We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Friends: Picking Up Where We Left Off

A friend stopped by this past week, one I hadn't seen in years. We had a wonderful time together. I had kept up with her through her family's prayer letter and her blog. She served as my husband's secretary for a while and later became our daughter's first grade teacher. Twenty-some years, a husband, and four kids later she finds herself a missionary--and a breast cancer survivor.

We reminisced about how her then-fiancĂ© proposed to her in my husband's office suite, about the time her spelling lesson ended when our daughter somehow got her head stuck in a chair, and about how I taught her to quilt while her firstborn baby slept. She brought a couple of quilts with her to show me her latest projects.

But we did more than catch up. Our life stories differed, but we shared many of the same emotions, the same questions, the same favorite Scripture promises.

The same faith.

We picked up where we left off--with easy conversation, straight from our hearts.  

I like having a friend like that, don't you? There's something special about a relationship that keeps going no matter how long since the last good-bye. How many times had I prayed for my friend during her illness and when her family had special needs? There will always be special connection. 

God has blessed me with other friends like that. I smile when I see their names on the caller-ID, the email, or FB. It's fun to hear their voices when I surprise them with a call. It's always wonderful to pick up where we left off.

Perhaps I need to take a little more time to stop by, pick up the phone, or send that email.

Thanks, Anne, for a wonderful visit. Let's stay in touch! 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

When God Gives You a Hand

I stopped typing mid-sentence.

What was going on? I wiggled my right thumb, pressed the space bar a few times, and wiggled it again. Why did my thumb joint hurt . . . all of a sudden?

My mom's arthritis issues sprang to my mind. She lost the ability to cut apples, peel potatoes, slice bread, and even write well because the joints in her thumbs prohibited her from doing so. My heart sank. Wasn't I a little young for this? Didn't God know I needed my hands to keep house, cook, and write/type? Didn't I deal with enough limitations? And why my right hand?

Another voice echoed in my thoughts, that of a doctor, four years after our car crash. "People who've been victims of trauma develop severe arthritis after ten years." She pointed her finger at me. "You have six years left."

Eight years have passed since then.

The next few weeks, the pain came and went. Some days I could type like normal. Other days I noticed some discomfort, not bad, but enough for me to breathe a prayer asking God to preserve my hand and thumb capabilities.

A long-forgotten phrase came to me as a whisper at first, nudging me to look it up. I found the words tucked in the writings of Isaiah: "For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, 'Fear not. I am the one who helps you'" (Isaiah 41:13). I noted verse 10 which says, "I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

I drew great comfort from these words. God holds my right hand, the very hand giving me trouble. His presence scatters my fears and offers reassurance.   

Humanly speaking, I will pursue a healthy lifestyle, including an anti-inflammatory diet. But every time my thumb acts up, I'm prompted to remember that God promises to hold my right hand with His right hand. He will help me, no matter what the future chapters of my life story hold.

What promises of God have been especially meaningful to you--and why?