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| Author: Doris Niswonger

A Sign of hope

They were no ordinary flowers, no indeed, they brought a message of hope from God, and how desperately I needed their confirmation at this most vulnerable time in my life.

Some of my wildest imaginations had been realized in sixteen years short years. Could it really be happening to me? Was I dreaming, would I awaken to discover that my world had not changed? Would my husband assure me that he would always be at my side to love and protect me, to spend the latter years of my life with me, to watch the children grow into adulthood?

Yes, my world was tipping and I was stunned, but I had a solid reason for living, and my Lord Jesus had confirmed the hope that His word and Spirit had placed in my heart.
One year earlier I had prayed for a small girl to be healed of cancer. When she died my faith was shaken. I entered these thoughts in my journal, since this had been my practice for some time. "Lord, I said, "I'm so concerned that my faith would fail if something like this happened to anyone in my family, please keep me faithful," I prayed.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and I had worked many hours pulling weeds out of our zoysia grass. By the time, my husband, Tootie, arrived home from his job, I was still pulling weeds.

Looking down at me, in humor, he said, "Gosh, you sure are getting gray." I was so tired and in no mood to joke around. "I know it," I said, "I suppose I'm just getting old." With that statement, he walked away. In minutes, he came back and presented me with a lovely cut bouquet from my flower bed. "Here, sweetie," he said, "I love and appreciate you." Words are not adequate to describe my precious treasure.

It was a beautiful coral ray of sunshine that daily reminded me of my husband's sensitivity and love for me.

One day I noticed the flowers had changed to a dull gold color. Upon inspection, I noticed the cut flowers had rooted. Later, I would talk to a florist who assured me, "They just don't do that." Tootie," I said, "Have you ever seen anything like that?" "No, I can't say that I have," he replied. "It's because you gave them to me," I said.

A few days later, my thirty-nine year old husband died of a massive heart attack.

As I gazed at my husband's precious gift to me, the Holy Spirit reminded me that even though my flowers had looked dead, indeed, they were not. They were very much alive. His still, small voice said, "And so it is with Tootie, he is more alive than ever and he is with me." Oh, how my faith soared! My Lord had prayed for my faith and had given me a sign of hope, a message that would forever comfort and sustain our four children and me.

By Doris J. Niswonger
1976

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