the sweet presence of Jesus

Thank you for your kind words and prayers for my grandma today (here and on Facebook). I’d love to hear more memories you have of her if you know her personally.

I got to spend time with her again today. Gabe and the girls and I hung out in her room for about an hour or so, and we got lots of smiles, hand squeezes, and even a few words. Gabe got a couple winks. She’s always been a little flirty with him, and I love it.

Saying good-bye for the last time was so hard. I hated leaving her there while her hands were still warm and she still has breath in her lungs, and I could look into her eyes and have her see me. Lots of tears. And I feel a heavy blanket of grief on my shoulders tonight. I know how blessed I am to have had so much time with her, but it still hurts.

Some other things have transpired in the last day or two that kind of make me want to curl up in the fetal position and cry. Our list of unknowns just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and wow.

I’ve never wanted coffee more than today.

But all I’ve got is Jesus (and my sweet family).

And this season of life is really, really, really good practice for “my only true requirement being the sweet presence of Jesus.” My friend Ali sent me this link yesterday, and while I can’t relate to being held hostage and tortured for my faith, I can relate to feeling really close to Jesus in times of uncertainty and pain.

I speak to a small group (13) of high school girls Saturday night and Sunday morning and would love your prayers that God gives me the exact words they need to hear. And a sweet, humble, Jesus-shining spirit as I share.

And I would love to pray for you. Just leave a comment or e-mail me here.

14 thoughts on “the sweet presence of Jesus

  1. Caity

    Thanks again for coming to speak to us, Marla! You were awesome! I think the girls really enjoyed hearing you speak (and I know we leaders did, too!), and you really opened all of our eyes to the needs of others around the world.

    I’m looking forward to keeping up with your blog and reading your books. You were a blessing to me this weekend!

  2. Beth in the City

    Don’t feel guilty for grieving – all those good wonderful times are the reason it is so hard to let her go. Grieve well, my friend. May God’s grace sustain you until you meet her again! And may his hand guide you in the dessert of uncertainty!

  3. Meghan

    I’ve been quietly reading here and there about all that’s going on with you right now and in your family. May Jesus’ sweet love, power, and presence be very tangible and real to you all right now. Love and hugs!

  4. brooke

    certainly praying for you. i’ve got 22 miles worth of alone time with God ahead of me tomorrow, so i’m sure your name will be mentioned once or twice.

  5. Claudia Porpiglia

    Praying for you and your family as you walk this leg of the journey with your grandmother.

    As for unknowns…they are just opportunities for God to work in and through us in unbelievable ways! Always a little unsettling going in to them but rarely have I been disappointed when God allows me to look back and see forward!

  6. Leslie

    Praying for that Jesus-shining spirit! I teach about 9 jr. high/high school girls every week and it is a humbling experience! Also, speaking of “my only true requirement being the sweet presence of Jesus,” I’ve been trying out a little “7” exercise. Any time I mentally form the words “I need…” or “I want…” I try to stop myself and substitute “Jesus” for whatever I was about to fill in the blank with. I WANT to want Him most and for Him to be my portion. Blessings!

  7. Sharon

    Praying for your time with the high school girls. I’d love prayer regarding health for my family and I. Thank you! And I love that your Grandma is a bit flirty with Gabe. She sounds like such a fun lady!!

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