, and share the joy He has been in our lives. And now still although from a bed, physical strength diminishing dear Christy has continued to be a bright encouragement to me and many others.
I thank the Lord for using this loving family who continues to be very close to my heart, and a big part of my life. It is amazing to see how the Lord has by His grace sustained them through this time. May the Lord continue to use them as he has in my life to show the same compassion Christ showed to so many while here below and continues to through others.
It is with much joy that I say thank you to dear sister Christy, to Wayne, and the entire family for allowing yourselves to be the vessels by which God may receive the glory for your kindness and love shown over the years. What a wonderful hope we have, “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” Revelation 7:17.
“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” Revelation 22:20.
Your brother by grace, Marlin