Morning Has Come….

When I got up yesterday morning, I knew it was going to be the day. I just had a feeling in my spirit. I’ve learned to respond to those feelings because God has done this for me the entire time Clay has been sick. I texted the nurse early and told her Clay’s breathing had been difficult in the night.

He actually called my name a few times when he was hurting to take a deep breath. This morning, as I’m typing those words, I’m realizing that the Lord did that so I could remember the last time I heard him say, “Kristy.” It was sweet because, in his pain, he wanted me. He always wanted me. Close. He wanted to sit right beside me at every table we ever sat at. He wanted me in the same room with him if we were at a party. He wanted me right beside his lazy boy if we were at home. He always wanted to be with me. And, I always wanted him.

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My mom had spent the night with me, so we were drinking our coffee on the balcony with the doors to the bedroom wide open when the nurse arrived. It was such a beautiful morning. The birds were chirping, the wind was blowing, and the sun was shining. Julie looked at Clay and took his vitals. She couldn’t get a blood pressure. So, I knew these words were coming, but I couldn’t have imagined how it would feel to actually hear them.

“It’s probably going to be today.”

Y’all, there are so many requests I’ve made to the Lord during this time. When I pray, I always say, “Lord, you know best, so I want your will, but these are the things I think I want….” I didn’t want Clay to pass in the night. I didn’t want to be alone. I wanted Dr. Gummadi to be here. I wanted our family here. I wanted the kids right by his side. I didn’t want to be surprised. I wanted it to be peaceful. I wanted to be singing and praying and holding hands. I wanted our Pastors to be here. I wanted to feel the presence of God. I wanted worship music playing. I wanted to be holding Clay’s head because I’ve known that Jesus has been holding his head this entire time.

All of that happened. It was the hardest, most excruciating feeling, but all my desires were met.

Our close family started arriving around 11:00 am. We left the doors open almost all day for the fresh air to come in. We laughed, cried, told some stories, talked about Clay’s life. There was plenty of food for everyone and we all just lingered with him. I read him my devotional for the day. It was written just for us. It’s crazy how God does that. The book was written in the ’50’s, but the entry on September 12 was exactly what we needed to hear that day.

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At about 6:20, I asked everyone to step out of the room so me and the kids could be alone with Clay for a minute. The four of us got close to him and loved on him. I talked to the kids about heaven and what was going to happen. They had a chance to ask me questions that were on their minds that they didn’t want to ask in front of people. It was a very precious 20 minutes. We cried and told him we love him.

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Just as I told Sam to tell everyone they could come back, his breathing changed. Ben ran to tell Dr. G, while Grace and I just held his hands. I told her, “This is it, Grace. This is it.” Clay’s cousin Amy texted me this morning that it seemed like Clay was waiting for that moment alone with us before he could let go.

He labored to breathe for a while. The sound was uncomfortable. I reminded the kids that Dr. G had told us repeatedly that he can’t feel anything at this point. So, although it sounds bad, he’s not hurting. But I started praying right away. Lord, please take the sound away. Let it be peaceful.

After a while, I got right in his ear and started singing…

What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see….

Clay’s mom had just come down the day before and she sang that to him while he laid in the bed. It came right to my mind and I just started singing it to him. He calmed down almost immediately. The breathing became quiet. Still labored, but quiet. His last breath wasn’t even very pronounced. He just quietly took it and we waited to see if he would breath again. I laid my head on his chest and heard one beat. Then nothing.

As soon as I thought he was really gone, an alarm started going off in the room. I am so perturbed by cell phones interrupting quiet moments. But, not this time. It was my “Take the trash out alarm” that goes off every Tuesday night at 7 pm. Y’all. He died almost exactly at 7 pm. 7 is God’s number. What a wonderful thought. God knew exactly when He wanted to bring Clay home.

This morning, I’m sitting in my bedroom, reading your Facebook comments and text messages, while my three beautiful children sleep beside me. God blessed me with some really great kids. They are strong. What they experienced yesterday was something most kids their age will never dream of. But, I trust God to use it in their lives to accomplish something great.

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I keep thinking about how Clay had no regrets. My cousin, Lori, called me a while back and said that to me. It got me really thinking about how Clay had time to tell everyone how he felt, see everyone he wanted to see, tell the world about Jesus, go to the places he wanted to go, spend time with his family. He died with no regrets. No words unspoken. No lose ends. Nothing undone. What a blessing.

 

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We are finalizing the details, but his services will most likely be this Friday evening and Saturday. Times to be announced. The services will be held at Healing Place Church. We would love for you to come and take part in this celebration of a life lived well. I will post all the details soon.

I leave you with this amazing thought that just came to me. We took these family photos about 5 weeks ago. Ashleigh Cormier (Ashleigh Jayne Photography) did such a beautiful job on them. She took this last picture of us together that day. It was her idea. She just told us, “Ok, for the last shot, I need you all up on that hill right there.” Clay was tired and he looked at me like he wasn’t sure he could make it to the top. But, we held hands and made it up there.

