Wednesday, January 26, 2011


For the last few weeks I have been struggling deeply with the Mercy Promise that God made me.

It hasn’t been feeling like He’s being merciful. It felt to me like He wasn’t keeping His promise. His promise wasn't making any sense.

For nearly two years I have been trying to guess what the fulfillment of this promise would look like in my life, and at times I thought I knew, but I was wrong.

This morning, I was talking with my wise (and wonderful) hospice nurse and God used our conversation to show me what the fulfillment of His mercy promise will look for me. (And if I’m wrong, He will forgive me for thinking I know, but this time I’m sure that this is something He has shown me).

This morning my nurse and I had our usual reporting/reflecting/question session. Toward the end of our conversation, I said that based on how dramatically my body has changed just in the last week, and how fast my body is deteriorating, I can’t imagine that it will be more than a few more weeks, or a month at most, before I go Home.

She responded by agreeing that things are happening rapidly and said she didn’t know how long my body will tolerate it’s current condition, she said she didn’t know if my body will try to tolerate it because I’m so ready and because I’m so at peace with “dying.”

As I was reflecting on her comment, which I found very encouraging, I felt like I finally understood what the Mercy Promise means.

It means that because of the work God has done in my spirit, mind, and body over the last two years, my parts are all unified. So as I continue to deteriorate physically, my mind and spirit won’t fight my body and cause all of the physical chaos that people with terminal illnesses so often experience.

Instead, as my body deteriorates, it will be free to do it in a gentle and peaceful way, with permission from and my mind and spirit.

I picture myself moving with ease and grace from life to Life. I don’t see a huge “fight,” or a horrendous “struggle,” I don’t see any massive issues to be afraid of, and I am not afraid—I’m not afraid to wait for the right time and I’m not afraid to Transition.

And yes, I am suffering. Yes, I am in pain. Yes, last night I wretched so hard it made my something in my lower spine/right hip (the one that already hurts a lot) crack or pop so loudly I both heard it and felt it, and the pain was so excruciating that I had to get help lifting my legs onto my bed.

Yes, my physical situation is grim, but it is not nearly as grim as many of those with terminal cancer. Yes, it could be infinitely worse.

It is such a huge gift to understand this.
It is, in itself, such a miracle to be given such a clear idea of what His promise to me means.

And, as always, thank you so very much for all of your thoughtful and encouraging comments, and for your prayer for me and my family. We are very thankful.

In His Grip, Martha


  1. Still here. Still praying. <3

    Much, much love.

  2. In the midst of your pain, I'm so grateful for your kindness to us to continue posting how the Lord is meeting you. Still praying for physical mercy in your Transition; rejoicing with you for God's eternal mercies and freedom from fear.

    Was encouraged by this sermon on Sunday at church and post it as an encouragement to anyone who needs to hear or be reminded that Jesus Himself will wipe away every, individual tear from each of our eyes.

    Love you, dear Martha! Can't wait to experience the other side with you!

  3. i am so thankful for your hospice team, martha, especially this particular one who is so wise. and i am thankful that her words comforted you and that you are again peaceful. thank you for letting us come to the door with you!

  4. praying and praying... so happy that you have found the meaning in "mercy promise." i hope that the "jouney to the door," with God's help, has given you the love and guidace, i know he has given you the courage... praying and praying... praying for all of you. forever in my heart, i admire you for all that you are and the gift you have given to me to understand the spirituality of a dying woman. praying and praying for you and your family forever.

  5. Martha, I am continuing to pray for you and your wonderful family. Steve and Cameron join me in prayer for you and in sending you their heartfelt wishes for peace and the realization of the mercy promise of which you write so eloquently. What a blessing to be your friend--I am so thankful! I love you! Carol

  6. Sweet friend,

    I believe as you do that all the work you have done to this point will allow you to transition with ease and grace.

    I am so sorry to hear about the retching incident. That sounds awful.

    Bless your heart for your patience. May relief come soon for you. May you be free of suffering as you wait for freedom.

    I think of you every day.


  7. Martha, I woke up in the middle of the night and immediately began praying for you, for you to find rest and sleep, for you to be without pain, for Our Father to take you Home. Although I will miss you terribly here, I so look forward to spending eternity together, no more tears, no more stress, no more pain, just a whole lot of Love and time forever with our Savior! I love you Martha, Annie

  8. Martha--

    Following are the lyrics to a favorite song by Jonathan David Helser that you can hear at I don't know any other worship leader more in love with Jesus than Jonathan, and I pray his lyrics bless you and deepen your intimacy with your Abba. And I thank God that He WILL do immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine because of His great love for you. Please call if I can help. Love,

    I close my eyes
    Everything disappears but Your smile
    I raise my hands
    On a cliff I stand
    Arms open wide
    You're the Father, I'm the child
    You whisper to me,
    Step off the edge
    Leave it all behind, leave it all behind
    Cut loose, cut loose the ties
    Let go, let go!

