Tribute to Jewel

To find a lifetime friend who will pray faithfully is a rare gift. God granted me such a person about 30 years ago. We volunteered together at a pregnancy crisis center. I edited her books, and we prayed together. When I moved away from that town, she continued to pray for me and my son. Every couple of weeks, we exchanged letters.

“How is your son?” she always asked. “Have you published another book yet?” “How are your writings?”

She wrote about her family so that I could pray for them as well. Our mother hearts exchanged prayers, and we encouraged each other as we waited for God’s answers. I told her about my writing ideas, another conference where I taught or the rough draft of the latest book I worked on. She prayed and asked the same question in every letter.

“Have you published a book? How are your writings?”

She taught me so much about living in joy. Sparks of wisdom danced in her eyes, and every time I saw her – I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. Even as she aged, she never forgot how to share God’s love with me. When her back hurt and she needed surgery on her eyes, she stayed in joy. Her faith never wavered. I wondered if her middle name was “Perseverance.”

Sometimes on my way to visit Oklahoma family, I stopped to see her. We hugged and laughed. We prayed together. I gave her one of my latest books and knew in a couple of weeks, she would write me again.

“Have you published a book? How are your writings?”

This Easter, I sent her a card with my letter inside. “I’m so excited,” I wrote. “Guest what? I signed a contract for my novel. It should be published this year. Thank you so much for your prayers.”

But she never opened the card. She never read the letter. Her family sent the card back with a note attached, “Jewel passed away March 19th.”

I wept and still grieve. My special friend and intercessor – the woman who prayed specifically for my words – gone. I will miss her letters and her friendship, but most of all – those prayers.

All I can do now is ask God to tell Jewel how much she meant to me. “Tell her, Jesus. Tell her, please, that my book will be published. Her prayers made a difference in my life.”

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