Thursday we had our Mom2Mom Christmas Celebration, concluding our meetings until January. Our lively group of 100+ young moms and 16 leaders meet each week addressing mom issues and offering encouragement, support, mentoring, friendship, and Godly influence. As we reflected over the first semester I reminded the girls that although our circumstances are different, we all share in the fact that “Life is tough ….. but God is good.” I wanted them to remember this as they walk through the next few busy weeks. Even as we focus on Jesus’ birth, God’s greatest gift to mankind, the tough stuff will still be looming around each of our lives. I had no idea how quickly the tough stuff would show up.
Life is tough . . . but God is good.
Fast forward – here I am two days later, sitting in ICU at Grady Hospital in Atlanta with Martha, my dear friend and co-director of M2M. Martha has five sisters – you heard me right – FIVE. Jane, closest in age to Martha, had a stroke yesterday morning. The irony is that she was in spin class at the gym. Jane is a nurse, a very fit person with good “numbers” and she does all the right things to take care of her health. In spite of all that, Jane had a stroke. She was paralyzed on one side. Martha made a few calls and asked us all to pray. Fortunately Jane was airlifted from Athens to Grady in Atlanta where they did some procedure and we got the miracle for which we prayed. Her feeling has come back and the last MRI shows very minor damage. The nurse acknowledges this is a miracle and not the usual outcome. Hearts of family and friends are overflowing. Jane should have a full recovery. Thank you God.
So it is 12/5/15 today, and my next week includes a party at our house tomorrow, a party at our house on Tuesday evening, and a luncheon at our house on Thursday. Thursday evening JB and I will fly to Texas to visit our son, Rob, so all the gifts that require mailing must be sent before we leave along with the Christmas cards that are not yet addressed.
While sitting in my chair early this morning drinking coffee, reading my Bible, and making lists, I clearly felt God’s prompt to contact Martha and offer to drive her to Grady today. It would have been easy to talk myself out of it given the paragraph above, BUT I remembered . . .
I remembered. . .
Several years ago Rob had a terrible accident due to a seizure and was in the hospital in Birmingham. It was a scary time for our family. Looking down the hall on Day 2 I saw Jane (yes, the same Jane) and Charlotte (another sister who lives in Birmingham) coming to visit me and bring lunch. Who has time to do things like this? Martha is the one I am closest to but I am sure she asked her sisters to show up for me and they did. I will never forget it.
Who has time to do things like this?
I also remembered that when my Mama died last year, early on the Saturday morning after Thanksgiving, Martha showed up at my house. She stayed with me most of the day and when there was a lull in the plans being made, we planted pansies into pots on my back deck. That was a gift of time and love.
Today I am delighted to be chauffeur and sidekick to my buddy, Martha. Of course I am glad to see Jane with my own eyes and assure her of my continued prayers. But I am content to just sit here in the waiting room and give Martha time to talk with her sister, help her with make-up and hair and respond to all her phone calls and texts. The things that could have kept me at home today will all get done. If I had stayed home, this day would have had no special significance; it just would have faded in my memory. I’m so glad to have followed God’s prompt and stepped up to show up.
A little while ago Martha and I sat together and read the devotional materials we each brought. I got tickled as I started my reading for 12/5. It began with the verse, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things!” (I promise I am not making this up!) When we each finished our readings we shared them with each other. She gave me Janet Denison’s “Season of Miracles” advent devotional. The 12/5 reading dealt with miracles. Like the other devotional, it was so relevant, especially since we have witnessed this miracle with Jane. I love it when God reminds us of his presence and care for the very details of our lives through things like the “coincidence” of our devotional readings today! While we know that God does not answer every prayer the way we would like, sometimes he does and that is time for rejoicing.
Today I am praising God for the miracle we are seeing in Jane. And I am so glad he prompted me to show up. Making memories with our dearest friends happens in the fun, happy experiences we share and also in the hardest, scariest moments.
Perhaps God is reminding you to make something right with a family member or friend. Maybe you know you need to go help someone but you can easily talk yourself out of it. If the situation is awkward or uncomfortable or inconvenient you may be filled with the idea of “I don’t have time and I just don’t know what to say.” Here is my advice to you:
Just show up!
Just show up! God will take care of the rest and the blessing, peace and joy that comes from following God’s prompts are gifts that cannot be bought.