    For way too long I've settled for these lies
    When so much more has been waiting on the other side
    I think it's time we cross this river so wide
    Leave these shores, step off the edge
    Leave it all behind, leave it all behind
    Cut loose, cut loose the ties
    Let go, let go!

    Fly! Fly! You can fly!
    Leave the ground, leave the ground
    Go and fly!
    This is what you, you were meant to fly!
    Through the wind in the trees
    Through the wind, through the wind in the trees
    Through the wind, through the wind in the trees
    Oh, the leaves are dancing
    Oh, the leaves are dancing
    Healing, healing, healing
    Healing power is coming down
    Healing power is coming down
    Healing sound, the healing sound is coming down

    It's just me and You
    It's just me and You, Papa
    It's just me and You in this place,
    It's just me and You and Your face
    I cannot hear any other voices but Yours, but Yours
    It's just me and You, God
    It’s just me and You, God
    What I once was, what I once was
    I’ll never be again
    I’m becoming the dream, the dream of God
    Eden, the garden is right here, right now
    All I can see is You smiling, smiling over me, oh God
    It's beautiful

  9. Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My (Jesus')witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth."

    Praises to our awesome Lord for glorifying Himself through your testimony to His faithfulness and hope in Him! love you lots and lots!!! M & D

  10. Martha,
    Your honesty and faith blows me away. What a huge impact you have made upon me in the short time I have known you. If only we could all be more like you, more real, more true, more legit. The way you phrase and explain things makes so much sense and speaks to my heart. You are amazing and I pray for you to get home soon. You are one fabulous woman!!
    Susan M.

  11. 5:30am the other day i was up thinking about you...
    praying for you.
    waiting with you...

  12. Sending you lots of love and hugs.


  13. Dearest Martha-
    I am only now finding out about your cancer. You are a brave and wonderful girl and I am praying for your comfort and strength. What an intense time this has been for you, and how beautifully you are handling it - and I am learning from you. Many hugs and much love. I wish you peace. Paula Cash

  14. I love you Martha - asking Jesus for strength for you to finish the race. He's coming for you, and He has a crown to give you...


  15. Martha,

    Thank you so much for the gift of your words and thoughts. Your faith gives me courage in the face of my own fear of death. I am praying the mercy prayer with you. I will say it now...Abba Father, have mercy on Martha, your beloved child. In the name of Christ our only hope, Amen.

    I love you, Martha. I will keep praying.


  16. Praying for you Martha. Your words and thoughts are a gift to me. Your courage helps me confront my own fears about death. Thank you for sharing with all of us...not normally an easy thing for an introvert to do.

    I will say the mercy prayer with you. Abba Father, have mercy on Martha, your beloved child.

    I love you, Martha. I will keep praying.


  17. Praying with you, Martha. Abba Father, have mercy on Martha, your beloved child. In the strong name of Christ, Amen.

    I love you, Martha. I will keep praying.


  18. You are going to be the first one to meet our 2 siblings in Heaven! And your nephews, Brandon, and Isaac. L

  19. Dear, Dear Martha - Daughter of The King,

    ONLY HE can fully relate to your great suffering and carry you through it - to HIM! Praise HIM. Bless YOU. Thank you for your prolonged open sharing of your desires, your brave and Godly suffering, your creativity, your wonderful family, so much . . .

    We pray in support of what is on your heart real-time. We look forward to your friendship in Heaven! May Jesus brighten your heart as He shares your load walking by your side.

    In His Love for You & Your Family,
    Dave and Lucille (CCC)

    Isa 26: 3, 4

  20. I've felt led to pray for you more frequently. Based on the number of comments people are posting, it seems others are too. I truly believe that you are almost at the door. I can't imagine that it will be long.

    It will be bittersweet to let you go. You have touched my life more than you could ever know. Thanks for sharing each wonderful, terrible, and inspiring moment with us.

    God is faithful, and His timing is perfect. You are such a powerful witness for Him, and we have been so very blessed. Maybe He has a few more people to reach through your life. I'll keep praying until you're home. It won't be long. You will finish the race! I'm cheering you on!

    May God bless you and be exceedingly merciful to you,
    Love, Lori & Sydney