Friday, April 27, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Community

I was thinking yesterday about how wonderfully God's hand has worked in my life yet again. And, as always, it brought me to tears. Divine appointments still manage to stop me in my tracks and send me to my knees in gratitude.

We moved home to PA not quite two years ago, wanting to be closer to my mom to help her out since my dad had passed away a year prior to that and I worried about her being alone. Still, we live a good hour away from her, and we've not had as much time with her as I thought we would. She doesn't like to drive all the way from Pittsburgh to Butler, and the times I've offered to come down her way, she's turned me down for one reason or another. She also spends half the year in Florida, so it's turned out that we see very little of my mom-almost the same as when we lived in Tennessee and Ohio.

But the handiwork of God wasn't in bringing us 'almost home' for my mom. Rather, He placed me here for my own care. And, once again, He planted me exactly where I needed to be, knowing well ahead of time what was coming, and who I'd need in my life.

Before all else came settling Michael into the youth bowling league, where we met our first friends in the area, JJ and Shane, and their mom, Jenn. Saturday mornings quickly became our favorite day of the week as Bug got to bowl with his buddies, and I had someone to gab and laugh with for a couple hours outside of my usual four walls of home.

That first February found me in the emergency room waiting for an MRI as I had trouble with walking, lost motor skills, and a strange numbness in my brain. Not knowing where else we could send him, Jenn graciously kept Michael overnight for us as we waited for answers that never came that weekend.

Then, after visiting a handful of churches in the area, Bill and I decided to settle into Trinity Lutheran as our home church. We really liked Pastor Tom, even though he was determined to retire, and the church's Aaron's minister, Diane, has become a dear friend as well. Trinity is very involved with the local Christian camp here, Lutherlyn, and I was very excited to send Michael off to a week of daycamp there last summer. The last night of camp, the parents are invited to come for dinner and a show put on by the campers and counselors. We sat at a table with a couple boys Michael had become friends with: Bryce and Matthew, and their mom, Missy, and found out they lived only a short way from where we lived! So we planned playdates through the summer and more friendships were forged.

Diane hosts a Bible study in her house every other week or so, and Missy and Jenn have come with me. Missy's wonderful husband, John, keeps Michael now that Bill's been gone, so I can still have that time out with my friends, enjoying adult conversation and God's Word. And these three women have come to mean so much more than just friends, they've become my family this year and I'd be utterly lost without them.

When I had my seizure--at Trinity--that night in January, Diane came to the emergency room and prayed over me. Missy drove me to countless appointments and tests, sat with me through tears when I learned I had to have spinal surgery, picked Michael up from the bus stop when I was in the hospital, they all visited and prayed, and held me in their hearts. Jenn chauffered us to bowling on the weekends when I wasn't allowed to drive. Diane brought flowers and hugs to brighten my struggling spirit. I could never have made it through this year without these women in my life.

And it gets better! Missy works at a physical therapy clinic where I went after my surgery to continue my recuperation, and there I met Katie, who is a marathon runner. The one thing I missed most was losing the ability to run before I found out I needed surgery--the spinal compression was causing my weakness and fatigue that stopped me from running. Katie encourages and inspires me now that I'm able to run again, to push further and harder every run, and I'm planning on running my first half marathon next year--after we get through this move...and I can't wait!

I'm so thankful God's got me in His hands and that He's provided me with the most incredible friends I could ever hope for. we go again...moving away and I have to say good-bye--but I trust I will see them all again and I will always have them close in my heart, these beautiful sisters God has blessed me with.


  1. Wow. What an incredible story of the community God provided at just the right time.

  2. Thank you for sharing - and Thanking God for his presence in your life and putting you where he knew you needed to be. Take care!


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