… those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Theme: God Uses People to Help People
The Natural Family
The tight circle of love that we share within our family is the bedrock that we stand on in times of difficulty. Our lives are held steady by the constancy of committed love and holding each other accountable to remain grounded in the joys of the present.
Parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and first cousins remind us of who we are. We can fool a lot of people with who we think we are, but our ‘first families’ are the truth tellers! Our first family, like unbendable rods of iron, holds us up and moves us along when we need to be reminded of who we really are – not who we think we are!
Husband, wife, children and grandchildren – the extended family reminds us of who we have become. It’s where we experience the hope of renewal and discovery, love in dimensions previously unknown. There are no greater joys! These are the fragrant flowers in the garden of life who colour our world with sunshine and light. In giving and receiving, we are mutually blessed beyond what we could ever imagine.
To those not familiar with the purpose of “The Church,” it is often thought of as nothing more than a religious institution – a physical place. But 1 Peter 2:5 says that we (the church) are ‘like living stones being built into a spiritual house.’ People in every corner of the world have come to accept God’s call to find their true home in Him. This ‘home’ is where one finds joy, peace, comfort, strength, love and rest (both in this life and in eternity). All are called – the choice to answer that call is yours. Matthew 11:28 says, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’
I have long-standing relationships with many people with whom I have shared the ups and downs of life, but now I see those connections and friendships in new ways. Friendships have grown in depth and dimension. I find myself in a position where I need to lean into the experience, wisdom, creative gifts, advice, professional guidance and spiritual support that all of these friendships offer. I am being supported in ways I could have never imagined. I accept with gratitude all of the gifts these individuals have been endowed with and given to me, and my heart is lifted up and encouraged to embrace a fuller dimension of relationship. I’m saying, “I love you,’ more often.
The nature of these “other” relationships is such that they naturally fit into the rhythm of my life, passing by in the everydayness of life. Sometimes I miss the value that these relationships offer until time stands still and I intentionally take the time to acknowledge and express the beauty in each person.
I’ve made new connections as a result of casual conversations with people in various places. I’m thinking here of ‘G’ whom I met while we were charging our cell phones at the Thunder Bay airport a little more than a week ago. We chatted about our work – our lives. ‘G’ shared a story of hope, her shared belief in prayer. In those short moments – she deeply touched my life!
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
― Leo Buscaglia
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT PEOPLE CONNECTIONS:
- When God Uses People to Help People, it doesn’t mean that we have to lie passively waiting for someone to come to our aid. Sometimes we need to ask for help and explain intelligently (emotions restrained) how people can help us. They may be the catalyst to connect us with someone who can be the help that we need in our situation when those closest to us are not able to help us.
- For many years, I have advocated for others. It seemed like a natural fit for me. What I have learned advocating for others – I now need to apply to my own situation. I have had to step into the role of advocating for myself. I don’t know why I was surprised by that, but I was.
Here is more of what I have learned:
- I need to clearly and concisely explain my immediate need – and if the opportunity arises – to clarify expectations and outcomes hoped for.
- There are times I need to press my case and be persistent, even if it means returning to the same conversation to emphasize the points made previously.
- My attitude can set the medical professionals up for a very good experience – to be attentive to what I have to say. If I am responsive to them, they are empowered to be the best version of themselves.
- I am most effective when I speak calmly, firmly and respectfully about what I need and how people (in their sphere of expertise) can help me. People are intelligent, and it is important that I address them in a way that they can understand, enabling them to act on my behalf.
- It is my habit to not cry ‘wolf’ when there is no wolf at the door. When I do have a genuine need, and it needs attention, I must bring my request forward in a way that retains the dignity and respect of both myself and the people whom I relate to in the medical system.
- I must accept the wisdom that surrounds me because people offer information which can be used to help me move forward.
On a positive note, the sodium levels in my blood are now normal – thanks to the Doctor’s suggestion that I start drinking water with electrolytes, as well as G2 and eating chips and gluten-free pretzels. Potassium levels are a bit high, and so this week I’ll leave out the bananas in my morning smoothies!
And on another positive note, other than feeling moderate discomfort from a buildup of fluid in my abdomen, I feel surprisingly well!
Overall though, this week has been a tough week. My patience, faith and hope have all been tested. There must be a lesson in here somewhere!
Please pray for physical comfort and spiritual comfort:
Floating in a maze of confusing processes and running into resistance have delayed a medical procedure which I need to July 16th. My discomfort level has increased from mild to moderate because of that delay. Waiting until July 16th will test my endurance.
Please remember to pray for Marlo. He is taking time out to rest, prepare and energize himself for tough days ahead. He is courageous and adventurous, and I am thankful that he and I share the view that we need to take time to enjoy life – even in the midst of the current reality. Though I may have to wait awhile, I am looking forward to his entrance into the kitchen to cook a meal for me that isn’t a fried egg!
Thank you for remembering our family – in your thoughts and prayers. Your support means so much!