Friday, March 29, 2013

Dear People

 Dear People,

Thank you for all your love, support, and prayers. I love and appreciate each one of you. 

I do not know how to start this letter, but I should start with the God that I know and love. My God never delights in cruelty or injustice: He delights in kindness and mercy, and people who stand for the right. He delights in our delight in His creation, delights when people trust Him in good times and hard times alike. For my God is love - and Love always wins in the end.

God needs people who will stand for the right, regardless of results, like Martin Luther and God’s many champions throughout history. I have prayed that God would make me into this kind of person, someone God could depend on to work with Him for others. I specifically pray that God would teach me to learn to love, as He loves. I want to know that I have followed God’s will to the best of my abilities: one hundred percent, with no reserve - no reserve, no retreat, no regret. 

But my life feels so mediocre, and I struggle with fear. I remember laying in the dark the night before the repeat upper GI (gastrointestinal) scope before my major surgery. My mind fumbled for hymns and verses to steady my heart, but I was gripped by the vivid terror of waking up on a ventilator after the previous GI scope. I remembered the horrible complications. Even many months later, I still cannot fall asleep with a shirt or blanket snuggled close around my neck. But that night, as I lay there in the dark, fighting with my thoughts, God slipped a tune through my troubled mind: “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me.” Psalms 139:9-10

I want to live. I love my family. I would love to have more time. My faith is lacking. I pray that God will help my faith not to fail. I do not have the strength to choose Him without His help. Do I trust Him, am I leaning on Him? Is He my compass, or am I lost? Will I let Love carry me to peace? Will I love the world as He did? Will I let heaven fill my heart? And so I pray, Oh God, please strengthen my heart. Help my eyes to be only on You! Please help me to be faithful.

God answers me, “Don’t worry, don’t worry!” and “Don’t be afraid. Don’t. Be. Afraid.” And He is helping me sing. Even when my voice is gone, and I cannot even whisper, I can still sing in my mind and praise God with all my strength. We are singing a duet, He and I. As my voice fails, I hear His glorious voice ever clearer, ever nearer. 

God is my support, the one who sustains me. Daniel’s three friends faced death before the fiery furnace; my furnace is facing cancer and the end of my life. I have almost bled to death several times. I have had radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, and have had a port and a feeding tube put in. I have had a third of my stomach taken out along with my esophagus and the remainder stretched into a replacement esophagus. My body is broken and wasted.

Now I am standing before the King saying, “I trust you, and I will follow You wherever You go.” I am not afraid of pain because I know the King is carrying me. He is no stranger to great pain. I am not afraid of death, because He has pierced even that great darkness. He is a faithful Guide to whom no path is unfamiliar. 

Throughout this journey God has shown me beautiful cathedrals in time, even in the midst of devastation, grief, and loss. Grateful eyes and a trusting heart can see sunbeams of spring even in the dead of winter by giving thanks in all things. Every moment is a gift. There is a joy in that & peace. 

The peace I seek requires voluntary relinquishment of everything and everyone into the hands of a capable Friend.

I receive the gift of peace as I learn to know His heart. It is a safe place. For every moment of life, I feel His hands. I am not falling... I’m held. One hundred percent held. 

My highest priority - more than long life, more than quality of life - is to be where God wants me to be. It is not about extending my comfort, and it is not about extending my life. Instead, I must ask, Where can I be of the most service? Where can I touch people’s hearts most deeply for eternity - in His perspective, not mine? I want to be at the center of His will, even if that means a shorter life, and even if God does not heal my body. This world is temporary, and comfort here is not my priority. 

I have been reading Matthew 5, which says, “Blessed are those who recognize their spiritual poverty, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” For theirs is the kingdom of heaven, not only later, but now.

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on this earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know: That in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” Job 19:25-26

This is the piece for all puzzles, the truest fulfillment of my dreams: His mission for me will be accomplished. God is holding my hand. As my hand gets weaker, I can feel His hand holding tighter to mine. He is with me, and He always will be, no matter what. And He wants to be with you, too. For me, coming to know His heart has eclipsed some of the burning questions I used to have. I want to be in God’s will. I am not sure where this is, but the further I go, the clearer it gets. 

I can see that we are living in a war zone. There are many casualties - perhaps I am one of them. However, we will have each other in heaven, forever and for always, and I joyfully cherish that thought. Death is only a nap or a sleep – it is nothing to be afraid of. If we die inside while we are walking around living – that is a tragedy. We should fear to stop growing. If we keep our eyes on God, seek His purposes, and stay true to them, He will take us home. 

As Jesus said in Matthew 5, “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand—so shine! Be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

Maybe your task here is to be a witness to the very end and endure far greater suffering than what I have been called to bear. Maybe it is something else. Whatever it is, please allow God to carry these burdens, and content yourself in continually seeking His will. I pray that you will sense God’s presence as He carries you. I pray that you hear His heartbeat as you daily rest in His arms, for God will be awake in the night to listen. God will be there to help you set a true course. He will help you; He will be there in joy and laughter, in slow rainy day walks and fast runs down forest paths. God will love you always. We can trust His heart to see around the corners and carry us all the way home, across nebulas and through galaxies, to that bright land where we will finally see Him, face to face. 

Will you please join me in opening your hearts to trust God?

Love `n prayers,
~ Caitlin

This letter is a compilation of writings from Caitlin Meharry, who lived vibrantly from February 17, 1987 until her death from cancer on March 21, 2013, at age 26. This letter shows her deepest heart’s desire and life’s work: a heart and soul dedicated to God, overflowing with His love for others, and committed to bringing others closer to God’s heart. 


laSonya said...

Thank you for sharing this. May God always carry my burdens and run with me down forest paths.

Anonymous said...

AMEN! Thank you for sharing:)