Today I want to share with you something from my best friend Melody. I have never been the kind of person to be star-struck by anyone famous. But I have always thought that she had famous faith. She has the kind of inspirational view of life that leaves you star struck. I am proud to call her friend.
Here is a bio on Melody, her story follows:
Melody’s a single woman in her late 50’s who embraces life and savors its vast array of treasures. She dances thru much of her life from a wheelchair, with a trusty, joyful service dog by her side. Together, with Him, all things are possible.
How often do we pray – earnestly pray, earnestly seek Him . . . and believe with all our heart we are seeking His will in all things?
How often do we offer everything in our lives up, yielding, surrendering, praying?
How often do we beg for Him to hear us, beseech Him, question Him…….and despair believing He hasn’t heard or His answer is No or we’ve forgotten because life’s gotten in the way?
How many times have we believed we were being open, honest, vulnerable, willing….and in the moment we were in, it was as true as we knew how to be…….
But, somehow, someway or another we had pictures in our heads, ideas of what answers would actually look like………..and so maybe, just maybe, we missed His answer because of our own filtered glasses?
Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of life, clarity becomes a rare thing. Insight and “ah ha moments” don’t resonate as often as of old….to many “instant” (cell phones, ipads, microwaves…..everything quicker than quick) things going on to crowd out His voice, His leading, His presence?
Sometimes those “ah ha moments” come when we’re NOT looking for them. When we’re not begging or asking or pleading or beseeching. They come because something was good, something got quiet, something made it possible for us to “hear”.
I always wanted my own practice, to be married, have our own home, children, neighbors, family, garden……that American Dream so prevalent in the 50’s, complete with the swing in the tree and the fence around the yard. I prayed for them. I prayed for my future husband, my future kids, the people I’d serve in the future. I believed. I lived accordingly. And I served my lil ole heart out in that here and now too….always have, it’s part of who I am.
At first AND even second glance, I have none of that. I’m almost 60. I’ve never married, never had children, have a host of health issues that are complex and life threatening. They mean I’m unable to work (when I’d done that full time since my Junior year, part time since my freshman year, not counting babysitting as soon as I could, and beginning volunteering at age 7). My savings is gone, and dread of all dread, I’m in public housing….something that I thought was impossible. First and second glance, my life is hollow, spent almost totally alone and basically the dregs by society’s standards. I shared their opinion of me….but not of my life. Yet even while knowing Holy things were happening, and He was using me daily……I just really didn’t “get” it, that He’d answered ALL those prayers so long ago.
You see, I accidentally thought it had to look a certain way….so much so that I almost missed it….almost missed that He had indeed heard me. And that right smack dab in the middle of crisis He did NOT cause, amid the things evil tore asunder without His OK or support…..He still heard the desires of my heart, then and now, and He answered them all.
I have family all over the world, in the form of snail-mail pen-pals. Every race, every creed, every color. People I’ve grown to love and know over 20 years. We communicate, talk, laugh, thru pen and ink. We celebrate victories, agonize over defeats, lift one another up, have disagreements and misunderstandings and love one another anyway. Is that not family?
I have a multitude of children who’ve stolen my heart, who I’ve spent endless nights praying over, worrying about….children who’ve reached out to me, shared their fears, their joys, their heartaches, sent me pictures for my fridge…..children who I’ve watched grow from wee lil ones into college kids…..their parents have reached out and done the same…shared about their struggling marriages, the latest turn of devastating illnesses…… How could I missed the fact that I’ve got children, grandchildren and great grand children?
I have 26 plants all over my house….and some hanging in my window…..and I look out and see the tops of trees and blue sky….plants I’ve rooted from cuttings, purchased as sprouts, grown from seeds/bulbs, trimmed, cut, watered, fertilized, trimmed, shared….is this not a garden? I almost missed it.
But I didn’t really “GET” it until 3 Christmases ago. I was in the throws of new puppy-hood even while grieving the loss of my beloved Service Dog….totally worn out, having made a rare and exhausting trip to Home Depot in search of something to go around my Christmas Tree so my puppy wouldn’t demolish one of the most important portions of my Christmas (I LOVE spending every night in December bathed in the lights, looking at the ornaments, remembering the people and the times in my life…praying for all those people…it’s a Holy time and a Christmas tradition that doesn’t need anyone else present to be fulfilling). Got things all set up and pup and I had an exhausting, sleepless night. I’d set my coffee maker up to wake me up to that delicious smell of loving kindness…..and bleary eyed, with puppy tucked under my arm kissing my chin I walked thru the doorway and looked at the tree…..
And I stopped stock still in shock…..and then I laughed and laughed until tears were flowing down my cheeks……. for there, in all it’s shiny splendor………….was my white picket fences. The one I’d always dreamed of having…….right there around my special tree.
And, I got it. I finally got it.
And I found myself on my knees……..so sorry for doubting Him, so filled with His presence.
I’d had it all, all along.
I have it all………….and now, I see ever more clearly how He DOES answer…..and now that I no longer need it to look a certain way…………..His answers are everywhere. They always were.