Maralyn's Updates

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.


Blogger PetRaP said...

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the wonderful blessing and inspiration Maralyn was to so many of us... to me. Her life was a great tool in your hands - may her death bring you even greater glory. Hold near those who grieve, those who were closest to her. And help us to remember all we have learned from her.

Thank you, Jesus, for the thirst she passed to me...

7:25 PM  
Blogger sidewinder said...

Thank you Lord for placing Maralyn at Crooked Lake Elementary and putting me in her class. She was a great teacher and still continues to teach me. She has shown such great faith and has helped me to know You better. I am so grateful for the faith to know what we will meet each other again one day in Heaven and praise You.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Teddybear said...

Thank you Lord for Maralyn, I have only known her 2 months but it feels like a lifetime. Thank you for putting Maralyn in my life through her blog, she has been an inspiration to me. May her life live on through her words so beautifully written.

Thank you for our connection. Love Deb

9:36 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Goodbye Maralyn!

We thank the Lord for your life, and thank the Lord that it was soon and over!

Love, Hugs, Kisses,
Benni, Nupur, & Eric.

5:09 AM  
Blogger Eerika said...

My dearest Jesus, I want to know You the way that Maralyn did. Please teach me how. Thank you that You took her home! I know heaven is rejoicing...I wish I could see how happy they all are to have her, and for her to sing again!! I can't wait to see her again. I can't wait to meet You. Lord, please comfort Jim and be the support that he needs in the deep places that only You can touch. I know that You are enough for on us all to lift him and the family in prayer if they feel that they can't.

Thank You Lord.

9:27 AM  
Blogger themsa said...

Goodbye Maryln you were a blessing to me

9:28 AM  
Blogger Baseball season is almost here DGoerzen said...

Thanks to Jim and Maralyn for their life of service together. God bless all of your family and friends.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Dr. James O. Lowell said...

I am listening to the song "You're all I want, You're all I need"... I know that this is what Maralyn wanted was to be with Jesus. What a grand reunion she is having in heaven with those dear to her, who went on before her, but most of all to be with her Lord and Savior. What a life well lived! She made an impact on so many lives, including mine. I will greatly miss her but look forward to the day when I will see her again in glory. My thoughts and prayers are with you Jim, David, Paul and families. May God be your comfort and strength in the days ahead. Love, Jeanne

11:56 AM  
Blogger Lakshmi Navnith said...

Goodbye Maralyn...thank you for being a great friend. You were a great inspiration to everyone around you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Jim. Love Lakshmi & Navneeth.

12:24 PM  
Blogger thehsmomof3 said...

Aunt Maralyn showed me a beautiful way to live and now a beautiful way to move into life in eternity with Jesus. I thank God for having placed her in my life during all these years, and I anxiously await the day I will join her in that Perfect Place....heaven is so much sweeter with her there.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Kim Denyes said...

As I read the last posting, the verse from Psalms 116 verse 15 came to mind. "Precious (important and no light matter) in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Godly ones." Maralyn went to God as one who knew this temporarily home was not home.
Perhaps she was holding Jim's hand, only to discovery it was now God's hand. She took a breath and found it was "celestial" air. She took and step, and it was Heaven golden streets (inspirited by "Finally Home"). I am praying for you, Jim, that God's comfort will surround you and press in. Lovingly, Kim Denyes

1:16 PM  
Blogger snswoods said...

Maralyn, thank you for your obediance to God in your blogging. The wisdom of your words can only come from someone who knows they are in the last chapter of their life. Thank you for passing it to those of us who don't know what chapter we are in. The relationship you described with your Lord is so desireable to me. I love my Jesus, but I want to feel like He is as close to me as my skin. I am sorry I did not get to visit you in your last days. I thought I would be invading the privacy of all of your family and friends. I wanted to tell you my own testimony and sing a song for you, He Knows My Name. I know you don't mind that I didn't make it over. We have an eternity to get to know one another some day. I will be sure to take goodies across the street to Jim whenever I can. Thank you for your light Maralyn.
Stephanie Woods

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a friend of a friend (Busick) and my father has ALS. I'm certain God is behind why I was sent to your blog. Thank you! I will read it often. I have already learned so much.

4:40 PM  
Blogger blessedbyabunch said...

My mom has been sharing with me about Maralyn's miraculous ministry during this illness. I remember Maralyn as I used to babysit for the boys when they were young and I always thought she was one of the happiest and most beautiful women I ever met. Tears streamed as I read her blog this morning. I only hope that my life leaves the indelible mark hers has left on so many.


12:46 PM  
Blogger MR&MRSW said...

Thanks Maralyn for blessing us, and so many others, through this blog! Your story is a testimony to others of God and his love. We´ve been so blessed to know you and Jim, and we will miss you a lot. We´ll be praying for Jim and your family. May they know the LORD's peace and joy as they grieve your departure.

With Love,

Johanna and Tim Walker

8:05 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I miss you Maralyn. I am glad you are in heaven with Jesus, but you have left a hole in our hearts since you left. Thank you for being such a great friend. Your blog has made me feel excited about meeting Jesus face to face. It's comforting to know that someday when I get to heaven, you will be there too--probably giving tours of the place...maybe even taking pictures (smile)

9:47 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Jim you are in my prayers, I have been where you are right now and I know it is hard. Praise God for the wonderful way He has used Marilyn's illness to testify to so many people. She like my dad is gloriously happy now with a voice and body that works perfectly.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Farewell Maralyn and rest in peace my beloved friend. Maralyn,
Jim, Paul, and David. You guys are in my thoughts almost daily.

Your friend Ben Grönlund (Who would love to get in touch with you)

8:47 AM  
Blogger Bengt said...

Almost a year, Maralyn is still in my thoughts. Isnt it amazing that a english teacher can give more impact in ones life than a doctor in theology?


10:51 AM  

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