I don't even know where to begin. So many thoughts running around in this brain of mine! Many of which, I am unable to even be able to articulate into words. One thing I know, that God is doing a work in my heart. A deep work. A work that I am confident that when it is completed will change me - forever.
I have been absolutely amazed at how much God has ministered to me. So many have ministered to us in the past several months. To this day, I still can be brought to tears to think of the sacrifice that went into our Christmas gifts from so many of our friends - (you all know who you are!). Deeply each one of you sacrificed for us, and how deeply your love has been engraved upon our hearts. He used you to minister to us. I am in awe, at your sacrifice. I am humbled at His love shown through you.
This past weekend I attended a parent / teen retreat with Abbey. I was looking forward to the weekend with Abbey. Just her and me. But I went with a heavy heart. Not worried or burdened with anxiety; but tired. Emotionally. It seems that in July when Rachel was admitted to the hospital the first time, that life stopped for me. Suddenly, my days were spent with one single focus - getting Rachel better. Much of my days have been spent at home or in a hospital room. Life for everyone else has gone on. Activities attended. Routines and schedules have regulated the everyday. My days plans have changed more times than I care to count!
With this time of absence, has also come a feeling of not knowing how to get back into life. (Perhaps this makes no sense; but it has been exactly how I have felt.) I go to church, and I feel like a visitor. The atmosphere is alive and people have their places to go; and I am left scrambling to try to figure out where I fit in. This weekend I had some of these same feelings as I headed to the camp. I felt numb - like life was going on around me and I was sitting there watching. Part of me wanted to just jump in there and pick up where I left off - but I felt so emotionally drained that I did not have even the energy. I was not looking for someone to minister to me - I was not looking for anything at all; but God knew my need, and once again He met it through others.
Throughout the entire day I was surrounded by other sisters in Christ. I was sitting under preaching that touched deep into my heart. Oh how deeply it all ministered to me. Like healing salve on a wound. I left blessed. I attended church today and felt like my cup was filled to overflowing. The music, the testimonies, the encouraging words offered by so many. Each person who told me they have been praying for Rachel touched me deeply. I left church tonight feeling like I belonged. I left knowing God had chosen this place, these people to minister to my heart.
It all has made me think of ministry in a whole new light. Have I ministered the way God has wanted me to. I believe that one of the greatest ways God works in people's lives is through other people. I have asked myself this question so much in the past four weeks: "If God's love is shown to others through me - how many have missed seeing His love for them because I have been too busy going about my life, doing my things, to take the time to minister?" So much conviction.
I want to minister - to meet needs. To have the time, yea, to make the time to be able to talk with someone. To have the ability to listen, without condemning, as someone opens up their heart and needs. To share Christ. The unsaved need to see Him through me. My neighbor. The cashier at the store. The woman I pass in church. The saved need to see Him through me. To minister His healing to hearts that are hurting. To pray with a sister in Christ who is struggling with her faith. To take a meal. To make a visit.
This week - I will minister Christ. I will share. I will love. I will pray. I have been so blessed in the past months by so many of you. Thank you. You all will never know what your love has meant to me. Every card. Every call. Every gift. Every meal. Every visit. Every email. Every text. You have been a picture of Christ to me. Thanks for making His image so clear. I needed to see Him. I saw Him in you. I will never be the same! Thanks!