Maralyn's Updates

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Scholarship Fund

To further Maralyn's legacy of spreading the Gospel of Jesus around the world, a scholarship fund has been set up in her name at Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels, Belgium. Contributions may be designated to "AGWM Memorial Fund #891166" and sent to:

Assemblies of God World Missions
1445 Boonville Avenue
Springfield, MO 65802

Monday, January 05, 2009

Thirsty for Jesus

[Written early on New Years Day 2009]

Water is essential to life, and even though food will no longer propel down my throat, I’m still drinking. Amazingly, I don’t feel hungry … but I am thirsty, and I’m drinking as much as I possibly can. Without divine intervention, I will get to heaven some time within the month.

These 18 months since my ALS diagnosis have been the worst and best of my life. Worst because of my deteriorating body … best because of my relationship with Christ.

And I’m beginning to see my friendship with Jesus like water when I’m thirsty … so essential to life. He is the real “living water” referred to in John 4:1-26.

I have many lovely friends, but I’ve never before known a Friend SO close. Every day we have smiled, laughed, and cried together. And he has comforted me. I’ve asked his opinion, and he has nodded one way or the other. His close friendship has given me many new perspectives on this earthly life that I had never considered before. He’s been closer than my skin.

This intimate friendship was essential to the writing of this blog. He nudged me and said, “Don’t plan ahead” (totally contrary to my nature). “Let me teach you as we go. I will pick the topics. Just trust me! I’ll show you what to write.”

Let me tell you, for a “Type A” girl, that was tough … at first … until I saw that he really would supply the ideas and insights. It’s been an amazing ride. So if you’ve been blessed by this blog, thank him!

The only thing that makes me sad is realizing that this intimate friendship with him has been available to me all throughout my life, and I never chose it until now. I missed it … big-time! I guess I was always so busy with my lists, projects, plans and events that I was too occupied to be open to such an idea. Oh, I did my devotions, but so often because I knew I “should.” That’s a different thing. Now I long to be with him, to feel his hug, to hear his voice, to see his smile. It’s so different.

Here’s a piece of motherly advice: Don’t wait until you have a terminal illness to seek a true friendship with Jesus. He’s ready! It takes setting aside some less important things. It takes listening. It takes openness. But it’s so worth it! I hope you become literally thirsty for Jesus.

Soon I’ll be in heaven, and it will be great to see the scenery, gardens and mansions. It will be great to hear the singing and see what’s on the banquet tables. BUT! I can tell you, the thing I’m most looking forward to is meeting my Best Friend face-to-face for the very first time. I’m trying to imagine the thrill.…

Postscript: Seventy-two hours after writing this, Maralyn Mathias peacefully left this earth to meet her Lord. Her ability to swallow had stopped shortly after completing the above paragraphs. Nevertheless, she remained alert and even communicating with her husband, Jim, and other family members until her final 20 minutes of life. Her last breath was drawn at 10:35 a.m. on Sunday, January 4. She was 59 years old.

Her memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 10, at 10 a.m. at Christian Life Fellowship, Port Edwards, Wis. Visitation will occur at the church on the previous evening (Friday) from 4 to 7 p.m. and again on Saturday morning starting at 9 a.m.

A scholarship in Maralyn’s name will soon be established at Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels, Belgium, where she and Jim served 1987-2000. The specific account for receiving memorial gifts (in lieu of flowers, please) will be announced shortly by e-mail to all subscribers of this blog.