I’m supposed to be writing a devotional for our women’s group at church. The topic this month is “Being Connected – Share how someone encouraged you.”
Ok. So, maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m one of those people who shuts others out and doesn’t receive well. I don’t think I am, but MAYBE it’s me.
But the thing is, I can’t share, because I’m in the middle of a Black Hole of Encouragement. Seriously. I got nothing.
In fact, I don’t generally get encouragement from the women at my church, for whom I write these devotionals. I have many theories as to why, and probably half of it is my lack of availability to them – they insist on meeting mid-week in the morning. Some of us work during the day, so….
At any rate, I have missed the boat with the whole Connectedness thing at my church. I’ve frankly given up on it. I just don’t fit into their schedule, their profile, their agendas and their zipcodes. I live in an entirely unfashionable part of town. I can’t afford the retreats and the dinners. And of course, my husband can’t deal with the annual Father/Daughter Dances. Come to think of it, neither can my daughters. If there were a Mother/Son Dinner, I’d totally go, but I guess that’s not a thing.
And I completely, adamantly, don’t buy into their Modern Princess program for young teenage girls. Don’t even get me started on that.
All this to say that my usual encouragers are my best friend, who lives two states away, my counselor, who is on vacation, and a pastor friend in Colorado, who just got kicked out of his building by the denomination and is frantically trying to find a place for his flock to meet, as well as working full-time at a job he had to get because his congregation couldn’t pay his salary. So, a little busy at the moment, and a little short on encouragement.
So I was just going to sit this one out. I’ve done at least one day, if not more, for our women’s group’s daily devotionals for the past six months or so, so it’s not that big a deal if I skip this month.
But then I went and got encouraged by a woman I know.
She deals with similar issues with her husband, and both her husband and her son have Aspergers, which puts my struggles with my husband’s and kids’ ADHD and learning disabilities right into perspective. I’ve known her for years, and last year I had the privilege of having her son in my class. He was an absolute asset to the class. She has poured herself into him, and it has really paid off. So she’s kind of my hero.
At any rate, she encouraged me a few days ago. She sent me an encouraging text. She texted to say how God had been taking care of her and went on to say “Hope your day is filled with the joy of the Lord giving you strength. And your family. So happy that your family was able to watch a great Dodger game.”
Which, you know, wasn’t all that amazing, until you realize that she texted me that the day after she went through back surgery. She texted it from the hospital. And took the time to celebrate with me, since she TOTALLY gets the husband thing, that he went with our son to a ball game.
It made me want to cry. And yes, it completely encouraged me.
But I can’t figure out how to explain this in less than 1400 characters, which is the limit set for the devotionals.
It should be pithy. It should be brief. It should include a Scripture.
But dang, all I can think to say is, “You guys, look, Theresa texted me this less than 24 hours after she had back surgery. I want to be more like her.”
I took dinner to her family tonight, four days after her surgery, and she was calm, cheerful and talkative as ever. She was laughing (carefully, because it hurt) about how people suspect that she doesn’t actually have a husband, because they never see him at school and church events. And rejoicing because his work schedule has changed and he will be available for the first time to attend some of these events.
So just in case I don’t find a way to send it out officially, I wanted to share it here.
Because dang. I seriously have no reason to complain. Not compared to a woman who is facing weeks of bed rest and a liquid diet because she just had two vertebrae fused.
Where’s the Scripture for that? I’m sure there is one, but dang, I need to find it!