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This morning, when I looked at it, I was reminded of the blog I wrote almost a year ago titled, “Morning Will Come And I will Stand On A Hill.” It’s a powerful message God used to comfort us. And, what a beautiful thought for me now. The morning has come, and we are standing on a hill. We’ve crossed over the sea. The night has ended and the pillar of fire led us to the other side. We are standing on a hill, watching our enemy get washed away by the floods of the Red Sea. He thought he would win, but he is defeated.

Clay is with Jesus, and the four of us will continue on. There are more battles ahead, as we take our Promised Land. There are more hard days ahead. But, God just brought us across the Red Sea and completely wiped out our enemy. There is no giant too big. No task too great.

We will go on. And, we will see our promise. Morning has come.

 

45 thoughts on “Morning Has Come….

  1. Jane Guy says:

    God Bless you and your family. Clay left a wonderful legacy for his children. What a great memory of a Godly Father and Godly husband. Please don’t stop letting us know how y’all are doing. I have never met you but hope to one day. You are truly an inspiration to all. As I sit here and cry. I am reminded of the peace and joy Clay is experiencing. God Bless you all!!

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  2. Debbie Nelson says:

    I will continue to pray for you and your pre cloud family. And will always be grateful for every word that you have written during your journey!

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  3. Marcelle Nipper says:

    I read your blog with tears of sadness and tears of joy running down my face at the same time! I have nothing to offer but to say, I love you all and am praying for God’s comfort and peace for the road ahead. You are in the best hands, the God of all comfort. What better place to be! I rejoice in our Savior, knowing that Clay is healed and is with Jesus; and prayerfully, one day soon, we will all be with again!

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  4. Bonnie Dakan says:

    Your blog has put into words many things I felt and saw 9 years ago when my husband Bill went to be with Jesus- Love never ends- Faith will hold you up- and Jesus never ever leaves us. I have kept tight hold of His hand every day of those 9 years-He is Faithful!! Praising God for the Love, Life and Years you shared with Clay. Please be comforted by knowing there are many of us out here who have walked your path and are and will be lifting you and your family up to God!!❤️❤️❤️

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  5. Linda Winters says:

    Someone made a comment that you should write a book about your families experiences during this time of love lost and love gained. I think that would be a wonderful idea. I’ve never met you or your family but my heart goes out to all of you. One of my best friends also just lost her husband to the same cancer. Steve was such a blessing to everyone whoever knew him just as I’m sure that Clay was the same way. They both will be missed greatly by family and friends. I pray that God grants both of you, wives and best friends to these two men, the peace that can only come from him, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

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  6. Michelle Pierce says:

    I don’t know you personally but I see we have many mutual friends. I have followed your journey off and on through your blog posts our friends have shared. In the night before Clay went home I could not sleep, I kept waking every hour or so from hazy dreams. At some point a voice in my dreamy brain clearly said, I need you to wake up and pray for Clay and his family. In all honesty, I was thinking, “who? I don’t think I know a Clay” but the dream persisted and I realized this was for you. I was half asleep but I prayed for many of the things that were on your wish list for how this precious morning would go. I’m glad you had your bittersweet, perfect good bye. I wish I had known your Clay. He sounds like a lovely man. I will continue to pray for you and your children.

    Michelle Pierce
    Geauxpierce4@gmail.com

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  7. claudia stoll says:

    GOD BLESS you ALL!!!!!! what an adventure………My thoughts and prayers are with you ALL!!!!!
    The world events tell me you all will not be separated for long……
    GOD continue to BLESS you!!
    claudia

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  8. Roxanne Alonzo Atkinson says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us….those who knew you and those of us who are friends of your wonderful extended family. Your experiences and how you reacted to each one strengthened my own faith walk. We are sisters in the Kingdom, Kristy….may Father God continue to speak through you. With love in my name and His!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. natiekeithgmailcom says:

    Your strength, faith and trust in the Lord during this time and the times ahead are so admirable and inspiring. My Faith is strengthen EVERYTIME I read your blogs. You are a amazing daughter of our King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s. Our Pa-Pa is so proud of you and I am blessed by you in so many ways. Thank you for allowing us to walk this out with you and your family. His legacy remains and will continue to bring others to a deeper walk with our Father! Praise Jesus!

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  10. Gail Sides says:

    Kristy, I was not expecting to receive your gift so soon after losing Clay. Like a beautifully wrapped present, your entries appeared in my inbox and I could not wait, each time to read them. Your spiritual depth and wisdom have been and will continue, to bless my life. Through the dark valleys, the light of Christ shown through, God has blessed you, even during your darkest day. Thank you for sharing your heart. Our prayers are with you and your family.

