She is one of my favorite ladies in the world and on November 9, 2008 she went home to be with sweet Jesus. I wanted to take a few minutes and just share what a blessing Miss Anne is in all of our lives. Though Miss Anne’s shaky voice is no longer at the other end of the phone when I call, or because she isn’t in her big home on the hill when I knock, doesn’t mean that her spirit is living on, with in each of us whom she has blessed along the way. Besides, now instead of Miss Anne sitting in her wheelchair, Bible and pictures in lap praying over us, she is running around jumping, dancing and watching us from above, next to Jesus, still interceding for us!
Miss Anne is one of the most inspirational people you will ever meet. She was in a wheelchair for 30-something years. Her husband passed away when she was in her early 30’s and left her to take care of her one-year old son. She never remarried and spent the rest of her life traveling worldwide in pursuit of the calling which the Lord had placed upon her life.
Miss Anne was one of the most devout, sincere, Christ-following people I have ever met, she was also the most trusting and believing. She read and prayed and worshipped daily, and just waited to hear His voice. If the Lord told her to do something, she was going to do it, whether she had the means to or not. Miss Anne wasn’t concerned that she didn’t have the internet to book a plane ticket, or the fact that she was wheelchair bound and reliant on the help of others. She just figured that if it was His will, He would be providing, so she shouldn’t worry, and just do what she was told. And that is how she lived.
She prayed fervently day in and day out, and traveled to the most interesting places, just to do what the Lord had put on her heart. One time, she felt led to go pray over the finances of Switzerland…so she did. One time, she felt led to go pray over the crown jewels…so she did. One time, she was told to go pray over the Berlin wall…so she did…the next year it came down. And the stories go on and on and on.
Every Sunday Miss Anne would faithfully get up and ready for church hoping that someone would come to pick her up. Some weeks she knew she had a ride and some weeks she didn’t. It didn’t matter. She was up and ready in faith that someone would take the time to come and get her…most weeks they did. If no one showed, she didn’t care as she would make her own church service right there in her little living room. Time with Jesus was time with Jesus.
Miss Anne fell in love with JH Ranch and Outback America and it soon became a huge part of her life. She made the cross country trips in the summers to visit the Ranch, and never missed any of the Outback America weekends. Everyone knew Miss Anne, but if you asked her, she would secretly tell you that she remembered very few of their names! She was a star.
The Ranch staff had the privileged of getting Miss Anne’s groceries weekly. I think this whole thing started because one time Bruce was driving to the airport to travel somewhere and he felt the Lord prompt his heart and tell him to get Miss Anne’s groceries. First Bruce called Miss Anne. She insisted she was fine. Bruce heard the Lord tell him to turn around and go to her door. Well, Bruce being one to never be concerned over missing a flight, did just that. When he arrived, all Miss Anne had left in her fridge was a few pieces of broccoli and a cup of milk. Miss Anne told him she was never concerned as the Lord always provided. That day, Bruce had listened to the Lord and because of his diligence to do so, Miss Anne was taken care of.
From then out, the Ranch had the honor of taking Miss Anne groceries weekly. Her lists were always the same: 2 bananas-slightly green, low sodium Ritz crackers, a $3 thing of chicken salad, and store brand milk. Sometimes she would ask for Tyson’s frozen chicken, biscuits, coffee, toilet paper, coffee creamer, and envelopes, but those items were more sporadic than the initial “staple grocery” list.
Sometimes, going to visit Miss Anne seemed overwhelming as it took time to run errands and get to her house and then of course, you didn’t just want to drop off the groceries and run so staying and visiting was imperative and before you knew it 4 hours had passed by! She would talk about her family, Milton, Kay, Sammy, Savannah…and on and on and on. The blessings received from time spent with Miss Anne were phenomenally greater than any time or effort it took to run errands, and encouraged each of us to continue to go back weekly, just to spend time, hear stories and if you were lucky, be prayed for by Miss Anne.
When I first heard of her passing, I was more kind of angry than sad. It was the shock of it. I fully expected Miss Anne just to live on forever here on this earth. She was invincible and even at the ripe old age of 90-something, wasn’t supposed to die. Miss Anne had also been praying for healing of her legs. I expected to get notice that she was out running around Birmingham on 2 working legs, before I expected to hear that she had passed.
I wanted to have her pray for me one more time. But it was okay. I had talked to her twice the week before, and gotten to take her a McDonald’s cheeseburger and fries (a junk food favorite) back in August. I was at peace that she was running, dancing and worshipping in heaven, on two working legs, and now doing it as she held her husbands hand, whom she had missed for close to 60 some years I guess.
Miss Anne was a fireball and had a great life. She taught us all so much and blessed each of us beyond belief. She showed us what it meant to trust the Lord and to follow Him. She showed us what it meant to live by faith and trust that someone would show up on your door step with food when you have nothing left in your fridge. She understood what it meant to be called somewhere and knew that if the Lord willed it, then it was her responsibility to show up. She had a direct line to Jesus, and now she is next to Him.
Miss Anne, we love you and will miss you!!!