Sunday, July 11, 2010

~WHEN THE PIECES DON'T FIT...Remembering Glaphre'~

 If my memory serves me correctly I first met Glaphre' (Glay-free) Gilliland when I was 35 years old.  I couldn't have possibly known it then but she was going to change the course of my life.

Glaphre', by all accounts, was a true woman of faith.  A published author and highly sought out speaker in her day, she was soft spoken and possessed  a child-like giggle that would make even the grumpiest of old men smile.  By the time I met her in person she had already been ill for many, many years.  Bedridden from a disease I can't even pronounce, she would eventually become my mentor and one of my dearest friends. 

Deeply loved and admired by both family and friends, Glaphre' loved God and she loved people...and she loved me.  It was as simple and yet amazing as that.  It was easy for me to get lost in conversation when sitting by her bedside and over the eleven years I knew her, despite obvious pain from her affliction, I never once heard her complain.  Early in our friendship I innocently asked her if she hoped for a cure, dreamed of getting well...and...if she believed God would ever heal her.  Her gentle smile wasn't taken back by my forward question and her reply was one I should have expected for someone who possessed such an immeasurable amount of faith...

"Of course I want to be healed.  I pray for it every day, Beck!  But I trust and believe God has a purpose for my life either way."
Glaphre' would call me at least once a month and being the big mouth that I am I was always eager to share with her my latest makeover project or design.  She loved being in 'the loop'.  She never wanted to talk about her life, only mine.  My guy, my kids and my work and everything.  Because she was home-bound I think she especially loved hearing about our little vacations, new places to shop, the latest feminine fashions, great food, and of course, home decor.  Like me, she loved pink.  But...only in it's softest, sweetest shade...

One day in early March 2003 I found myself on the doorstep of my faithful friend.  Things in my life weren't going so well and I was in a deep, profound depression.  I had just lost my job and my little family was experiencing something I'd prayed we'd never, ever have to face.  I don't recall much about that visit except for laying across the foot of Glaphre's hospital style bed and sobbing like I was five.  I remember when I finally quieted myself down enough to understand what was going on around me I found my friend praying softly by my side.  She didn't try to make me feel better...we both knew I wasn't going to for a long, long time.  Instead she held my hand while lifting me up to the Most High.  She believed in the power of prayer and even though physical healing never did come for Glaphre' the prayers she sent up to heaven in my behalf took my life in a new direction.  As the years passed I came to realize that what I thought would be a source of hurt and sorrow would one day become one of my greatest joys.

This past week I set aside a bit of down-time and re-read one of the books penned by my long-suffering friend.  She's been gone for five years now and I miss her so very much.  Today, more than any other day, I understand that one of God's greatest gifts in my life was Glaphre' herself.  She taught me how to crawl beyond the protective box that so often surrounded my heart, assess my strengths, accept my imperfections while allowing God the honor of making something beautiful from the scraps of my life.

Blessings to you today as you trust the Most High to make all the difference 'when the pieces don't fit...'

Love to you~


Moments of Grace said...


Oh, how well I remember the first time I read her wonderful book, "When The Pieces Don't Fit". How our great God used that book to mend my frail and broken heart. I felt she had written it just for me--it blessed me so.
How honored you must feel to have known such a Godly woman. How treasured the memories of her must be to you. Yet, how gracious of God to allow her imprint to be left upon your own sweet life. Praise God.
I have been enjoying your lovely posts and gobbling up the photos. How lovely you make everything, dear friend. I am so blessed because of you.
May the richest blessings of our Most High God come to you and yours today.

In Grace,

Shirley said...

Your post made me think about how God has helped me make some very tough decisions in the last 11 years and the changes we had to make in our life. My hubby got very sick and I was making decisions for his life. I prayed a lot and have been given 11 years when we didn't think we would see the end of the first Year. We take every day we are given because we don't know what tomorrow will bring. The prayers can truly bring miracles. It is not going to heal the problems, but it gives me the strength to deal with them. I thank you very much for your post. Your pillows are adorable. Have a wonderful day. Your Missouri Friend.

Laura said...

