Friday, February 12, 2010

Ansley Anniversary

I know Ansley is ready to wring my neck right now for posting her "painted ear" on the Internet for the entire world to see! Ha-ha! I'm so glad I grabbed it out of the Yard Sale pile when she was trying to get rid of it. This "ear" painting has brought many laughs!

For those of you who do not know, Ansley is the friend who taught me about living life, about friendship, about sacrifice, and that if one knows the Lord, then dying is not the end - it's the beginning.

Ansley and I walked life together for nearly nine years. Our friendship was birthed from her decision to become a stay-at-home mom after coming to faith in Christ. She thought most stay-at-home moms were "weird," but didn't seem to mind spending time with me...Ha-ha! Our oldest boys (Ansley's-Colby and Robin's-Mason) were the same age...and the friendship for these two boys still remains.

(The only thing Mason asked for on his 13th birthday was to spend time with Colby and Andrew. I hope we can make this happen soon.)

Ansley lived life... even when life was hard to live. In the photo above she was in the midst of her second round of cancer treatments. She'd spent most of the weekend in bed with nausea, but was able to come out for one afternoon of fun. She's holding Braden (our youngest) on her lap. She was always smiling, and I know sometimes it was a sacrifice to smile during the pain.

I praise God for the memories we made together. Ansley, Todd, Colby, and Graylyn were our family in High Point. We lived life together. There are so many memories...

As friends, we did crazy things together! This photo was taken at Ansley's surprise birthday party. Ansley thought she was coming to hear Godwin and Lenusia give a talk about Ghana. (Godwin and Lenusia are our missionary friends in Ghana.) She has a kente cloth stoll from Ghana wrapped around her neck. Ansley's passion - Missions - GHANA! SHE LOVED GHANA, AFRICA!

"Why don't you go to Africa on the next mission trip?" was the challenge she gave everyone.

(P.S. Ansley's favorite gift of the Surprise party evening was the photo of Jay's chest hair! Ewww!)

Scrapbook Queens - Amy, Kelsey, Amanda, Ansley, Robin

We are the scrapbooking five. Four of them were/are talented enough to be published...but they always let me come along for the weekends at Celo, Amanda's cabin, and the one beach retreat we took together. I miss those fun times.

Three years ago today, February 13, 2007, Ansley joined Jesus in heaven. She made the most of her short 36 years on earth by living life as if her mission field was wherever she was at the time. I'm not sure I know anyone who has prayed with more strangers than Ansley Wolffis. She was a faithful servant.

Three years ago when she died, God gave me this poem. I was praying about what she would like shared about her life at her funeral...

What Ansley Would Say
To Our Hearts Today

February 14, 2007

Oh Lord – May I ask
What would Ansley want today?
What would she want people to remember?
What would she want people to say?

I come before you to ask
What is to be done with her story?
Her prayer on her knees in the beginning
Was that her life be used for Your glory.

So what can be said
To comfort the hurting?
Those who don’t understand?
And those who are searching?

What would Ansley want, Lord
Can you tell me please?
I’ll stay here and wait to listen –
I’ll remain on my knees…

I ask you, dear child,
You knew her heart so well –
What do you think
That she would have you tell?

Oh, Lord, at the end of her journey
Which You carried her through
She would not wish this to be about herself
Her desire would be for all glory to go to You.

For whenever someone was touched
By her words or her prayer
It wasn’t herself she wanted them to see-
It was You Alone she longed to share.

She would comfort us and say,
“Don’t shed your tears for me
I am with my Lord and Savior
He has healed me completely!

To her beloved Todd and Colby
And to her precious daughter Gray
She would convey her great love for them
And remind them they will all be together again one day!

Ansley would say
To her family and friends
Always cling to Christ
Until your very end.

He will hold you
On any journey long
For we are so very weak
And our God, so very strong.

And, if there is anyone here
Who doesn’t know Christ
I want you to know Him
Let Him give you the Abundant Life!

For if you don’t know Jesus
You have the worst cancer of all
But one He will take away
If you will only heed His call.

Ansley would want people challenged
Your followers reaching for You higher
For everyone’s heart to be filled
With your all consuming fire!

She would gently beckon us
To soften our hearts and completely yield
To whatever God’s Will is for our lives
And to make that our mission field!

She would ask us to lift our hearts
To You, our voices raise
In a song about Your goodness
Giving You, Your worthy praise.

Is this it, dear Lord?
Are these words from her heart?

Oh yes, My child, it is –
For I have set her apart.

Her path of earthly suffering
Was never walked alone
Ansley has reached her final destination
At the feet of My glorious throne.

When she came before Me
And she beheld my face
She completely understood
My amazing grace.

And, as I placed her crown
Gently upon her head –
I thanked her for walking
Along the path where I had led.

Then I whispered in her ear
That this was the answer to her first prayer-
As she grew to love me more
As I peeled away the layers.

While she was on Earth
She was given an incredible story
I told her that her prayers were answered-
For it was all for My glory.

As she stood before me
I praised her for being My good and faithful One-
I gently touched her precious face
And told her, “Well done…well done.”

So, where does this leave me three years later? A lot has changed, but much has remained the same.

I realize many people don't understand why I would remember the date of a friend's passing. When I sense this from someone, I think to myself that they have not tasted the depth of a friendship as I have. Ansley and I walked some very hard roads together. We journeyed to places no friends would choose to travel, but the Lord took us both there. It was here that I learned the depths of His great love for me...on the roads less traveled.

So, now, why adopt? Why Ghana?

On January 24th Reid and I were driving home from my parents home after spending the day with Mathiang. As a couple we had been praying about the possibility of pursuing adoption for several weeks, and on the way home God said two things to me (not audibly, but through His Spirit).

First, God let me know that part of Ansley is in a child from Ghana, Africa. A child for our family that represents the country - the people - the children - the nation she loved. (Yes, I became emotional!)

Second, with Mathiang - there will be three nations in our family. He let me know this is not something that we can is something HE WILL DO.

We made the decision that night to mail the adoption application by Friday.

When our child finally comes home, I pray a piece of my precious friend will live on.

Until we meet again in heaven, I'll keep on living life as you would do. Smiling as I go...

1 comment:

Kerry ABOUT ME said...

Hey Robin,

I believe it was not a coincidence that I found your blog today. We have sufferred alot of loss in our family lately and it was a great encouragement to me. I hate that I don't get to see you often on Thursdays, but wanted you to know you remain a constant source of inspiration to me. You have a christ-filled spirit that exudes in everything you do. I will pray the adoption goes well. Lots of love,

Kerry Osborne