What began as a typical week with a typical challenge became not so typical when I sat down to write this weeks blog post.
I made this weeks card for the Perfect Sentiments challenge but didn't know that the two simple words used as my sentiment would create such a stirring reminder in my heart today. Please let me take a few moments to share with you the story of a mans life and the legacy he leaves behind.....
"Pastor Vondel Allen" is known by many who grew up in my old home town in Maine as a pastor who had an extra special heart. I remember Pastor Allen as I traveled through life as he played a key role in several of my life experiences.
The first time I walked down the aisle at church to accept Jesus into my heart, Pastor Allen was there at the front of the church, holding out his arms for me to welcome me into God's family. (Please know his patience when I came the 2nd & 3rd time as well!)
9 1/2 years later when I buried my son Anthony, again, Pastor Allen stood by my side, offering words of support and encouragement at a time when I felt all hope was lost.
I learned today that Pastor Allen was in the hospital and expected to soon journey home to be with our Lord. I took in the words when I heard them and let them settle on my heart. Could it be that this man of God would be gone from this earth soon? All the lives he and his family touched would be forever changed because his life would be ending. It was difficult to allow this thought to settle in my mind and my heart. God's perfect plan included Pastor Allen.
Then, for a moment, I sat back, reflecting on the times he was present in my life and wondered to myself "how many others were touched by him?" The tears came and my hands rested on my Bible, seeking to find something within its pages to bring peace to my aching heart. I remember back to my sons grave when Pastor Allen spoke gently to me about God's plan for each of our lives. He encouraged me in my grief by reminding me that one day all who believe would be called home to spend eternity with God and we would all celebrate the One who created us to walk through our lives here on earth.
10:20pm::: I've just learned that Pastor Allen has been lifted into his heavenly Fathers arms. I rejoice in the beauty of this mans heart, and of years of selfless dedication as a servant with a genuine love for his true Father. I am better to have known him and so are others who can call him husband, father, Pastor and friend.
I was listening to some music and this song came across my mind.....I like to think of it as God's way of reminding me of the importance of saying "thank you" to those who touch our lives. For Pastor Allen, his wife Paula and children......"Thank you......Mine is a life that was changed....."
Of stepping on shore and finding it heaven
Of touching a hand and finding it God's
Of breathing new air and finding it celestial
Of waking up in glory and finding it HOME!(author unknown)
Card details:::This weeks challenge card was to create a card with a sentiment of thanks on the front. The "twist" was to use some form of distressing on your card...paper tearing, wrinkling, inking, distressed edges etc. Our Sponsor for this weeks challenge at Perfect Sentiments is Stictchy Bear Digital Stamps with a $10.00 voucer to their store.
For more inspiration check out my fellow design team members
March Guest Designer: