Monday, March 14

My Modern Day Gilgal

Alternate Title: I Need a VERY BIG STONE so I Can Remember This

It was a familiar sound--a text alert at the beginning of the day. I grabbed my phone to take a look, half expecting it to be John. It wasn't. It was a friend that I have been praying for diligently. Her father-in-law has been fighting a battle with cancer, and they knew that these last few weeks were his last. She has been in Virginia with her inlaws, caring for them and loving her mother-in-law through this transition.

I am in awe of her. I am a runner--I would prefer to run when life is difficult. I am learning to be a fighter. My friend, well, she is definitely a fighter. I just told her last week how much this portion of her journey is inspiring me. I know how much she loves her husband (I learned to love John by watching her love Lawrence), and I know how much she loves her inlaws. I know helping out in such a way, for her, was out of this love for them. But for me, gleaning what I can from the outside looking in, I could easily see both love and sacrifice, courage and grace, devotion and godliness. I could see her doing exactly what I think God would ask of any of us at that point, and she did it quietly, unannounced, and with such a servant's heart.

He passed away on Saturday, and his funeral was today. As one can imagine, the last few days have been very busy for my friend and her family. And her text to me this morning? It was just a few well-chosen words, put together to explain just exactly how God's grace was sufficient for her this week. It really had nothing to do with death and loss, but more about growth and progress for her. It was just a few sentences, but it was real, and to my heart, it was lovely. I had tears in my eyes because I was reminded of just how much God loves us. Even in our most broken situations, he always, always, always grabs our hands in some way or another to show us that a) He is still in control and b) He is enough. And you know what? She had no idea how much I needed to hear that and be reminded of that this morning. In her growing and stretching moments, I am growing and stretching, too.

She is a golden thread that is woven throughout my past and that continues to weave in and out of the story of my life. There is just so much of who I am and who I aim to be hidden in the influences of her life on mine. I have written it here before, and I write it again. It is a simple principle: Life on life discipleship works; there is no impact without adequate contact. My life is constantly changing one conversation, one email (and now, one text) at a time.

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