I Have a Friend……
I have a friend…..She is a very special women. I have known her for over 20 years now. She has worn several different hats in my life. She has been my “Adopted” Mom, sister, friend, spiritual counselor and just that special person to go to when I have needed her.
She would be the first to tell you that I was not the easiest person to allow someone to get close to or love. I wasn’t unlovable….I just wouldn’t accept your love. I was attending a church in Hopewell, VA while going to Bible College. She and her husband and daughter came to visit the church. They were looking for a new church home. It wasn’t a large church but we averaged around 300-350 on Sunday mornings. This particular Sunday I was singing the special for the service.
My husband would tell you that I haven’t changed much in the past 20 years or so…..I still get nervous and I will drive everyone nuts when it comes to practicing a piece to sing. I don’t like having to rely on the sheet music. I like to be comfortable enough with a piece that I can look up from the music and sing it from my heart. The music has to have a message. I always prayed long and hard over the songs I chose. I wanted the choosing to be the Lord’s. Hymns and special music are another way to get our hearts ready to receive the message the Lord has laid on the pastor’s heart to preach. After having said all that……..
I don’t remember which song it was, but I always look at people and smile and my friend said it was if I was singing just for them. That was how they felt. They kept coming back to the church and since we didn’t have a whole lot of people willing to get up and sing in front of people I did alot of the specials. They eventually joined the church. She said it was due in part to my singing. That was a very special thing to say.
Since I basically had no family and spent my holidays and summers living in the dorm at school, they started to invite me over to their home. I didn’t have anywhere to go until the church opened up the parsonage. The church let me rent the basement when I left school.
I remember this one particular weekend they had invited me out to go camping. We were outside getting the camper ready. She turns to me and asked me if I had been abused as a child. I was a little surprised and slightly taken aback. All I could think to say was “Why do you ask?” She replied by telling me that I reminded her so much of her when she was young. She had grown up the same way I had. She said she recognized a kindred spirit so to speak. We started talking and found out that not only did we “share” the same abuse…..but the same birthday. Okay….I guess we are the only two who thought that was cool!!! With the exception of a couple spots…our stories mirrored each other.
She, however, despite the other abuses had also been spiritually abused. To hear her testimony about what was done all in the name of our loving righteous Savior would make you want to take up arms. She wasn’t the only young lady in this church that was suffering from a man who was taking scripture and using it to justify his raping and keeping these women prisoners of this church.
She was eventually able to leave through the help of another church in the area that she had gotten a job with. Through the gentle ministrations of a Godly Women in the church she was able to grow and learn that the God who loved her enough to die for her was not the same god this man was using to keep her under subjection.
Her life took several other paths to healing and teaching her who our true Lord and Savior is and the joy in serving Him and loving Him. She is one of the most remarkable women I have ever met. How she went through her young years as a Christian and came out of all of that and still has a heartfelt desire to serve God is beyond anything our puny little minds can comprehend. That is not human nature. That is someone God got a hold of and has used in so many ministries. It is a true testament to God’s ability to bring us up out of the miry clay and sustain us.
Now she has a new battle. She is fighting debilitating health problems and has had to stop working all together. Her doctor’s have urged her to file for disability. Her husband is all ready retired but it isn’t enough with out her full time income. She is just not able to work anymore. Due to some other issues that have come up, she isn’t able to attend church anymore either. These are all health issues that as we all know can be enough to bring a person to the lowest ebb of depression. Until all the tests came back conclusively they thought she was developing Alzheimer’s. Thank the Lord that isn’t the problem. She would call in tears, fearful that if she did have Alzheimer’s that she would forget about God. Her fear wasn’t in forgetting her family but the one person in all the world she loves the most is her Lord. I can tell you that there were many times I got off the phone with her crying….begging God to not let this dear women forget Him.
She has that rare kind of faith…..the best way to describe it is childlike faith. She has been feeling despondent about their financial situation and even more because she is missing working in her women’s ministry. I was teasing her and said how in the world she had the faith to step out and take the journey she has taken through her life and now she is questioning whether or not they would make it was beyond me……..She laughed and said she hadn’t thought of it that way but I was right.
Her options are so limited on what she is going to be able to do…..I have been encouraging her to write her story. She would be able to reach so many women and be an encouragement to those who have been abused especially any who have experienced any type of spiritual abuse. She wasn’t sure about actually being able to write her story. She still once in awhile will have panic attacks over some of these issues which is what has made it difficult for her to go back to church in the last 2 years.
I told her about blogging. She went out and looked at my blog and started to get excited. She said there are people who would read what I have to say? I told her I have enough friends that I could direct them her way and it wouldn’t take long….once word spread. She still may not say much at first…but she is excited about blogging her devotions and sharing some of her testimony.
I wanted to encourage her, to let her know that she may not be able to physically lead a ladies bible study doesn’t mean the doors are closed for her. She still has so much to offer and God can still use her just in a different way….she would be able to hopefully reach more women this way than she ever could.
We set up a temporary blog. It is Wounded Lily taken from the scripture passage Matthew 6:25-32 and the song “Consider the Lilies”. I will let her tell the story behind that one…….:-). The kids and I are driving down this weekend and I will be giving her tutorials on blogging. That’s almost like the blind leading the blind. I can get her started….lol . I would encourage you to bookmark her blog……It will be well worth your while to do so………
My husband will be working all weekend so we will be high tailing it out of Northern Virginia. Hopefully now that school has resumed the traffic won’t be SOOOO bad……:-(.
I just wanted to introduce this very special person in my life to all of the other very special friends who are an important part of my life.