Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oh, How He Loves Me

Tuesdays are usually good days. Great days. Fantastic days. Tuesdays are Breakaway days, and God usually blesses my socks off through Breakaway.

Yesterday, however, had an iffy start.

Cami, my seven-year-old, was tired. She did not want to get up. As I put her clothes on her writhing body, as she's tangling her hair and the bedsheets in her thrashing around, I was saying to myself (out loud), "Don't take it personally. She's just tired. Once you get her up and going, it will be a good day."

Still the crying and writhing continued.

Michael happened to be home, getting ready for a doctor's appointment. I left the writhing child and went to him. I said, "Remind me why I love Tuesdays. Remind me why I committed to do Breakaway." Honestly, it would have been a lot easier to just not go.

But I had to go. I'm the worship coordinator. I'm responsible for the first hour's activities. I had promised Maggie (my Bible study teacher) that I would come to class. There was a newcomers' luncheon and a leadership team meeting afterwards. I had arranged for Cami to go play at a friend's house for the afternoon. It was going to be an eventful day.

Besides, God was going to be there. I wanted to see what He was going to do and say in our midst.

Michael took me by the shoulders and looked into my eyes. He said, "This is what you are called to do. You were made for this." I'm pretty sure he meant leading women in worship, not corralling a writhing crying child.

He said, "Finish getting ready. Let me take a crack at this." I heard him telling Cami a few minutes later, "You always have a good time once you get up and get there."

I resolved myself to the fact that we were going to be late. Again. (Good thing I try to be there 90 minutes early every week. ) As we walked out the door, I thought, "I might as well take out the garbage and check the mail from yesterday. Since we're going to be late anyway." As I walked to the mailbox, I vaguely thought, "Maybe God sent some money." Several times in the past, when we've had a financial need, a check will show up out of nowhere in the mail. A reimbursement, or an audit adjustment---stuff like that. We don't have any outstanding financial needs (just the normal ones) right now. Still, the thought crossed my mind.

I pulled the mail out of the box, and there was a hand-addressed envelope to me from someone in Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Now, Eglin is right outside of Fort Walton Beach, which is my hometown and where my parents still live. If it had been from Fort Walton Beach, it could have been anyone. But Eglin Air Force Base? I don't know anybody that lives on base there.

I got in the van and opened the letter.

Dear Candi, Sept. 18, 2007

I am a substitute at Silver Sands School, so I work closely with your mom and I love her to death. [smiley face] She has shared with me some of the medical challenges you are going through. I wanted you to know you have been in my prayers. I also saw the e-mail in which you had such a positive attitude about the whole situation! As a sister-in-Christ who also has many struggles with my physical well-being, I know how hard it is to continue to lay it all down at the Lord's feet. And to "Rejoice in the Lord always." But your email brought tears to my eyes, and gave me great encouragement!! I hope this letter can give you a bit of encouragement, too. Keep up the faith! God has great things in store for you!!

Love,
Shannon

(She put her last name, but I don't want to publish it without her permission.)

I sat in my van and wept. If I had checked the mail the day before, I wouldn't have read that letter right when I needed to hear from God most. I didn't know I needed a hug from Him. But He sent one anyway. And I did need it. Right then.

At that moment, I remembered very clearly why I love Jesus.

And why I love Tuesdays.

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