Oh Rebecca-

This is a work of art with words and heart.
It took my breath away.
What a blessing and a reminder that I want to be a blessing and someone like your friend who can offer wise words and love.

Thank you,

ShirleyC said...

What a sweet, sweet story! Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

What a lovely story of a dear friend.

GoldenAngelsWorks said...

Thank you for that sweet story. God has really been using my blogging friends to talk to me today.

He is trying to get me to not worry anymore about all the difficult times I am going through right now.

Blessings to you!

Marguerite (Tina) Smith Hart said...

Thanks Rebecca for that beautiful story!
I had not heard of this lady before but I believe things come into our lives when we need it and I have a feeling that there is a reason I am hearing about this sweet lady now through you and I will be looking for her book this week! Thank you...
Tina xo

June said...

I loved reading every word about this very special friendship and how your heart was healed dearest Rebecca. I love reading things like this and feeling how special you are in your heart.

Dorothy said...

Rebecca...such a beautifully recalled memory of your friend.

You are gifted with many talents, but I think you are a writer at heart.

Tanza said...

Hi Sweetie,
What a beautiful story, like only you can write and share .. do you know the Lord is truly using you my sweet friend ?! He is !! your faith and commitment to HIM is awe- inspiring, and I soo try to live my life this way .. TRUSTING, and walking in FAITH each day, and moment to moment .. Sometimes life seems so tough, and draining, and that is when my heart has me lift my head heavenward to HIM .. I believe this with every breath I take .. I'm so blessed to have you as a friend, that shares my faith and adoration in Jesus Christ .. thanks for sharing your heart and faith .. A breath of fresh air as always ~
BiG HuGs ~TeA~ xo

Terra said...

I think your friend may have been an angel; she certainly ministered mightily to you from her bed. She is able to walk and dance now and how precious your friendship was.

Deanna said...

Hi Beck! That's cute and suits you. A great post.

What a huge blessing to have a friend like this sweet Lady...I miss my friend Pat who I became acquainted with close to 18 years ago. Pat passed away about two years ago and didn't know me the last time I visited her, but oh the blessings that came from her as she'd minister to me in her ole victorian house.

Sweet sweet visits and the hours of conversation we had as girlfriends...she was well into her 80s and me in my 30s/40s.

We are blessed to have had friends like this!!!! Awesome and blessed.

God bless you and may you have a super week,

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Beautiful, Rebecca. Just the perfect post, my sweet friend. And I needed to hear this today. It's Daddy's birthday, and I really miss him. Yet, I look forward with such great joy that I will be reunited with him in Heaven, and each birthday is just one step closer to that heavenly reunion.

You were blessed to have your dear friend, but she was blessed to have YOU!


Sheila :-)

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Rebecca,
Each time I come here to visit you, I feel so blessed. Blessed to know you and how you reach out to each one of us with your lovely words.

The story of your dear friend is so touching and endearing. Thank you for sharing.


Debbie said...

Hello...I just found your sweet blog. Your post made me cry...tears of joy. It reminded me of my dear friend, Elsie Mae. She was an elderly woman from our church. Elsie ministered to me for several years. I miss her so much. God blessed me with such a Godly woman in my life.
Thank you for sharing your lovely story.
I love your beautiful.

Mosaic Magpie said...

Isn't it amazing when we look back on times we thought God was no where around, He was there and He brought guests with Him. Guests that touch our hearts, give a kind word to us, or on occasion become wonderful friends. I am glad Glaphre' was such a blessing to you. I will look for her books. Thank you, Rebecca for such a sweet post.

D. Jean Quarles said...

What a lovely story about being blessed. Thanks for sharing.

Vicki said...

