Mar 8, 2011

My Friend Betty

    This morning I was sitting in my favorite spot in my living room spending time with the Lord and I looked across the road at my neighbors home sitting empty.  Grief washed over me for what I have lost.  A friend that would have probably done ANYTHING for me.  I miss her.  My friend Betty went home to be with the Lord in January of 2010.  I still miss her.  I could escape to her home for a half hour and always come back feeling better than I did when I left. I want to share what I read at her memorial service and that will explain how I came to really get to know her and a little about our relationship. 

Revelations 4:11
You alone Oh Lord are worthy of all glory and honor and praise for by you all things exist and were created.
So Lord we thank you for the life of Betty Fisk.

Most of us have heard the expression “The Lord works in mysterious ways”, but I’m here to tell you that this isn’t just cliche. Truly this was the case surrounding the events that led to Betty and I becoming friends.

    I have known Betty as an acquaintance and neighbor for around 18 years. I was newly married when I came to this little village. Betty had been to several of my garage sales through the years and my husband and I would talk to her and Farrell when out and about if we saw them. But I never really got to know Betty well until about a year and a half ago. The summer of 2008.
I had just finished reading a book , by a Christian author about an elderly women who lived alone, and the re-kindling of her relationship with the granddaughter that she had never really gotten to know .She had been crying out to God in her loneliness and in the last years of her life, her prayer had been answered. She and her granddaughter came to know and love each other and she was able to reconcile a lot of the questions she had had for God and a lot of the pain she had lived with. The book really moved my heart toward the elderly..

    The week following my finishing the book, I drove down Munger St .and I looked over and saw Betty laying alongside the road. Immediately I pulled over and jumped out of the car and ran over to her, honestly wondering if she was alive. She was flat on her back and looking right up at me when I got to her. I said Betty are you O.K? and she said “ I think so- I just fell and I can’t get up by myself” In the meantime two more neighbors , Kim and Marge who had looked out for Betty for years came out and Kim advised me to wait to do anything till she called Betty’s daughter. So I sat there on the ground with Betty and propped her head up under my arm to support it and when I looked into her eyes something stirred deep within my spirit and I knew the Lord was speaking to me to reach out to Betty. This was the beginning of a friendship that I will be eternally grateful for. I believe that I needed Betty as well as her needing me.
     It was after this that I began to do small things for her like get her mail or pick up a few groceries here and there. But mostly we just became friends. She taught me to make some of her favorite crafts, (a common interest) , we shared recipes, she gave me soups and other dishes she had prepared as well as baked goods, and my whole families personal favorite” Fried Cakes”. She fascinated me with her stories of growing up during the depression and how her father had built every cabinet in her kitchen from scratch, including the wooden ceiling. She loved her copy machine, because it allowed her to hand out funny stories, poems and anecdotes that she had found here and there, to all of her friends and family. She talked often of her family, her children and her grandchildren who she was always blessing with her handiwork also. I would oftentimes laugh to myself when I would leave her house with a handful of whatever the special of the day was. I wondered what the neighbors were thinking and often thought who’s blessing who here? But truth be told, anyone who knew her knew she had a heart to be a blessing.
     All of these things were wonderful, but the real deep bond formed between Betty and I on a night when she had returned home from the hospital. Her leg was in really rough shape and she called me to ask if I would help her get into bed.. I knew immediately when I got there that she was completely overwhelmed by it all. Just moving from the couch into her bedroom was even more of a chore that night because her leg was hurting her so bad. As she made her way into the bedroom, she began to pour out her heart to me. She told me that she prayed to God , but she didn’t think heard her prayers. After she got situated in her bed ,I sat down next to her and asked her if I could pray for her? She willingly agreed. I can’t remember the words that came out of my mouth, but I can tell you that it was a heartfelt cry to God on behalf of my friend. When I was done praying, I opened my eyes and tears were streaming down her face and mine. I began to tell her of God’s love for her and how the bible tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but that God had desired for that relationship to be restored- So He sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins through His death on the cross. I told her that Jesus is the faithful high priest who has gone before us and that through a relationship with Him we can all be restored to the father. Then I asked Betty if she believed what I had just shared with her. And in tears she said yes. That night she asked Jesus to come into her heart and forgive her of her sins.
    The next day she said to me So now we’re sisters aren’t we?” I encouraged her to read her bible because God speaks through His word.
     This was all well over a year ago, but the Friday night before she passed away, I hugged her and told her I loved her and I began to tell her again of Gods love for her. I began to recite John 3:16 “ For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.” She chimed in as I began to say it and she told me that it was her favorite verse.
That was the last time that I spoke to Betty . I’m so thankful for the chance to get to know her. This past week as I reminisced about our friendship and the course that it had taken over the last year and a half, I said to some friends “I know God sent me to her” , but the Lord reminded me through a verse he brought to remembrance, that I was the one who was truly blessed. The verse was “Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord”
     Truly I was blessed to have known this fiesty , fun, woman who loved her family more than anything and was determined to serve them until the day she died . And she did!

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WE HAVE THIS TREASURE IN EARTHEN VESSELS THAT THE EXCELLENCY OF THE POWER MAY BE OF GOD. I am the wife Of Don and mother of two boys and a stay at home mom. My goal is to follow Jesus in all aspects of life but starting first and foremost in my own home.Titus 2:3-5 I stumble often and get discouraged, but am amazed as I go to my Lord in faith that he looks upon me with compassion, forgiveness and love each and every time. His love for me seems to increase as I keep going back to His throne of grace!! Of course I know His love never changes, but my ability to see His love increases each time He picks me up, dusts me off and says "keep on going Ruth.... I love you!" And because of His great love, I am falling more and more in love with Him each and every day.