Autumn's Wind

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Chapter 51: The Circle
(by NativeRose, added on 22 December 2006 03:11 AM)

After much prayer for Lynne, Autumn finally allowed her family and friends to pray for her.
"Do you want prayer for anything specific?" Pastor Jack asked.
"First, I want to know what's going on in your lives. The fact that I'm stuck in this bed, surrounded by four walls in this hospital doesn't mean I don't care. I always enjoy hearing about the things that are going on, and sharing them only strengthens our bond, makes a tighter circle."
"Well, I have some exciting news, and I don't think all of you have heard it yet. I accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord of my life today! I finally made the ultimate decision!" Jason said excitedly. Some people smiled, others cried, and still others rushed to embrace their new brother.
"That's great! Oh, praise God! You'll be better able to support Autumn since you share the strongest bond--Jesus Christ!" Jack exclaimed.
"Yeah, Jesus can make you happy!" Brandon and Amy Rose entered just in time to hear Scott, their adotive child, make this declaration. They were so proud of Scott. As soon as he accepted Jesus as his Savior and best Friend, he started telling others about it. There was nothing quite like seeing the joy of Jesus in a child. A child would never apologize for sharing Jesus; he would only want other people to want Jesus to be their Friend.
"Well, Autumn, we have something splendid to tell you. Actually, it's your father's place, but he asked all of us to join him," Sariah said, giving Jason an encouraging smile.
"Autumn, the reason I asked all of these people to come today is because they have all been praying for you to find a place to belong, so you'll no longer feel displaced without a family. Well, God has blessed me with the privelege of providing what I could not before--a real home for you. I don't ever want you to feel displaced and abandoned again. You'll always have a place to call home, and with God's help, I'll be able to love you more completely than ever before...for as long as you're..." But Jason couldn't finish. Anela squeezed his hand, and Abby put an arm around him. Jason didn't care how he looked or how these people perceived him. He was overcome with emotion; once again, he was consumed by the guilt, the knowledge that he hadn't been the father Autumn needed until she got sick. As if reading Jason's mind, Autumn said, "That's all over. God has forgiven you, I don't hold anything against you, and there are no regrets when God's grace covers everything. I'm not afraid to die...I mean, I'm afraid of how it might happen. Will I be in pain? But I'm not afraid of death, and I pray you'll trust God's promises; rest in knowing that death won't separate us forever. I'll see you in heaven, and you'll see a new body, one not wasted by cancer." This pronouncement caused the tears to burst forth. Somehow, Jason knew these people wouldn't criticize him for displaying so-called weakness. Still, he was surprised when Abby embraced him, Brandon assured him it was perfectly acceptable for a man to cry, and Pastor Jack confirmed Autumn's statement about God's grace. This is just amazing, Jason thought. All these people accepted Jason just as he was, failures, weakness, shame and everything else. They all loved Autumn the way God did, and they extended this same love to him. They encouraged him to be what he so desired for Autumn and not to look back. Jason didn't expect his responsibility for Autumn to be easy, but he knew all these people would support him, they would continue to love Autumn, and they would all provide what they had for her. Each person brought something special to help complete the circle. Scott's excitement about Jesus, Jason's commitment, Abby and Sariah's healing hands, Brandon and Amy's unshakable faith, Anela's leadership abilities, Pastor Jack's wisdom and Jamison's obvious love would all combine to form the support system Autumn needed, with God at the center of it all.

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