I pray you are blessed as you visit here and share in the videos and
words as we remember Arlene Wilburn, wife, mother, grandmother, friend,
sister, precious daughter of the King....
One year ago, February 20, 2008 the day of her glorious homecoming ...
I have known Arlene for so long, I don't remember the time before I knew her. She and Barry were a part of the "Old Mamre" church family that I grew up in. We shared the history of green pews, Jericho Marches and The Lion Of Judah led by Sister Rose. More than attending the same church, we have always been together at the heart. More than always knowing them, I have always known I was loved by Arlene and Barry Wilburn. Barry played piano at our wedding in 1986 and Arlene came over to our house the day our first son came home from the hospital in 1988. When I leaf through old boxes I find cards from showers and weddings and graduations signed, "love Arlene & Barry." I remember Amber in frilly little dresses and Arlene telling me how at 4 years old she answered the phone and took a message for a prayer request which she delivered perfectly to her mom.
I also remember the day that we got a call to pray for Arlene because she had gone to the Heritage Hospital emergency room because she was sick, and some doctor there told her she had colon cancer. And how ticked off we all were because it could not possibly be true but; it was true. Impossibly true. Arlene had surgery and so quickly, it seemed all was back to normal. The cancer was a blip on the radar of many years we have lived alongside one another and certainly it couldn't threaten the years to come. But it came back, still impossible to accept. I think Arlene made it impossible because her faith was so great, sickness was lost in the shadow of her Jesus. Her laugh was the same, her drive to serve the downtrodden and to go to the prisons was the same. Her voice and smile and red hair and the familiar, "love you guys" when we said good bye was real and alive and we couldn't believe that satan would dare try to touch her again.
We lived the final months close to Arlene, she fed us more than we fed her despite our schedule of meals brought to their home. She laid on the couch and life radiated from her spirit. The "Old Mamre" days so long lost to all of us fell on us again in her living room as we gathered to pray over her in praise and tongues and we were reminded of our lives together, and God's goodness in the middle. I also remember looking at her in one of those last days thinking that she was more of heaven than of earth. But Jesus looked so beautiful on her face that I found myself envious.
A year later, the idea that she is no longer a few miles away is still unreal to me. I still have moments when I think I am going to e mail her something... I can still hear her voice and I think it is because I so often heard my name spoken by her in love. Arlene taught me to speak love out loud. It is my hope that some day those I love will remember their name spoken in love by me and if so, it will be credit due to Arlene.
I miss her terribly. I cry for her still. Not for her, for me. Not for anything left undone or unsaid. She, like Christ, could truly say "It is finished." She ran the race set before her. Ran with hands held out in worship and with her face lifted toward heaven. She ran smiling and singing and laughing into the arms of Jesus.
I cannot believe she is gone because she is so very alive. Just too far away for me to hear her right now. Arlene still speaks to me in moments when I wonder if my passion for the Lord is gone because no matter how distant I feel from God, I know that one day I will hear Arlene say again, 'Love you guys!" when the distance between us is finally closed and we stand together before the throne. For me, the life of Arlene Wilburn will forever ring the truth...Jesus is alive!
IN LOVING MEMORY OF ARLENE~
I've been thinking about Arlene more then usual this week because we are about to come upon the one year anniversary of her passing. I have to admit, that even after one year, it's hard for me to grasp that she is no longer on this earth, but home with her heavenly Father.
I sit here amazed at how she pulled us all together with one common cause....the love of God. That was Arlene. My precious sister in the Lord left me with so many loving memories. She was my lunch buddy. We'd meet at Applebee's and have lunch, talk about our kids, share the wonders of God and leave feeling blessed. I knew Arlene since she was a teenager. I saw her fall in love and marry her "Bear". I remember when Amber was little girl and her Arlene dressed her up in more ruffles then I had ever seen! Years of beautiful memories.
The memory that stays in my mind? Arlene giving of herself. Her prison ministry that was SO important to her. Going on the streets and loving the homeless. Giving them water on a steamy hot summer day, and sharing Jesus with them, just months before her homegoing.
I was privileged to sit next to her on her couch, and hold her hand while a room full of believers prayed for her healing. We wanted to keep her here with us, and we believed that God would heal her. He was true to his word, He did heal her and gave her a brand new body!
"What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see. When I look upon His face, the one who saved my by His Grace". Arlene was healed - what a glorious homecoming she must have had!!!
I will see you again....and what a day that will be!!
Tuesday evening @ 8:05 p.m.
As I write this, Arlene's 5th Grandchild is on his way. Yes, her daughter Amber is in the hospital about to deliver a son, "Greyson." Arlene and I met as teenagers in Youth Group at Mamre A/G and I have so many memories
that it would be nigh on impossible for this space to contain them all.
So, I will tell you of the joy she felt as each grandchild was born! And I am certain that she is in that room tonight. I see her smiling as she eagerly awaits Greyson's first cry...I miss you sweet friend.
I can't begin to tell you fully what Arlene meant to me and my family.I thank the Lord for having her as a friend and a prayer warrior for Dad Golden.I am so thankful for the day when I first found her and that was at Miss Patty's. She has left a huge space in my life when she left this world and entered heaven.I am sure that she met there some of the prisoners that she visited and witnessed to here on this earth and she will eventually meet so many street people that she and Barry were so kind to and brought the gospel to. My words are so inadequate so I have put down here some of the pure gold that I have gleaned from her blog. This is Arlene and what she stood for! Thank you for setting this day apart for Arlene and letting us tell everybody how precious she was to us all...
