Sunday, May 16, 2010
I'll Call You Sister
The past few weeks have been challenging for our family. When you read this you may understand why I didn't post a Memorial Box story last week. And, I find it interesting that Linny, who began Memorial Box Monday, didn't post one last week either.
Stan and I both receive our salaries from state government. Furloughs and medical bills have done some serious harm to our finances. Sometimes, I'm not sure we'll be able to balance the family budget. More difficult financial news came just as we were leaving for Tampa with Ellie to see doctors at Shriners.
While in Tampa, we had disheartening news about Ellie's mobibility. One doctor further discouraged us concerning her future.
I've suffered pain in my neck. It was bothering me before we went to Tampa. The pain later moved to my shoulder, and down my arm until I finally lost feeling in my thumb. A subsequent MRI revealed a bone spur between vertebrae in my neck. I see a neurosurgeon tomorrow.
And, on Mother's Day, I received a call from Stan at work. "Can you come get me?" he asked. His shift at the prison was not over. I knew something was wrong. He had responded to a call for help from another officer. When he joined the "tussle" between three officers and one inmate, he later found himself at the bottom of a pile. His knee was injured. He's not been back to work yet. He sees an orthopedist this week.
Read all of that and wonder...How could this be a Memorial Box post?
Through our most recent trials, God has proven Himself faithful through the family of God.
After posting about our visit to Tampa, I received much encouragement from many of you. (Read that post "Passing Through Deep Waters" here if you missed it.) At the end of the week, one of my former students came to see me. She carried a gift from a "secret" friend.
I don't know who sent it, but I'm certain I can call her Sister.
Ellie doesn't know all of the details the doctors shared with us. She doesn't know the significance of the gift. But, she asked if she could put it on her bed. I couldn't think of a better place.
Within a few days, as I struggled with the pain in my neck, and knew I would soon have an MRI, with copays to add to our financial strain, I found an envelope in our mail box. There was no return address. Inside the envelope was a handmade card with no signature, only these words. "The LORD takes care of all who love him." (Psalm 145:20) Also in the card, was this....
Did any of you hear my gasp? Can you imagine the Holy Ghost bumps?
I don't know who sent that gift either. But, I am certain I can call her Sister, too.
Following Stan's injury last Sunday, our pastor and his wife left for a visit to family in Virginia. When I sat at the piano for Wednesday night's prayer service, though, I found a note from our pastor that read, " Sister Robbie, what a blessing you are. Keep playing and singing." (I don't think I'll call him Sister. I'll stick with Brother.)
And, you know what?
Stan and Ellie are still walking with crutches. (Ellie said, "Hey! I'm not the only one with crutches. But I'm faster than Daddy. He's not used to it yet.)
My neck still hurts.
The pain medication makes me itch.
Our budget remains super tight.
But, I read past verse 20 of Psalm 145.
I read verse 21.
"My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD."
Though we have trials here on earth, I serve a Savior who is worthy of my praise.
He is the Comforter. He comforts me when I am alone. He comforts me in my prayer time. He comforts me through the body of Christ, faithful servants of the LORD.
He is my provider. He can balance the family budget. I never know what I'll find in my mail box. And, he may choose to provide for us through the body of Christ.
He is the Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brother. I can trust Him. He is there. He is always there. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever more.
So, in our Memorial Box, I have placed the cards.
I think I'll leave the pillow on Ellie's bed.