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  11. Amanda Boulton says:

    What a Godly heritage and legacy of Jesus all of you have shown and continue to show the whole world. Thank you for allowing God to use Clay, you, and your sweet kids for His glory. I know that there will be tough days ahead but thank the Lord for His everlasting love and His peace. I pray now that He will cover you and comfort you during this time. I keep thinking how wonderful it must be that Clay got to see Jesus. I know he will be missed by many especially his family. We love you. We are here for all of you for as long as you need us.

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  12. Mary Furlow says:

    Yes, sweet Kristy — Morning has come!!!!
    We all will continue to walk with you and your precious children.
    As I was praying for Clay yesterday evening the lamp by my prayer chair started to blink off & on..
    A few minutes later I received a call that Clay had gone to be with Jesus.
    I found comfort with that blinking light knowing Clay was now with The Lord.
    Stay strong !!!
    I love you so so much,
    Aunt Mary

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  13. Trisha Garrett says:

    May GOD bless and comfort you and your beautiful children in the days ahead.
    I don’t know you, but your post is so honest and heartfelt!

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  14. Cynthia Young Venable says:

    Thank the LORD for His dying grace shown to Clay! He will never leave us nor forsake us, and I will keep your family in my prayers during these coming difficult days of transition. Praise the Lord for giving you so much talent in writing and composing and sharing as we fellowshiped together with you during the worst season anyone could suffer through. I thank the Lord for Clay’s cousin, Emily Jobe, for first sharing with us her prayer burden for your family, and connecting us to you through this blog. Please keep us this ministry which has meant so much to me and all our Choir at Greenwell Springs Baotist Church!
    Cynthia Young Venable
    momcys@aol.com

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  15. Angela Creel says:

    Your words and strength are unlike anything I have ever witnessed. My son went to Victory with Sam and we were heartbroken to hear of Clays illness. I remember how kind and patient he was when he helped coach basketball. Your family will forever be in our hearts and prayers.

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  16. Amy Prudhomme says:

    Kristy, I sure would love to meet you one day… I know your mom, and Janet, and your Grandma and I have been following your blog regularly and praying earnestly for you all.
    I am so sorry for the pain you are all going through but I have not one doubt that God will see you through as He has done throughout Clay’s illness. What an amazing man he was and I can only imagine the smile on his face as he heard the words that we all, as Christians, long to hear one day.. “well done, my good and faithful servant.. “. Clay most certainly ran the race set before him and finished it so beautifully and what a legacy he leaves behind.
    You have all blessed me and inspired me and ministered to me and truly amazed me throughout.
    My prayers will continue to remain with you all and I know that God will continue to surround you all with the love and strength from friends and family too numerous to count.
    I told your mom recently that people who don’t know our Jesus might think God let you down and wasn’t there for you because He didn’t heal Clay but it’s really so very opposite…. God’s hand was evident in everything that went on from the very beginning. He provided every need, he answered so very many prayers and He loved on y’all in a way that only God can do. He never left yall’s side for a moment.
    Much love to you and your precious children and Clay’s parents and all those who knew and loved him. God bless you…

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  17. Ilene Brashier says:

    God Bless you, Kristy and your children , as you continue your walk with God. You are truly a blessing ,and as I would read your blog, I am reminded of what a truly wonderful Savior we have. Our God is an awesome God. May you embrace all of the memories that you and Clay shared. May they all be sweet memories. Prayers for all of you. Ilene Brashier ( I am Libby Greer’ s mother in law, and Chad Brashier ‘s mother) .

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Lisa OIvanki says:

    Kristy,

    There is a prayer which I have taught to all of my students here at Victory over the years. It was taught to me when I was 4 by our housekeeper, both in Spanish and English.

    Dios est`e en mi cabeza, y en mi entendimiento.
    Dios est`e en mis ojos y en mi futuro
    Dios est`e en mi boca, y en mis palabras.
    Dios est`e en mi Corazon y en mi forma de pensar.
    Dioe est`e en mi finale, y al de mi partida

    Amen

    God be in my head and in my thinking,
    God be in my eyes and in my looking,
    God be in my mouth and in my speaking,
    God be in my heart and in my understanding.
    And God be at my end, and in my departing.

    Amen

    God has been there in every part and parcel of your lives through the past year and a half. I know He was there when Clay departed this world. And He will be with you through the days to come.

    The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you peace. The Lord be gracious unto you.

