Wishes and Dreams

by Louise Tucker Jones

I was thirty years old when I gave birth to my youngest child. Jay was quickly diagnosed with Down syndrome and congenital heart disease. My little bundle of joy was a very sick baby. His immune system just didn’t kick in.

It was only the beginning of discouraging news. Time after time, year after year, we were given a devastating prognosis for our son. I often feared the worst, having already lost one child to heart disease. But apparently Jay wasn’t listening to all of the “doom and gloom” reports from doctors. He went right on living his life to the fullest.

This year, my son, who was never expected to live into adolescence, celebrated his 43rd birthday. I call that a miracle! God grants them at times, you know. He also granted some wishes and dreams along the way. One took place on Jay’s 30th birthday.

Of course, we planned a huge party for such a milestone in his life. I puzzled over a gift for this momentous occasion. What would be really special? Finally, I did the obvious—asked Jay what he wanted. His answer surprised me. Along with a new necktie for his 200 plus collection (believe me, he is the best-dressed guy at church), Jay wanted a limo ride to Sonic.

Jay’s favorite thing in the world is a Coke from Sonic. We go every single day to fill that order. No hamburger and fries. No ice cream. Just a medium-size Coke. And on his 30th birthday, he wanted a limousine to pick him up and take him to Sonic for that Coke. He got it!

So why am I telling you a story about a young man with Down syndrome and severe, irreparable heart disease who wanted a limo ride to Sonic for his birthday? Because Jay dared to dream during those years that doctors told us he would never live. He made wishes that might seem unusual to some, but he didn’t let that bother him. He never let anyone or anything steal his joy or rob him of his zest for life.

Unlike Jay, I sometimes lose hope. Grief and sadness steal my joy. Maybe you know that feeling. During trying times God often encourages us to revisit past wishes or dust off old dreams. In fact, He may ask us to dream new dreams. Granted, it’s risky. I’m right there with you, trying to build a future in this new life called “widowhood.” I can’t describe how difficult it is. I never expected to be single in this world again.

But I’m trying to fulfill a promise to my late husband, Carl, who upon diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, requested that everything be done for the glory of God, just as we are instructed to do in 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV): “…Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

 And it is definitely taking me out of my comfort zone.

How about you? Are you in an uncomfortable place? Do you struggle with an unexpected happening or detour in your life? Perhaps you are measuring your performance against others rather than God’s standards. That will definitely rob us of our hopes and dreams. But God knows our heart’s desires and designed dreams especially for each of us.

I love the lyrics to a song in the animated movie, Cinderella. It says, “A dream is a wish your heart makes…” So, how about it? Ready to make a heart-wish? Be like Jay and wish big. And bring that request to God.

Take Carl’s advice and do all things for God’s glory. Don’t allow anyone to steal your hopes or your dreams. And who knows? We just might see you at Sonic in a limo!

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… Ephesians 3:20 NIV

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Louise Tucker JonesLouise Tucker Jones is speaker, columnist and award-winning author. Her poignant life stories will touch your heart or tickle your funny bone. Having a son with Down syndrome, Louise writes extensively concerning people with special needs, co-authoring the book, Special Needs—Special Ministry. Married to Carl for 45 years before he relocated to heaven, Louise is a mother, grandmother, professed chocoholic, and founder of the support group, Wives With Heavenly Husbands.

Louise’s book, Extraordinary Kids, is a Gold Medallion award winner. It provides parents with vital information to help celebrate, nurture, and prayerfully champion their special-needs children.

Join the conversation: When is the last time you dreamed big?

Inheritance

by Sheri Schofield

Everyone called her Gammy, though her name was May. She was the grandmotherly woman who gave her property to the Christian community for the purpose of building a Christian school. Her daughter, Kay, taught third grade at the school, and I boarded with Kay and her husband while attending high school there.

Every day after school, I went over to Gammy’s house to study while Kay graded papers. Gammy would always have a snack ready for me. We would sit together at the table and she would pray. Her love for Jesus was evident with every word she prayed. I often glanced at her to observe with wonder the beautiful glow on her face as she spoke with her Lord.

Gammy was an intercessor. She prayed for so many people! While most young people wanted to emulate the young and famous leaders of our world, I wanted to become like Gammy, who was well into her 80’s. I wanted that same connection with God, that same shared love, that same power in prayer!

Elisha had a similar desire to be like Elijah, the great prophet of Israel. 2 Kings 2 records that God told Elijah that he would be swept up into heaven soon. He tried to meet with God alone, but Elisha, his understudy, stayed with him. He wouldn’t let Elijah out of his sight! Finally Elisha asked, “What is it that you want, Elisha?”

Elisha replied, “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit!”

Elijah said, “Well, that’s a difficult thing for which to ask! But I’ll tell you what: If you see me when God takes me, it’s yours!”

Later that day as they were walking along by the Jordan River, God sent a chariot and horses of fire and whisked Elijah up into the air. Elisha cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” Then Elijah disappeared into the clouds. But his mantle (cloak) fell back to the ground. Elisha picked it up. He walked over to the Jordan River and struck it with the great prophet’s mantle. The river parted and Elisha crossed to the other side. He had been given that double portion of Elijah’s spirit. From that moment on, he accomplished great things for God in Israel.

I was a junior in college when Gammy finally passed into the presence of Jesus. When I heard of her transition, I cried out to God, “Give me her mantle!” And God did. He gave me a passion for prayer. He even gave me Gammy’s prayer assignments at times, when people whom she had loved were in great need. I began seeing God work through my prayers like never before. Yes, I had received Gammy’s mantle!

Whether we know it or not, we are daily setting an example for others. Does the glory of our love for Jesus show on our faces? Are our ears tuned to the cries of those in need around us? Are we quick to notice where God’s power is needed? Do we hold others up in prayer to God? Though my personality may be very different from Gammy’s, I want my face to reflect my love for Jesus as hers did!

 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV

sheri schofieldAbout the author: Children’s ministry veteran Sheri Schofield was unexpectedly called on to save her husband’s life, a battle that took her to the Pentagon, Congress, National Security and the President of the United States. At her website, www.SheriSchofield.com, she shares this journey in her book One Step Ahead of the Devil. Sheri’s new book, The Prince And The Plan, will be launched June 1. It is designed to help parents lead their children into a saving relationship with Jesus.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 2.44.32 PMfrom today’s comments. To enter our contest for Sheri’s book, One Step Ahead of the Devil, please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: Whose mantle do you want to inherit?