Monday, April 16, 2018

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS

Memorial to Coach Fei

     She tried to kill herself. Lynn tried really hard. She saved enough pills to do the job. She waited until her husband would not be home for more than 12 hours. She took the pills and laid down to die. BUT he came home thirty minutes early. Her body was in the throes of death, but had not reached heaven's gates.
     It was 2008. The bottom had fallen out of the housing market. The family construction business went bankrupt. Her son-in-law was forced to leave the state to find another job taking her only child and two grandchildren with him. In the middle of a tumultuous marriage, she lost her family, her house, her livelihood and her standing in the community. The mental illness she struggled with most of her life overwhelmed her. No one needed her. She lost all hope. Lynn made a plan, took the pills and lost consciousness.
     She spent 3 days in a coma and eventually recovered enough to go home. She sought counseling, treatment and medication for bi-polar disorder. She struggled to understand why God didn't let her die. Was she not good enough to be with Him? She battled to find a reason to go on living. She made a choice to get up every morning and find a reason.
     A phone call on the afternoon of February 14, 2018 reminded Lynn that God always had a plan for her.  Her terrified daughter called asking for prayer. Both grandchildren were on lock down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Lynn reached out to her prayer chain. We began to intercede for all the children, staff, and even the shooter.  
     Lynn's granddaughter heard shots fired and stayed crouched down with her classmates for four hours until led out by police. Her grandson was being interviewed by college football recruiters when the shooter walked by. The shooter killed his favorite football coach. Lynn's grandchildren survived with no physical scars, but lost 14 friends and three staff members.
            Lynn and her husband, Mark, spent all afternoon watching the news for updates. Relief swept over them when they heard the children were safe and the shooter apprehended.  When her daughter called and said, "Momma, would you please come?" Lynn automatically responded, "We'll be there as quick as we can."
            Early the next morning Lynn and her husband made the nine-hour road trip to Parkland to help in whatever way they could. When they arrived their grandson asked Mark to help him build a cross to memorialize Coach Feis. Together they went to Home Depot for supplies. They did not have to pay for anything. Home Depot donated all the materials. Grandfather and grandson worked together to create a memorial to a wonderful man and strengthened their own bond. The manual task served to ease the pain of loss.
     Both grandchildren were interviewed on national television about the shooting. They  represented their family and their faith in a mature and impressive manner.
     Lynn stayed the rest of the week to make it possible for her daughter and grandson to attend an previously scheduled scholarship interview out of state. He got the scholarship.
     Lynn did what she considered little things. She cooked favorite comfort foods, she did laundry and she let her 15-year-old granddaughter practice driving. Lynn lightened the grief by planning surprise outings. She took her granddaughter to the beach to get out of town and away from the trauma site. Another day she took her to a movie but not until they stopped at the Dollar Store to load up on candy.
     She took her granddaughter shopping. Sadly it was for funeral clothes.  Lynn attended several funerals with her granddaughter. The name that might be familiar to you is that of  her friend Peter Wang. Peter, a brave ROTC cadet, held the door while other students escaped to safety.

Lynn's presence lent a comforting and calming atmosphere and a safe place to cry and vent. Perhaps she was born for such a time as this.

     The Bible is full of stories of strong women. My favorite is Esther a beautiful young Jewess who risked her life to serve God and save her people. An orphaned child raised by her older cousin Mordecai, she became the queen of the Persian Empire.
Through an incredible act of bravery Esther saved her people from being completely annihilated, but not before Mordecai challenged her:

"Don't think for a moment that because you're at the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?" Esther 4:13-14 NLV

     Two things stand out for me: God would deliver the Jews one way or another and/or, Esther could chose a divine destiny. Esther chose a "for-such-a-time-as-this-moment" to save her people and cement her place in history.
     I feel certain we all have a Moment where we are positioned in a particular place at a specific time for His purpose. For most of us it is not a history-cementing-moment. However small the Moment may be, it might change someone's life.
     We can only surmise how this story could have been different if Lynn had been successful in her suicide attempt. I know how my sister's three boys reacted to her suicide. None of it is pretty. Alcohol, drug abuse and jail time followed for them. Thirteen years later they are still tormented by her death.
     I'm so glad Lynn failed in her attempt. So is her family because she was there for such a time as this.

2 comments:

  1. Incredible. I had no idea Lynn went through all this. I lose track of old friends and have no idea their lives are so crazy!! God is so good as to intervene so far in advance of his plans. He uses so many on so many ways. His mercy never ends.

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  2. Thank you for your response. Lynn is a precious friend. I’m so glad she failed.

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