Easter 2011 (By My Mother, Jody Macallister)
Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of any eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality….
Dear Friends and Family,
Though most everyone knows of Mark’s move to Heaven, some of you will be receiving this news for the first time. Others will be getting the Macallister Easter letter for the first time BECAUSE you know of Mark’s move and because you’ve touched my life in some way recently. All I can say is, “Yes it’s true,” and “Thank you,” respectively.
This last year has been … hmm…. Hard. And I can’t bear to rehash it. All I will say is the Macallisters attempted to make some changes in 2010 that we’d hoped would bring Mark relief for his back pain and relief for the accompanying depression which intensified over the past few years. It was a long, arduous process and, at least from a human perspective, it seems a failure. – But God has been working on my spiritual eyes and, at times, I get glimpses of HIS perspective. Our Loving Father welcomed Mark home on January 7th. The kids and I cry and rejoice as varied waves roll.
Many of you have written wonderful tributes to Mark and have either sent them to me or posted them on blogs or Facebook. I can’t tell you how much they have meant to Levi, Bree and me. Many of you have sent heart-felt messages via cards and gifts that have expressed the love of Jesus in amazing ways. (Jehovah Jireh has provided for our needs above and beyond through you.) – I have yet to really sit down and read through all the mail and all the notes written at the Celebration Service to be put into a Memory Book. Some things I guess I’m just not ready for right now, - plus I’ve been really busy… Not to minimize our grieving and sadness in anyway, but to share with you the awesomeness of our God, - He also gave us a wedding! And what a wedding it was! Levi and Brandi entered their marriage covenant on April 2nd so we’ve experienced the gamut of emotions in a few short months. I’m glad the most recent was full of joy and true celebration. I truly wish we would have live-streamed the wedding like the Memorial … You would have smiled and laughed along with us at the unique display of tradition in ceremony, attire, and reception. Have to say the Macallisters had an absolute blast!! Thank you Jesus! – Levi and Brandi will be living on the road for an indefinite time period doing what they love: sharing the Goodness of God with young people through poetry and musical performance. – You can track them (and discover if they’re anywhere near you) by Googling Levi the Poet, if you’re interested.
Bree has been a REAL trooper these past several months persevering in her schooling and job when I wouldn’t have blamed her had she not. I’m so proud of her. She will complete her AA this summer and then the jury is out as to what’s next. The options are wide open. – She’s recently been sought out for several photo shoots by local and national photographers who have captured her beauty (not just a biased mom speaking!) in some great New Mexico settings! I’m proud of her in this arena, also, as she’s turned down opportunities that haven’t jived with her set standards. :o) Praise God! – And one other thing: Bree has a new beau – Matt Janssen, a very nice guy who has come along at a very good time. God is Good!
And for me, - all I know is to live faithfully, fully in each day and to take one step at a time. Many days I feel like I’m living in a very strange world, out of sorts; other days there is an actual excitement about what God is going to “work for good” in, for and through me from this season I’ve just experienced. I can’t imagine… But this I do know: He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him until that day. (2 Tim 1;12). So whatever is ahead is handcrafted by Him and is good for me. Jesus loves me this I know!
Before I close, I want to offer my own tribute to Mark, my husband and friend of 26 yrs:
Mark was a God-pursuer. Someone once said to him, “You’re a good man.” He came home and told me he didn’t want to be a good man, but a Godly man. This was his hope. Now he didn’t pursue perfectly; he was wired more like a Martha than a Mary and this troubled him often. He regularly battled the tyranny of urgent needs both at home and abroad. He was quick to “be there” for the hurting and oppressed, sometimes to his own detriment when he’d be overwhelmed with weariness. And yet the Lord blessed Mark’s selflessness and much fruit exists today because of it. By God’s strength showing up in weakness, many have benefitted. – For me personally, I know I am a better person today because of Mark and the way he challenged me to love the Lord with all my strength, and soul and mind. He pushed me to do things I sometimes didn’t want to do (grrr :o)), and then I’d feel empowered for having accomplished them!! (Geez!) - Mark loved Levi, Bree and me dearly. He was profoundly amazed the Lord allowed him to have a wife and kids. He often expressed this awe to us verbally or in little notes and cards that he was so good at writing. – Mark battled his “monsters” like we all do, sometimes defeated, sometimes victorious. In all, he always believed the truth of the Gospel message, and I know this is now credited to him as righteousness. – I miss Mark and will miss him for a long time to come, but I’m thankful his race is over and that he’s now adoring the Pursuit of his life – the Savior that we celebrate this Easter season. Praise God for the shedding of blood, the only acceptable sacrifice for sin, at Calvary. Praise Him for buying Mark’s salvation and my salvation and yours. Amazing, Unfathomable Love! Praise Jesus for the Joy set before us ….
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true:
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 1 Cor 15: 51-54
Because He Lives, Jody