Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

    **MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. For permission on reprints or reusing this material, please contact the individual authors. For sharing the actual post, please use the share buttons.

  • Blog Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 87,828 hits
  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Evil Parents and Rotten Kids
      A-ZE is for Evil Parents and Rotten KidsI present you Jimmy Kimmel's annual "I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy" video montage. It's an artful mixture of cruelty, humor, and ghastly awe. My favorite is Drawer Boy. Now there's an ax murderer in the making.Which is your favorite?
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • Florida Author Diane Dean White
      Welcome Diane! Is there a story behind your book Winter Wonderland?I grew up in Michigan and we’d often go to Detroit for special events; the Tiger ball games, plays at the Fisher Theatre and to shop at Hudson’s Department Store. I wanted to capture some of the past, as Detroit has had a lot of hard knocks lately. I decided on the year 1951when so much was h […]
    • Winter Wonderland by Diane Dean White
      In 1951 WWII has ended and the economy is booming around the country. Jeb and Cora Willis are excited about a new start. Like many families, they decide to move to the city of Detroit for a factory job that will bring prosperity and a better life. While most young women are looking for husbands, Ruth tries to further her career and concentrates on obtaining […]
    • A Warm Welcome to Katie Clark
      It's a pleasure to welcome Katie to the Barn Door Book Loft today. Katie your book sounds intriquing. Tell us:Is there a story behind your book Vanquished?There is! I’d had the idea for my characters for years, literally. They’d been floating around my brain, just itching to come out. When someone suggested I write a book set in a world with no Bible, I […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • 2014 Laurel Award Feature
      On October 22, 2014, A Miracle of Hope won Clash of the Titles' Laurel Award. During a six-week period, the novel's first 3,500 words were read and judged by avid readers of Christian fiction who determined it to be the worthiest to receive the 2014 Laurel Award.Clash of the Titles extends a heartfelt congratulations to author Ruth Reid for her com […]
    • Ane Mulligan's Fresh Taste of Small Town Life
      Bestselling author Ane Mulligan is here tell us about her debut novel about best friends in small-town life. Heartwarming and humorous, Chapel Springs Revival is the perfect excuse to curl up by the fireplace and read.Let's chat with main character Claire.I’ve heard you are the one who spearheaded the reviving of Chapel Springs. Is that true?Are you fro […]
    • September New Releases Clash Champion
      And we have a champion! Congratulations to clash winner Sharyn Kopf and her book Spinstered: The Novel. A touching debut, Spinstered began as a nonfiction book idea and, through God's design, became a novel that will speak to many women. For those in the Cleveland area, Sharyn will be selling and signing her novel at the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academ […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • Chloe's Decision 
      As I stated last week, November is NANOWRIMO. I'm working on the next Stones Creek novel. It's the story of Chloe, Noah Preston's sister. She comes to Stones Creek with her two children. If you would like to read her pre-story simply subscribe to Sophie's Special Emails. No more than twice a month will you receive an email with special co […]
    • Remembering Fudgsicles
      It is November and thus NANOWRIMO, National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to begin a novel and write 50,000 words during the month. Since this occupies most of my focus for these four weeks I will be reposting previous articles each week this month. Fudgsicles, how long has it been since I’ve had a fudgsicle? I’m not sure, but they came to mind when […]
    • Are You Teachable?
      What? You think you know everything? I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but no one knows everything. Oh, there is one, Hashem. He's omniscient. But no one else is. Even Yeshua (Jesus) isn't. He doesn't know the hour or day he will come again. Some people rejoice in learning something new. I tend to be one of those people. I read about […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Book Ideas
           A Special Deal for all ReadersBelow is a wide selection of John 3:16 books to help you with your Christmas shopping. We have compared books that you may not have discoveredwith more well-known books that have a similar style or flavor. Enjoy perusing these 40 plus books which are linked to Amazon for easy purchase.And don’t forget,Jesus is the reason fo […]
    • Book Review: Laura J Davis and He Who Has an Ear
      He WhoHas An EarLaura J DavisJanuary 2014ISBN: 9781492125051Print $8.99, E-book $2.99Biblical ExpositionMore than two thousand years ago the Apostle John had a vision he received from the Lord. He was told to write seven letters to the churches of Asia Minor. Out of the seven churches only two received commendation from the Lord. The rest were letters of war […]
    • Alice J Wisler's new book, Under the Silk Hibiscus
      Under the Silk HibiscusAlice J. WislerLighthouse Publishing of the CarolinasRelease date: November 11, 2014ISBN-13: 978-1941103302Print: 11.39Buy on AmazonAbout the Book:During World War Two Nathan and his family are sent to Heart Mountain, an internment camp in Wyoming for Japanese-Americans. Nathan's one desire is to protect the family's gold poc […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • BOOK REVIEW: MIRACLES: 32 TRUE STORIES
      32 stories people have shared about ways they have seen a divine hand in their hardships, struggles, moments of danger and more.This book will put any struggles you face or have faced in perspective and are a testament to the human spirit and faith in God.  I give this 4 out of 5 stars.Here's the amazon linkMiracles: 32 True Stories
    • Book Review: Daughter of Joy, Brides of Culdee Creek Book 1 by Kathleen Morgan
      In this historical romance Abigail Stanton is a widow who has lost a child and a husband and is still grieving. She accepts a job as housekeeper for Conor MacKay, a gruff man who has not only been through a string of housekeepers but has also lost a wife who ran off and a son who stole from him and then disappeared. He also has a child from an Indian woman a […]
    • Book Review: The Redemption by Mary Lu Tyndall
      This is the first in the King Pirates series by this author. Charlisse Bristol fleas an abusive uncle and sets off to find the father she never met but a fiece storm shipwrecks her on a deserted island.  She’s rescued by Captain Merrick head of a group of pirates.Devilishly handsome Merrick has recently turned his life over to Christ but he still has much mo […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
  • Second Monday: Sophie Dawson