ARLENE SAYS... It's time to thank the Lord for all He has done and is doing for me.
1.. It's time to thank you for praying for our family throughout this crisis time.
2.. It's time for us to know that God is really doing something so very special in our lives and get excited about it.
3.. It's time to connect with old friends.
4.. It's time for us to go gather the Harvest of Souls that are out there waiting for us.
5.. It's time for us to minister the healing of Jesus Christ to people that are suffering.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; surely he bore our sorrows and joys and by his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 -
and the words to the song. STOMP! STOMP! STOMP!
He is our Peace, that has broken down every wall.
He is our Peace.
He is our Peace.
He is our Peace, that has broken down every wall.
He is our Peace.
He is our Peace.
Cast all your cares on Him, for He careth for you.
He is our Peace. He is our Peace.
1. Knowing that I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ and that his angels surround me. What a wonderful Savior!
2. Having the best husband possible for me. Now don't get me wrong, he's not perfect for someone else, just me!
3. Bear being blessed with a wonderful job that pays well and has wonderful benefits. You just can't outgive God.
4. Having a family that loves me. Am and Chad. Thank God. Many families have no relationship at all.
5. Now comes the best...the grandkids. Kaitlynne (K) has always been special to me. She's our 1st and so that makes her special. She loves reading. She's pretty calm most of the time.
6. Then comes Tristin (T) what an absolute joy! He's a handful but a wonderful handful. I wouldn't change anything about him.
7. Bella - her smiles absolutely lite up my life. How could you not just love her. I love when she talks her gibberish to you. She will look you straight in the eyes and tell you something VERY important I am sure.
8. Then comes Hudsyn...hurry, hurry, hurry. Not really, but we can't wait. She's gonna be loved more than she can even imagine...if you imagine stuff like that in the womb.
9. Gracie - she is so pretty and such a little tomboy/princess. I don't see her near as often as I do the others but she is precious to me.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Oh, My Aching Bones! Today I had to go to the Cancer Center to get my blood checked. While I was there, a lady I would say was either Arabic or Indian came in. She was probably 65+ (just guessing). I heard her say to the nurse, oh, my aching bones...I ache all over...I hurt all over.....
I have not been able to get that lady off of my mind all day. I have prayed for her and ask that you do too! Don't know her name, don't know anything else about her, but she was hurting physically. I wanted to go over to her and hug her; tell her that everything would be all right. That was when I realized that if she is not a Christian it will never be all right. Wow! How many are dying and going to hell all around us and we are not praying while we could be. There are so many missed opportunities for us to pray for people.
Dear God, please never, ever let me lose compassion for my brothers and sisters or those that will be. Diligently I'm not very good with being diligent some days..how about you? I think if I were good at it, I would get more done and spend more time in reading the Word and prayer. At times I feel so inadequate, but then I realize that if I would spend more time doing what I am supposed to be doing that I would be adequate. We do what we can do and then God does the rest. It's up to Him as long as we are doing our part. There are so many scriptures regarding diligence that you would think I would "get it". Thank you God for your grace and mercy! Help me be more diligent in the Kingdom for you!Diligently Can you imagine if Jesus had never come to forgive us of our sins. Life can be hard at times now but we have that Blessed Hope. Without Jesus, we have no hope at all! We can now have hope, joy, peace and life everlasting! If you don't know Him you are more than welcome to ask Him into your heart. He will live there. I know...HE LIVES IN MINE!
I never met Arlene. Not in the physical sense of the word. But we were connected by our hearts. I am unable to count the times that I was encouraged by her words and was uplifted by her prayers. She was truly an inspiration to me, spurring me on in my faith. For her faith was unwavering - through all that she endured, her only goal was to be the best servant she could be for her Jesus. Our Jesus. One day, we'll meet face to face in Heaven and I will be able, finally, to give her a hug and hear her sweet voice and gaze into her sparkling eyes. Arlene, I miss you - especially today as I honor your memory. Borrowing from that old Andre Crouch song...."it won't be long, 'til we'll be leavin' here, it won't be long and we'll be goin' home." I'm trusting that you're saving me a seat!
Arlene was such an encourager even when she was sick. Her words live on in some of the messages she left me regarding caring for my special needs son. I will never forget her zest for life ... and bringing people to the foot of the cross to meet Jesus. Heaven must be full of orange flowers because since Arlene arrived, it's always springtime.
I came to know Arlene through her blog and loved her immediately; she showed me time and time again the precious love of Jesus....and how to live life with the blessed assurance of eternity with Him, safe in His love. The length of time I got to share with her was short, I never met her face to face, never heard her voice; but ohh how she touched my life with her heart, her words, her love and her sweet spirit....I re-visited her blog a lot this week as I was preparing this remembrance post. It is amazing the many lives she touched....and I stopped to thank God, thank you precious Lord, for blessing me with her....
Many times I like to picture her strolling the steets of gold...and I think to myself..."I can only imagine", which is why I chose this song....