Life Stages

This was part of a memoir I wrote in mid December 2020 as I was preparing for my move to PC Beach near my son and daughter-in-law…… today I have been into PC for errands and returned to my quiet little cul-de-sac so conveniently located. As I approach the first anniversary of Bill’s death, I grieve. But I praise God with gratitude, too, for the way His hand has guided me and the provision He has made for me. I am grateful to have had Bill for 48 years. The years that are left ahead for me seem short by comparison. I will do my best to enjoy them and make good use of the time…… with God’s help.

“Across Hathaway Bridge” used to be so far away. Now it will be where my home is and this side of the bridge will be where I continue to engage in the passion God has given me….. discipling women in need of life transformation. The commute between the two is lovely, if one plans the timing of the transit, is not in a hurry and takes the time to enjoy the water views and the changing landscapes.
I am reminded of a prophecy spoken over me in an impromptu and unexpected moment after the dessert time at a dinner party with Christian companions at the home of a friend almost four years ago. One of the women there had taken our hostess aside, after which the hostess came to me and said the woman felt an urgency to speak a prophetic utterance from the Lord to me and asked if I was receptive and open to hearing it. Well, of course! She also asked if I was comfortable in the presence of the other dinner guests or if I preferred to do it privately. I was comfortable with everyone hearing the words she felt a strong leading to speak. My friend who, as God would have it, is a court reporter, recorded the moment and later transcribed it for me. Here it is:

This is prophetic word given to Cathy Byrd by Sarah LaBonte on Friday, January 13, 2017

Witnessed by Bill Byrd, Debbie Zirbel, Carl LaBonte, Michelle and Paul Grignot, and Jeff Thomas.

“Your business and your comings and goings and your ministry: He says that he sees every idle thing that has been done that you wanted to achieve. But He says that it is well done, it has been well done, my good and faithful servant. That He wants you to know how much that he appreciates your fervor, your strength, your intelligence, your knowledge of God. He wants you to know that He has set you aside for such a time as this. But He also wants to tell you that there are things ahead of you, that you have no idea of the preparation that has been made for you.

The things that you’re doing now are very important; but, He says, it’s just been a preparation for the things that are ahead. And the Lord says not to be concerned, just one day at a time, one step at a time. And that as the door is opened that you will walk through it and it will be a surprise and it will be pleasant, and you will say, ‘Oh, my goodness, just look at what the Lord has done!’ And He said, I will sit up there and rejoice because I know that you, too, will do what I tell you to do. And, He says, just keep that steadfastness in your heart. And God says He will walk every step with you, says the Lord.”


As I remember that prophetic word now, one word jumps out at me: “pleasant.” I drew a sharp breath upon seeing that word that I have read over so casually before. Having just written about having a sense of the decisions Naomi faced after the death of her husband, I am now a tiny bit disconcerted and shocked by the presence of that word, “pleasant”, in this four-year-old prophecy. Naomi’s name is from a Hebrew word that means “pleasantness!” Three years ago I would never have anticipated my current circumstances of widowhood and the weeks-long struggle over the decision to stay in this home place or move to a smaller place closer to Billy and Joni. And while I do not see “pleasantness” in widowhood, seeing the connections between Naomi’s situation and my own, including the emotional support and dependence I feel on my own daughter-in-law, I am humbled at how the Lord has been preparing me and making provision for me every step along the way, just as He did for Naomi and Ruth. I have no words to describe how I feel in this moment……..

Thank you, Lord, for being my ALL IN ALL. Amen.

12/27/20- I had written recently about how my life has taken a Naomi-ish turn this year….. widowhood and the struggle over a move. Today I found out it’s about to take another Naomi-ish turn with the anticipation of a great- grandchild due in July. Life has a beautiful way of following a script written by God!

7/26/21- Below are photos of Billy and Joni and Haley in DC with our newest family member, Lewis Evan Wilt who is a month old now. Truly, grand parenting and great-grand parenting are pleasant!