  • Tuesdays – Promotion in Motion

  • Wednesdays: Life of a Writer – April & Positivity – Lisa Lickel

  • Thursdays – Luther’s on board

  • Fridays – Revolutionary Faith, Devotions by Elaine

  • Saturdays – Janet Perez Eckles

  • Sunday – Reflections Book Reviews

  • Blog Authors

  • The Barn Door

  • The Barn Door Book Loft. Free Books! Book Giveaways.

  • John 3:16 Marketing Network widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)>

“I Know the Plans I Have For You…”

Posted by elainemcooper on October 12, 2012

Posted by Elaine Marie Cooper

Mom and Bethany, December 2000

My daughter, Bethany, passed away from a brain tumor nine years ago this month. She was twenty-four years old.

Her short life was rich with friends whose lives she touched in so many ways. A strong believer in Christ, she continued to be a witness for the Lord up until she died. But even death did not stop the seeds she had planted during her moments on earth—seeds that continued to bloom long after her graveside flowers had faded.

When she was ill and suffering from the devastating effects of the disease, she attended an adult care center twice a week for people with brain injuries. She met a young man there (I’ll call him “Sam”) who had been in a car accident several years prior and was now blind as well as having other injuries.

Bethany had witnessed to Sam, but he wanted nothing to do with her belief in God. Before she died, Bethany shared with me privately how worried she was about his salvation. I don’t remember exactly how I reassured her at the time. I do remember thinking I didn’t have time to be concerned about Sam when I was concerned about her. But I’m sure I told her we would keep praying for him.

The inevitable happened a few weeks later when the cancerous tumor took our daughter’s life. Sam attended her funeral but he was devastated and angry. We lost touch with him for quite awhile, still trying to recover from our own grief.

A year later, I was painting Bethany’s bedroom a fresh new color—bright pink, befitting her personality.

Keeping extra busy helped me while I still recovered from the sting of her loss. A few hours of work would provide some mind-numbing escape, I thought.

There was a desk in the room with a few items on it that I thought I had gone through already. But I found a piece of paper sitting there that I hadn’t seen before. It had Sam’s name and phone number on it, in a handwriting that I did not recognize.

I stared at the phone number a moment, pondering what to do. Our church was having a special service coming up, so I spontaneously called Sam to ask him if we could pick him up and take him with us. To my total surprise, he responded, “yes.”

