A couple of months ago I got an email that simply read. . . “I think it’s time you get back to Word Warriors. I love you Baby”
Here goes. . .
Tomorrow, I will sit on a church pew that is 30-something years comfortable to me. . . I will hold my strong Hand for comfort as I watch my sweet Daddy read his best friends eulogy. . . I will watch my baby brother as he with great honor shows tender respect and responsiblity in attending to an earthly vessel. . . I will watch two amazing young men say goodbye to THE greatest man they have ever known. . . I will look with compassion and love to a beautiful lady who never left her best friends side. . . I will watch a Mother do the unspeakable. . . I will watch a village mourn for someone considered without-a-doubt, “cooler than the other side of the pillow”. . . I will mourn. . . I will rejoice. . . I will praise The ONE who shared such a sweet spirit. . .
How can I honor him? How can I honor HIM?
I can’t finish without sharing a little history. . . you see I can’t think of a time in my life when he wasn’t there. He’s been there since the beginning, (I know this because he has told me a million times) we met for the first time at Bessemer Carraway almost 35 years ago. He was in his hospital gown. . . I was in my hospital gown. . . it was love at first site! 😉 Really! Looking back, I remember weekends at their little house on Park Road ~ Momma, Daddy, Scott, Robin, Donnetta, Ralph, Taco Bell. . . and me the center of it all! I think of Emma Mae getting upset when people leave for the evening, I did the very same thing. Not ever wanting it to end. I have had such a wonderful life, so blessed. . . With such sweet memories, I remember there were a few hard times as well. I have the greatest parents in the whole wide world. . . we’ve been through a lot together. Ralph and his family were ALWAYS a constant for me during my LIFE. He NEVER spoke an unkind word, he always LOVED! Always! What a testimony! Such good times. . . Oh man, and how they would laugh when the boys would start out on one end of the room and plow towards me at the other, tackling me to the ground with giggles! (I wouldn’t try that now!) Oh my, and over the years how he has loved. He has poured that same love and kindness over my sweet husband and the precious family that we created. They adored him. My mind jumps between the years. As I write, I am just flooded with memories. . .
I remember when he called. . . he wanted the news to come from him. My first thought, the boys. All the love he had poured over me in 34 years, I couldn’t imagine what he had given to them. They were his heart.
I know it must have been a difficult road for him. Scared, lonely, hopeful, uncertainty. But we would get these snippets, these little stories from him of hope, peace, witnessing. From what I knew, he wanted to make a difference. He wanted to tell people his story. He wanted to tell people about a man named Jesus and how HIS love and peace passes all understanding. He wanted to go out and make a difference with his story. Sunday night as he stood before I AM he heard, “Well done my child, my good and faithful servant. You told a wonderful story.”
What can I take from this? How can his story change me? How can I honor Bubba? How can I give God the glory?
Funny thing. . . Monday was the beginning of a 90 day journey of renewal for mind, body and spirit. Helping me become the woman I want to be. . . What better way to turn this sorrow into joy. So for starters, I am gonna stick to this little Word Warriors here. . . He thought it was worth it and I think he is worth it! And I know HE is worth it! So, I’ll be here on Wednesdays sharing with you all how God is working in my life and encouraging you to hide HIS Word in your hearts. Stop by if you get a chance. I am going to strive to Become the WOMAN I Want To Be And I am gonna give God every day, every hour, every minute, every second, every part and pray that I let Him use me to tell a good story! I am going to encourage others to not take anything for granted. To live for the finish line. It just begins at the finish line!
Heaven rejoices with your arrival! I will always think of you my sweet precious friend. . . you will ALWAYS be in my heart. I look to the day when you can tell me again. . .
I think my pastor said it best. . . “Earlier this evening, June 12, a lone voice drowned out the heavenly host from the Eastern gate to the throne of God proclaiming there’s just something about that name. Brother Ralph’s earthly voice fell silent as he joined the blood bought choir in glory.”
Well Bubba. . . there you go. For you! For HIM!
The kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. 2 Corinthians 7:10
Great post Natalie. Praying for family and friends of Ralph.
I love you Nat, your words blessed me this morning! I am so honored to have you as my friend and the words you wrote about Bubba, is the way I feel about you…always there, never wavering! Love you my friend!
We’ll miss you Bubba! Love ya, Matt
Nat, I know he is looking down on all of us with our tears and he has a huge smile on his face, totally healed and rejoicing. He loved you so much. Jeanne
Ralph Gallups was a lucky man to have had you as a friend also. Lovely tribute, he would have loved it. You are such a lovely lady and I count it an honor to have known you both from birth. Age has some rewards. Lynn Crim
What a beautiful, heartfelt tribute to Bubba. I’m sure that he was an amazing man, and a friend to all. And now I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, why I was “taken aback” by your presence the morning we met at WDJC…I believe that line from the movie goes, “You had me at hello.” What an amazing heart…
I went to bed early but could not sleep so I got up and got on facebook. Boy am I glad I ran across this and at first just skipped over and something made me go back and click on it. What a wonderful message. I have to tell you that this is my third day of the 90 day journey and at first I thought I can not do this but God spoke to me and said Yes You Can, I will help you. Tonight before I went to bed I did day three and in the pray I wrote “Dear God thank you for Natalie encouraging me to start this journey.” I am so glad you are in my life, I love you and your precious family.
Beautiful words. I Love You.
What a wonderful tribute to a man who apparetly loved till his last breath was taken on earth. A glorious song is being lead by a voice that I loved to hear…”Oh what a Saviour”. Heartfelt love to family and friends as you learn to cope with daily life without your friend and family member. Just know that the reunion will be sweeter then the departure. No more pain no more worries, no more waiting. I love you Natalie and your words will soothe many. May God bless you on your journey! Marilyn
[…] been THREE WEEKS. . […]