Loving God, we thank you that you are the God who answers prayer. We pray for the faith to believe that you do all things for our good, thanking you for all the testimonies to answered prayer we are hearing in this 40 days of answered prayer.
My sister Jane was diagnosed with terminal cancer in December. She was given 3 to 6 months estimated time to live. We found a word document after she died on 1st April, written in December.
"In the not too distant future you will hear that Jane Shrom is dead. Do not believe it. I shall be more alive then than I am now! However many may be the days waiting for me, I will do all things for the love of God. SO much JOY found in the here and now. Family, friends, love, laughter, blue skies, white puffy clouds, flowers, plants…… I am not adrift in chaos… I am held tightly in His everlasting arms. If I live, Jesus will be with me, if I die I will be with Him!" — Jane Shrom, December 2022
Jane’s prayer throughout her illness was for God’s peace and presence and to be a witness to others. There are so many testimonies to this from so many people. Thank you God. My testimony is about her final moments. (There is a whole story about me getting to the USA to be with her for her final moments, but that’s another thank you to God and the people He worked through.)
Jane and I read the psalms together daily through her illness, also Malcolm Guite’s sonnet responses to the psalms. During Jane’s final hours I read her psalms, a tradition our Jewish Doctor introduced to our family when my Dad was dying in 1980. She was unresponsive. Then I started reading Romans 8, her favourite scripture. She squeezed my hand. She raised an eyebrow at her favourite parts, showing she was with me. She took her final breath on the last word of the whole passage. It was so peaceful I wasn’t convinced it was the end. Although, as Jane well knew it wasn’t the end, it was the beginning of her life in Jesus’ everlasting arms.
Thank you God for your love in all this, for Jane’s faithful witness, feeling your peace and presence, and for my Re:Hope BRT and morning prayer group who traveled this journey with me, covering us in prayer. Amen.
Let Jane’s testimony to the love of God in the midst of her illness underpin joyful prayers of thanksgiving today.