Mrs. B Prayed

July 28, 2017

Last Sunday, after hearing the mission’s report by my friend’s daughter at their church and visiting other friends, including at the nursing home, I visited Mr. and Mrs. B at their home where they’ve lived most of their nearly 65 years of marriage. I’m always asking my prayer partners to be praying for the Bs and for them to get into right relationship with Jesus and that day was no exception. I was excited to announce that evening that Mrs. B had finally humbled herself to pray for forgiveness and salvation!!!

Mr. B had repeated a prayer after me several months ago to receive from the Lord forgiveness and salvation but Mrs. B had still, over the months (including over the last 17 years that I’ve known them), refused to do so. I’ve been out to the country to visit them several times this year, but each time she still declined to pray. Last Sunday I had a small feeling that “today was the day”. I greeted and hugged Mr. B when I entered their house and a few minutes later I went into their kitchen where Mrs. B was sitting at the table huddled under the cuddly mint green blanket I’d given her for her 87th birthday in January.

I hugged Mrs. B and asked her how she was doing and she said something like “puny” or “pitiful” (two words she often uses). The poor thing has already been on hospice for a brain tumor all of 2017, and a week ago Wednesday when I’d called, I’d found out she has pneumonia. (Their three kids have been taking turns caring for her all year and they have a hospice nurse as well as a woman who comes in to cook and clean.)

Mr. B came into the kitchen and sat down with us and they then told me about their night before –that Mrs. B could barely breathe and they’d had to call the nurse at almost midnight who came from a half hour away to adjust her breathing machine. The nurse was a help but both Mr. and Mrs. B stressed to me how much Mrs. B had wished she could just die.

Mrs. B said it again to me, “I really would rather be dead.”

I stroked her back and arm and said after a pause, “But we don’t die, you know.”

The Bs both nodded and I went on: “Our spirits immediately go to one place or the other.”

They nodded in agreement again so I gently said to Mrs. B, “Don’t you want to make the choice to go to Heaven instead of Hell?”

Shockingly, Mrs. B, this time, said, “Yeah. But I don’t think God can forgive me because I’ve been so mean.”

“But that is why we need a Savior,” I responded. “And because of Him God will forgive anything.”

She nodded.

“Besides, Mr. B has been mean too.” It was a half-joke and I added, “And so have I.”

They gave a slight laugh and then I asked, “Do you want to pray a prayer after me?”

“Yes,” was Mrs. B’s answer.

I hugged Mrs. B tighter and my tears began flowing as we began to pray and Mrs. B asked God to grant her His forgiveness and salvation, and to be in eternity with Him. I saw, after we had prayed, that Mr. B was wiping away some tears too. I was so, so relieved and so grateful to the Lord for His power and compassion and mercy and ability to bring a stubborn sheep to salvation!

“My daughter is trying to love Jesus too,” Mrs. B said after we’d prayed.

That surprised and gladdened me because it seemed that this “heathen” family could maybe all turn to the Lord eventually. How good God is!

I stayed talking with Mr. and Mrs. B about an hour more, several times getting up to get ice cubes from the freezer to give to her to chew on as she requested. Then when she started getting sleepy, I prayed with them for God’s comfort and strength and continued mercy, took two photos of us together, hugged them tightly, and left. As I drove away, I cried some more with relief and said, “God, now You are going to take her.” I felt that He was saying to my spirit that the very next day she would go quickly downhill.

Well, today as I was halfway through writing this post, I decided to call the Bs. Their son answered and he told me that Mrs. B had been okay Monday morning, but in the afternoon had suddenly and greatly worsened. Morphine had been given to her and she went to sleep and hasn’t woken up since. Their son said that her vitals are okay but she is breathing on one lung and that her kidneys and bowels have shut down. The doctor has given her less than a week to live, but I pray the Lord takes her in His compassionate and perfect timing. Maybe today or tomorrow.

For some reason I’ve been shedding a lot of tears since this news today. I guess maybe because I’m so un-nerved to think that had I not been obedient to the Lord, I would be devastated beyond words to know that Mrs. B had never prayed to ask the Lord to forgive her and save her. Yet what huge, huge relief to be able to believe that she has escaped Hell because she DID pray, willingly and sincerely, this last Sunday! Yet she escaped by only one day!!! ONE day! It’s scary.

I keep thinking, “What if…?” What if my friend hadn’t invited me to her church to hear the mission report? What if not wanting to take the two hour drive to that church would have kept me from going out to the country on Sunday? What if I’d chosen to take time to visit too many others and not the Bs? What if I’d not mentioned eternity when the Bs mentioned that Mrs. B had wished for death in her misery? What if I’d not been gentle enough or courageous enough in my actions, expressions, and words? What if she had said “No” –again?

But she didn’t say no. She said “Yes.” And she prayed very sweetly after me as I led her in the simple prayer of asking Jesus to forgive her and save her.

I am so, so, so glad and relieved to be able to look forward to being with both the Bs in Heaven. Because God is faithful and exceedingly merciful and, even though I vigorously teach that obedience and knowing the Lord is essential (1 John 2:3-6 w/ John 17:3), God’s mercy, we gratefully know, triumphs over judgement (Ja. 2:13) for those who unify themselves with Him even at the very last hour of their lives. (Mt. 20:1-16)

Praise be to the Lord who has heard, and worked, and answered, and saved!

with love,

P.S.  Exactly 22 minutes after I posted this, I got a text at 5:49 p.m. that Mrs. B has passed away.

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