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  19. Sharon Browning says:

    Again, I find that words just cannot express the feelings of my heart. I have been so very blessed and humbled throughout Clay’s and y’all’s family’s journey during this last year. I’ve known for years, what an awesome Christian young man Clay was and because you have been willing to share your heart through all the wonderful and hard times your family has experienced….God has allowed me to come to know and love you and the children, just as I loved Clay. What a blessed life Clay had. I still just shake my head and realize that I will never fully understand (on this side) why God chose to use Clay’s life and his passing as He did. But I do know, because of the experience I’ve been blessed to share through your writings, through the children and your extended families……that God’s love and faithfulness has been seen and felt by so many more folks than might have ever been “touched,” otherwise. Praying that you will always know and feel God’s loving arms around you and yours…. and that His peace will continue to fill you all. In His love, Mrs. Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Melissa Winston says:

    Thank you for sharing every day of this beautiful love story between your precious family and Almighty God! I had the blessing of working with Clay many years ago and cherish the many days he shared his great humor and absolute concern for always taking care of others with our team at the bank. My prayers are with you and I can just imagine the peace and love Clay feels now, sitting next to God and smiling down, spreading sunshine upon our world. God Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Phyllis Yarborough says:

    Thank you Kristy for sharing the living and the dying of a child of God thru the heart, mind, and eyes of wife, lover, friend, mother of his children and fellow believer in Jesus Christ! My husband and I knew Clay as a young man, friend of Johnnie Green, and a member of a church basketball team they enjoyed together. I found your blog some time ago and have followed Clay’s journey to meet Jesus face-to-face. We rejoice in Clay’s victory in Jesus, but grieve for you and the children, family, and host of friends who will miss his sweet presence and life with you here on earth. We believe God will provide strength, courage, purpose, and ability to live your lives on earth until you too cross over into that face-to-face meeting with Jesus Christ, your Lord and Saviour!

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  22. Cindy Rome Estep says:

    As I type this with a heavy heart and of course tears
    I know that Clay is at peace with the Lord. Kristy though we have never met and knowing You, Clay and your precious children through your extended family and friends I learned to love You, Clay and your children as though we have been friends forever. Reading your blogs and watching Clay’s video and looking at all the pictures you posted brought me closer to God then I’ve ever been. The journey I took with yall has touched my heart in a way it’s never been touched. The mold of your hands, The Pictures of You, Clay and The Children are precious memories you will hold forever.
    The days ahead are going to be hard I know cause I’ve been there hold on to each other and those precious memories. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
    .

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Laury Lorz says:

    I am praying for all of you. Besides the grief you are feeling it has to be so very hard for his parents. Your parents are also grieving for you Kristy. It is difficult to watch their dUghter go through this but it would be a comfort to know God is so present in your lives.
    When my dad died from lung cancer one thing that would bring me comfort would be imagining my dad WITH JESUS! Would always bring a smile to my face!
    Thank you Kristy for letting us walk through this with you. You are so inspiring! May God bless you and your children.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Becky Hawke says:

    I didn’t know any of you but have been reading your posts. What powerful witnesses you, Clay, and your family are. May Lord Jesus strengthen you in the days ahead. Clay was such a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Tonya says:

    I found your blog a few months ago and have followed your story ever since. I’m a middle aged mother of 6 with a horrible medical diagnosis. Your words and example have strengthened me during many desperately sad moments. Just wanted you to know that it wasn’t in vain. God bless your family now.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Janessa Core says:

    Kristy,
    I do not know you personally. I am friends with Meredith Heath. She makes me do crazy things like run 😂. I told her this morning that there just doesn’t seem to be the right words to express what a true inspiration you and your family have been to read about. You have strength that not many people possess. I am in awe of your courage and faith. I know this is not the end of a journey but rather the continuation of the journey you and your family have been on. Please know you are all in my thoughts.
    My deepest condolences, Janessa

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Lisa gibson says:

    Sending Prayers ……I first met Clay and felt he was a God send for what I needed at the time. Little did I know what an inspiration his family has become to so many people. GOD BLESS

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Lisa Prestridge Elam says:

    Kristy, you don’t know me, but I was a young woman when Clay was about 6 years old. He used to sing in church. He was missing his front teeth. He was so cute, we all loved to hear him sing, “Thethuth, Thethuth, Thethuth, there’s just something about that name…” Now Clay knows what that something is.

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  29. Elise says:

    Oh, my precious sister in Christ, you don’t know me but I know some of your friends and I’m so blessed that they have shared your blog. A number of years ago I lost a child and the Lord gave me a song and a word that you just reminded me about. The song says, “When the morning falls on the farthest hill, I will sing his name, I will praise him still. When the darkness falls and my heart is filled with the weight of doubt, I will praise him still. For the Lord our God is strong to save, from the arms of death, from the deepest grave. And he gave us life in his perfect will, and by his good grace I will praise him still!” The Lord impressed on me that my boy was in Jesus’ arms so he could have “Abundant Life”. Praise Jesus, your Clay is experiencing the fullness of that ABUNDANT life in the arms of Jesus. Hallelujah! My heart is sorry, though, for the longing that stands between you and your reunion. Lifting you and your kids in prayer. Morning has come … and we praise him.

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