We took off this morning at 6am, like normal, but this morning someone wanted a biscuit from Hardee's so we stopped. I ran in to use the bathroom and then hopped in line to get another cup of coffee...no such thing as too much coffee on this trip!
While we were waiting in line, I mistook a girl in line behind us for someone we met yesterday at the school. She was with her mom and her brother, and as we continued talking to them and about our trip, the son told us how he had changed his life around. How he had been saved in January, and it was a good thing because six months later, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He and his mom talked about surgeries and treatment and how his cancer had come back, and more treatments and now he was doing great....
I couldn't breathe...
I fell apart for a second, I couldn't look at him and some jealous thoughts ran through my brain. I turned towards Richard and just started crying, thankfully Pastor Mike and Liesa were standing right there to carry on that conversation. I pulled it back together, and was gonna just walk away with my coffee, but God said "no" and turned me around to share about Ellie with this complete stranger. I told her how happy I was for them and how awesome it was that God knew exactly what her son needed to fight that battle with cancer. The mom and I continued on to have a sweet conversation about how we wouldn't change a thing about our journeys and how grateful we were that God had our children's future in his hands. We left, and they were on their way to the doctor for more check ups. I was grateful to God for opening up my heart to hear what I needed to hear. The grief journey is one that you can easily cover up with a happy face, put the wall up and just keep trucking on. Pretending and sometimes really believing that all is okay. Living with that wall up and happy face, sometimes makes me numb though to life's experiences. Things that others would probably love to revel in for hours, I tend to try to rush through because the emotion is just too much....and I don't always realize I do it. God totally knocked my walls down this morning, to wake me up and realize there was so much emotion going on in what I was doing in Kentucky and I needed to slow down and experience it.
Our school that day was quick, we were having to move quick, talk quick, hand out boxes quick...and I was grateful for a moment that I got to steal away and go visit some of the special needs classrooms. Such a change of scenery from the loud gym with music blasting! Smaller classrooms with sweet kids working hard...and a little music playing! I may have whipped and nay nayed and sang some Elsa 😉
During our group of 5th graders, I went and sat with some of the "wigglier" boys...thinking that's where I was meant to sit, God was putting me there for those boys! As I sat there, the girls in front of me were talking, and I heard one say she was scared. I scooted down to talk to her and to figure out what she was afraid of. She told me she wanted to ask for prayer, but she was scared to raise her hand. So I told her she could tell me and I'd make sure I wrote it down for her so the group could pray for her. She told me her mom and dad were both in prison and she was living with her older sister. She didn't know when they were getting out or how long they were staying with her sister.
As Pastor Mike went to pray, I placed my hand on her shoulder, and prayed for her. I wanted her to feel that love I feel all the time from my church family. When Pastor Mike asked if any of the kids would like to accept Jesus into their hearts, I felt her arm move, I peeked, and there was her hand lifted high. I couldn't help but cry and be completely humbled that he choose me for that moment. That God has helped me come completely out of my comfort zone and share Him! When they were done praying, she turned to look at me and the relief and peace on that girl's face was amazing!
Back at Calvary Campus, after dinner each night, we have a time of sharing. We had two teams with us, so we don't always know what happens with the other team. After having my walls knocked down by God early in the morning, my heart was raw with emotion, and ready to open up a little bit more to this group of people I'd been with all week. So for the first time, I shared out loud to the whole group about Ellie, some knew, but many didn't. I told them about the brain cancer boy at Hardee's and how God just completely broke me that morning to be open hearted. To be so in tune with him for the day, and that's how I heard him tell me to place my head on that girl's shoulder to pray with her.
After devotion time, a new team member that had just joined us that day came up to me with his daughter (who gave the most incredible hugs). He and his work had sent care packages to us when Ellie was first diagnosed. Our family picture is still on their refrigerator. Had I not shared that night, he wouldn't have figured out who we were, and that sweet moment would have been missed, talk about incredibly broken roads! His daughter was so sweet and I think had radar for my tears...for the next day, she found me every time I was crying and had an amazing hug for me!
Today I learned about obedience....today I was obedient and was able to see the reward of my obedience....but I also had a tad bit of a gut check when thinking about all those times I was not obedient, those times I heard God tell me to do something and I ignored him because I didn't want to feel weird or go out of my way. How many moments and blessings I have missed because I wasn't obedient? I'm grateful for today's lesson....had I not learned this today....I may have missed out on meeting the one girl I came to Kentucky for, the next day.
Prayers, Praise and Pink