Hi, Rebecca,
Thank you so much for sharing about your beautiful friend. It seems that when we are at our lowest, God always sends someone to pick us up and love on us, doesn't it? I hope you have a wonderful week, dear friend, as you create your lovely art. Sending love and hugs your way~ Vicki p.s. I love the lady who sings this version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". I have 2 or 3 of her cd's and love her music. Her name has come to me, Eva, I believe.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Rebecca, I also had a friend like yours. I still have her. Not one of such note, but an angel on earth none the less.
I believe you and I have had the same experience and even though mine was many years before yours, I learned a great deal from mine too. I had unknowingly been blessed with something I thought at first had broken my heart.
It was also my greatest joy!
We both have our angels who have been there for us ...and been able to show us we had been given a "blessing in disguise"...
Thank you for sharing your story, Rebecca. We have some things in common even if there is such a vast difference in our ages.

My very reason for smiling every day! Thank you for sharing your story. I understand you completely.
...and I love you dearly.

Only one thing. I don't think I would find those black barstools in your home. One good thing about black, it can turn to white in a heartbeat.

Mollye said...

Hi honey, I've missed you. Debbie didn't know you and I were friends and she sent me here:) but am so glad I visited today cause I needed to read this. My puzzle has been torn apart and a piece removed that no matter how many times I work the puzzle it will forever have a hole in it but God will still make my puzzle a thing of beauty if I choose to believe. Love you and Debbie too! Mollye

Dolores said...

Oh Rebecca.....this is the sweetest and most inspirational post!!! You and Glaphre' were blessed to know and love one another.

Rose said...


Heaven's Walk said...

Hi Rebecca - I just discovered your incredible blog through Debbie's at House at the Lake. (She is MY Glaphre' - my sister in Christ for over 25 years.) I can't tell you how you blessed me today with the story of your angelic friend. Believe that you carry on her inspiration to the world through your words and faith. Thank you for sharing your love of God, your faith, and your life's journey with us all. Your writing is beautiful and I feel like I know you already.

I look forward to following your blog and being lifted up by your sweet words.

God bless you -

xoxo laurie@heavens-walk

Rena said...

Your description of what you went through in '03 reminds me of something my family is going through this yr. But your words are encouraging...May God be glorified in our lives, no matter what problems & pains come our way!


Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

Blessings to you, Rebecca, for your message of hope and love...and for your much enjoyed and appreciated visit today! Isn't it amazing how a friend such as Glaphre' can change another's life through her devotion to God. Thank you for the reminder, my friend, that God is always present in our everyday lives and nothing is insurmountable!
Wishing you joy!

The Coach's Wife said...

When i googled Glayphre, your blog came up. I was just remembering the Prayer workshop I attended at age 24, and the words she taught. She said, Pray this, "Lord teach me that You love me."
I did, and did my life ever change. I was hungry for God's word. A friend came into my life and led me to a older lady/ Bible teacher. We soon moved and those friendships and my growth continued as i have felt the Father's love all these years. 38 years of marriage, 2 children, 8 grandchildren. Thank you Lord and Glayphre in heaven.

Artsy Craftery Design Studio said...

Hello: I accidentally found your blog because I was searching, again, about Glaphre'. Me and my Mom read her book, "When The Pieces Don't Fit", in the 80s and were deeply touched by her story and her precious Mom. Over the years to encourage ourselves we would mention her often, saying "Remember Glaphre, what she went through?"

My Mom is 82 now, and like with many things I'm sad to say that she ceased to remember the name Glaphre years ago. That was when I knew that her memory was severely damaged. Glaphre made such an impact upon us that I never thought Mom would ever forget her.

The one thing that Glaphre said that I never forgot was that the ministers of today, who harp on statements that every Christian can be healed and that God wants everyone to be healed, and it will happen if we just pray more, believe more, receive more, will answer to God about promoting this. I believe it because many, many Christians die never being healed, never believing delivered, never having circumstances changed and never coming into what they were believing for, and they loved God with all their hearts, they prayed faithfully and believed unwaveringly, but God chose not to do it. To hear some of the preachers and teachers today (many whom I listen to and love) you would think that those Christians who did not get their deliverances did not do things right in order to get their healing.

Glaphre loved God and she was never healed in this world. I wish she had been, but it's been over for her for a long time now. It does not matter anymore. I know God loves her and he loves me, no matter what I'm going through. I'm glad that I chose her book when I was a member of that book club so long ago and had just begun to grow in Christ. I look forward to meeting her.

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