GOOD ONE local columnist Jan Woodard

Jan Woodard shares thoughts on faith, life and recovery. Contact her at or

My doctor said I’m in liver failure and have a short time left. I’m trying to wrap my mind around that, since until a few weeks ago I didn’t have pain.

Spiritually, I’m blanketed with peace beyond what this world gives as I prepare to cross through that thin place that separates today from forever.

Some people sensed this was coming before I was even told; I’d like to share thoughts from dear ones, hoping they encourage you and minister to your heart for that day we all someday face. The first is from a woman who was in the youth group at our church which I led.

Judy: “O Jan, I feel like I knew already… Praying for what God knows that we don’t, for how God loves when we can’t, and for where God is when our bodies can’t go beyond. Praying in hope.”

Me: “Thanks, my aman cara (Gaelic for soul friend). Hope never fails, even when we do.

Dearest Jan, “I so love that our times are in His hand. Not the doctors, not ours but His! He gently leads each one of us home and He orders each one of our days. So today, I am believing that THIS day is ordained by Him and that you are fulfilling His purpose in it. I am asking Him to fill you with the awareness of His presence with you. Moment by moment, He will lead you and fill your days with Himself until He calls you home, the way He will call each one of us home. Love, your Barb.”

From my granddaughter Fiona, living in China:

Deep within my soul

Deep within my soul I yearn for you

I yearn for your tender words

I yearn for your gentle spirit

I yearn for your guiding hand

Deep within my soul I long for you

I long for your filling presence

I long for your smiling approval

I long for your guiding hand

Deep within my soul I need you

I need you in my breaking heart

I need you in my crying heart

I need you to guide my hand

Deep within my soul I cherish you

I cherish how you protect me

I cherish how you answer me

I cherish how you guide my hand

Love, Fiona

Rebecca: “May the Beloved en-wrap and enfold you with all-embracing love, dear Jan!”

Greg: “Praying this morning that the One who created you and who loves you deeply would whisper stories of hope and glory to you all day long — that your very soul would resonate with the joy of his goodness.”

Nat: “I wondered if there was a scripture that included the word tall, for ‘My Tall Friend Jan.’ Sure enough, there is. I Cor. 16:13, ‘Listen, stay alert, stand tall in the faith, be courageous, and be strong.’”

Mel: “The doctors may have given you a guideline, but only God knows the number of your days. What I love most about you is your adventurous spirit, your grand faithfulness, and your unrelenting gift to find the best in all situations. May God use your time to continue to inspire others as you’ve inspired me all these years.”

Sue: “Dear Sweet Jesus. We don’t know when you will come to call us home. We become so deeply in love with our family and friends on this earth, it is difficult to think of ever leaving them. Yet we know your love supersedes anything we can imagine, and you have prepared a place for each of us. Help us to feel your breath on our face and your soft whisper of love. Help us know when our time is come to know your peace and joy.”

Kathy: “Help us to live as those who are prepared to die. And when our days are accomplished here, enable us to die as those who go forth to live, so that living or dying, our life may be in You and nothing will separate us from your great love in Christ Jesus.”

And from my twin sister Marilyn:

Continue with courage on life’s upward trail;

For where it is steepest,

God’s love is the deepest,

And will faithfully, finally, fully prevail!

Thank you friends and poets, for your love and prayers that carry me from this side to the next.

All will be well.