During the service, he was earnestly listening to the speaker who spoke about confessing Jesus as Savior. The message of the gospel completely engaged Sam’s attention—it was obvious the Holy Spirit had been doing an incredible work in his life.

When the preacher asked for anyone who wanted to make a decision to come to the Lord, Sam seemed anxious as he shifted in his seat. I leaned over and asked him if he wanted to go forward with me to pray. He gave an enthusiastic, “yes,” then clenched my sleeve as I led his blinded path up to the counselor. Sam gave his life to the Lord that day and his spiritual path became filled with clarity of vision.

Ever since then, my husband drives over every Sunday morning to pick Sam up and he comes to church with us to this day. He is still one of the most engaged listeners at every sermon.

When I told my son, Ben, this story, I could practically feel his smile on the other end of the phone line. “Bethany is still having an impact in people’s lives.”

Indeed. Even in her illness, she was still sowing seeds of obedience and love. And in facing her death, she understood in a greater way what one’s life in Christ truly meant.

Her favorite Bible verse was Jeremiah 29:11 and the reference is etched on her gravestone:

“ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (NIV)

There is no greater hope than the promise of heaven.

About these ads

17 Responses to ““I Know the Plans I Have For You…””

  1. What an amazing testimony Elaine. And also an amazing precious daughter. Wonder how many other people have stories of you dauther’s love for Jesus to them. It’s like God is keeping her alive through those she touched.
    And that Sam still goes to church with you is wonderful. And I’m sure Sam thinks that too.
    Thank you for sharing Bethany’s story. I will pray for you this month as you reflect back on her memories.
    Blessings…..Joy

  2. Precious. What to write, indeed…

  3. That is one of the most beautiful posts I have ever read and I’ll still be thinking about it for a long time! Thank you for sharing Bethany’s story which is also Sam’s story and what an extraordinary legacy she left!

  4. Sandi said

    What a beautiful memory Elaine. I, too, was blessed beyond measure by Bethany. She most definitely left her “footprints” on many souls!

  5. Elaine, Bethany’s ministry is still active and alive! I will share her story with my nephew’s wife who is currently battling brain cancer. No matter what happens, she is confident of where she is going but is concerned about those she may leave behind. Thank you!

    • So happy that Bethany’s story can minister to you and to your nephew’s wife, Valerie. It clearly showed me that we do our part and leave the rest with God. He is faithful when we plant our seeds. ((HUGS))

  6. Carla Gade said

    Oh, Elaine. This brought me to tears. God’s outstretched hand surpasses every circumstance! I’m so sorry that you lost your dear daughter, how special she was, is! What a blessing for you and your husband to share her ministry to Sam and that he is now part of God’s kingdom. I have several friends who have passed away through the years and have made a commitment to pray for their children, to somehow carry the torch of prayer on behalf of their mother. Prayer is powerful and practical, transcending life and death. Again, so happy about the new life in Christ that Sam has because of your daughter’s desire that He know the Lord.

    • And what a blessing you are to your friends! Praying for their children is the greatest gift you can give them—carrying on their work after they are gone. Thank you for your sweet words and I pray that my daughter’s story will live on to minister in the lives of so many others. Blessings!

  7. Our confidence and trust in the Lord is unmeasurable for He holds our hearts. My son, Michael, died of a heart attack 6/3/11. How precious my memories are of “our memories” together. The first was from our 26-y-o daughter in Dallas, who said, “Now, who is going to call us that we are in the red zone??” So precious how he would call us to tell us he was watching the weather channel and to alert us. So much love. I am thankful to the Lord for Who He Is. Our all encompassing Love. My favorite Scripture is Psalm 119:111 “Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.”
    I will be praying for you this month and as the holidays approach. So dear to my heart. Kathleen

    • Praying for you as you face the upcoming holidays as well, Kathleen. The “new normal” is an adjustment. I pray that you will find a way to honor his memory during the holidays as a tribute to him. ((HUGS)) from a fellow mom who understands.

  8. Ginger said

    What a wonderful legacy your daughter left behind. Thanks for telling us about it.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,246 other followers

%d bloggers like this: