When I lived in Houston, I belonged to a church small group. That group of people has done more to impact my life in so many positive ways than I can count. We’ve stayed in touch since I left Houston, and I’m ever so grateful that we did.
I wasn’t raised in a church. I didn’t make communion or confirmation. After reading Judy Blume’s “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret,” I started talking to God, too. Mostly on days when things were not going as well as I’d have liked. Mostly when my grades were not what I wanted them to be, I didn’t advance chairs in band, boys were a boondoggle. All typical teenage stuff. So when I was brought to this particular church by a guy I was dating, I found a lot of acceptance and love where I never expected to find it before. After he and I broke up, I decided that the church message resonated enough with me to stick around, and this wonderful group of people and I found each other.
When I ran into a rough patch of burnout a few years ago, I landed on a project in Houston. I don’t believe that was an accident or mere coincidence. I believe that there was divine providence at work there. I had friends and this group there when I needed to be around people who cared about me. I was welcomed back to the group for a meeting or two while I was in town, and just the ability to go back and be with those folks in prayer was very healing.
It’s this group that made and prayed over a beautiful quilt for me to take to my chemo sessions. When my friends Mark and Micki delivered the quilt to me in a side trip from Portland, they also bestowed on me a wonderful devotional called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. This devotional was written and dedicated to the author’s mother who died from cancer, so it’s that much more poignant to me. I received this devotional the Friday after my Big Meeting with the doctors. I decided to not start it until the day I had the surgery to have the port installed. The messaage was fitting.
There is a twisted, complicated path in front of me, and it’s mighty foggy out there. The week before I’d heard from another small group member who’d reminded me to give my problems to God. This passage, for me, reminds me to do just that and take each day at a time, good or bad, and focus on only my next step in front of me. Some days this will be harder than others, I know.
I have a wonderful support team in all of you! Please know you are all blessed!!