Homecoming – 6 years later – Welcome Home Poppa!

Dear Jesus, You continue to amaze me! You continue to amaze me! Oh Jesus, I do not want this suffering to be wasted! I desire to cooperate with You at every turn. You continue to open opportunities to share this journey of faith.

Last Saturday night I shared in Florence, SC. It was a beautiful evening – tables all decorated by the ladies of the church – each unique – I hadn’t been there very long when a lady approached me, grabbed my hand and began telling me about her daughter. As she spoke, I noticed a button on her blouse with the picture of a beautiful girl with long brown hair and brown eyes. She began to tell me that a year ago in June her 22 year old daughter, Devan, had been the victim of domestic violence. Devan had been strangled at the hands of her husband and it was almost a week before they found her body. Oh Jesus, very quickly You reminded me of my complete dependence upon You. I knew that You would have to speak Your truth and peace and grace. I knew there was nothing I would be able to speak to her. But I knew that You had ordered both of our paths there that evening. This week I received an e-mail from her – You are bringing healing to her broken heart and I pray that You will bring forth much eternal fruit through her testimony of Your daily sufficient grace. Her heart cry is that others will be spared from the domestic violence her daughter suffered.

The date of that evening was October 13 – exactly six years since Hannah had been crowned Homecoming Queen at her high school after fighting for her life for the previous 5 months. I marveled at Your timing – I marveled that You were still allowing me to share – I marveled that You were still bringing forth eternal fruit from Hannah’s life – I marveled that You had brought this mother to share the evening with us.

On the way back to Sumter to spend the night at the home of friends, I reflected on the evening as I turned up the volume on the praise music and sang my heart out. As I got closer to the home where I would be staying, I pulled out “Hannah’s Song” – written by Scott Robinson, unknown to us at the time, about Homecoming 2006 and about Hannah’s heavenly Homecoming. Every time I listen, it blesses my heart! I know You anointed the song Lord – it is so powerful – and brings heaven so close! At the end of the song, the voice of 7 year old Grayson says, “Welcome Home Hannah!” Bless the Lord – yes, Welcome Home Hannah!

I sent a message to Joni, Scottie’s wife, who sings Hannah’s Song to tell her that I had been sharing that evening in Florence and that it was the 6th anniversary of Homecoming. Joni told me that I wouldn’t believe where she was – she had been at the hospital all day with Grayson because Grayson’s Poppa was taking his last breaths on this earth and Grayson was taking her Poppa’s death pretty hard. Joni asked if I would call Grayson – Oh my word – would I call her – absolutely – You had used Grayson to shower me with Your blessings and comfort as I listened over and over to her little voice say, “Welcome Home Hannah!”

We had the most precious conversation as I encouraged her that when her Poppa took his last breath on this earth that Hannah would be waiting on him at the gate to tell him, “Welcome Home Poppa!”  You are so amazing Lord!  You are so amazing!  You are continuing to teach me how You never miss connecting a thread – You always tie every single knot – You always dot every ‘i” and cross every “t.” Nothing goes by unnoticed by You!

The next evening I received word that Poppa had gone on into Your heavenly kingdom, Lord. He was home – home with Hannah and the crowd of witnesses that had gone before him and once again “Heaven Became” a little more real!  Heaven is becoming more and more real every day!

Last evening I spoke with Angie – a precious friend from church. Angie’s 21 year old cousin MeMe went to be with Jesus this week after a 4 year battle with cancer. They live in Winston Salem. And of course it just happens, Father, that we will be in Winston Salem this week for the game and I am praying You give me the opportunity to meet David and Sharon – MeMe’s parents. I will hug their necks, I will hold their hands, I will cry with them and I will pray with them and we will together ask You again to bring beauty from their ashes and bring forth abundant eternal fruit!!  That is what You do – that is who You are!! And You will once again write on our hearts that heaven – eternity with You – is just around the corner! Thank you Jesus!  I love You! Amen!

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