Love In Action With A Servant’s Heart

 

Is it well with your soul today?  It is well with mine.  I wanted to share a little more about my experience following the adventures that God has me on.  Namely…helping my friend after her surgery.  You see, I believe that God places people in our lives to help us walk it out.  Without them, our life would be much more difficult, and sometimes, we just might feel like giving up.  But when we can find someone who we can share life with, cry with, laugh until our sides ache, just sit with, help in times of need and hurt, THAT is when we need to leave our cares behind, and be love to someone else.  It causes us to get our eyes off of ourselves and onto the task of loving on someone who needs it.  That was my experience.

The Captain all packed and ready for the journey north.

I have known this friend since we were in second grade, and I’m not telling you how long ago that was, but let’s just say, it’s been a while.   We have done many firsts together…firsts for her

Squirrels in her yard were so fun to watch.

and first for me.  We both enjoy going to the ocean and walking on the beach in silence, or even at different paces, and when we go to the ocean, the first thing we do is throw wide open the doors to hear the ocean waves.  Then we sit and say, “Ahhhh…” at almost the same time.  We can talk about anything and have gone through many things together.  So I didn’t think twice when God put on my heart, AND that of my husband, for me to go up and help her after surgery.  We rearranged our plans for our get-away, and away I went; The Captain and I.  I have totally been blessed with many of these kinds of friends and have received the same kind of help from them at times.  That is what relationship is all about.  If I have something I can do for someone, and it is in my power to do so, I will do it.  I always have…I always will.

So what did I learn in this adventure?

  • God provided the resources for us to do this.
  • When He puts something on your heart, He will take care of the details.
  • He gave me the strength to get up every 2 hours.
  • He gave me energy to help out with all that was needed and cooking a meal, and never feel tired during the time I was there.
  • It isn’t about me in this life.
  • It is about what I can do and give to make life easier to see Jesus every day.
  • I don’t do it on my own.  I learned that doesn’t work way back in Junior High School.  I still had bumps in my journey, and I still do.  But God is the one who helps me through it, keeps me strong and focused on the right thing…Him.
  • We love to show the heart of Jesus.
  • Her family got to see love in action.
  • It’s not about the person I am, but the person I have become BECAUSE of Him that I want them to see.  We live like Jesus as best we can, with His help.

We had her surgery, her husband took a fall the next day and hurt himself, and another emergency all within 36 hours of my coming.  When your friend covers her head with a blanket after all that happened and sobbed, you KNOW why you are there.  You sit down, you cry because your heart hurts with and for her, and you assure her that we will make it through this one together too.

A cup with a Starbucks card given to me by my friend’s daughter-in-law.

I ended up rooming with her, because of her husbands fall and he needed to be on the lower level.  How fun…it was like junior high and high school and many times after that…laughing into the night.  Doing her exercises and laughing so hard we could hardly do the exercises.  But I found I had to watch her too.  She is Miss Independent and would try to do it on her own.  God helped me to wake up at her moves and anticipate what she was doing.  I told her it was like in an old folks’ home; I was putting her walker on my side of the room so I would know what she was sneaking to do.  Or in exercises, we would be giggling over the leg lifts that aren’t coming even an inch off the bed and you couldn’t help laughing as I would ask her if she was lifting her leg!  I remember that feeling.   Then in the quiet of night, you think about some of those things and burst out laughing because you picture it all over again!  Yep!  And of course, trying to be sort of quiet when its 2 am in the morning or 4 am in the morning as you get up to use the rest room.  We would say “shhhh to each other back and forth” and I’m sure made more noise than was necessary telling each other to be quiet!  We also had breakfast together, lunch together, and dinner together.  Conversation and dreaming together.  That is awesome times right there!

Gift basket waiting for me in my room when I got there. How sweet is she??

I was reminded we aren’t promised a tomorrow and we need to take care of ourselves and be our own best advocate for living.  It brought back some hard memories for me because its only 3 years or so ago that I went through it with both knees at the same time.  I recognize the pain.  I know the struggle.  I have been there.  But you see, that is why God can use me.  I can sit alongside them and say, I know what that feels like.  Don’t sit on the sidelines, when you can be a help or encouragement to others.  THAT is ministry.  That is living a joyful and purposeful life.  After it is all said and done, she and I changed the world sitting in our chairs, over a mocha.  That’s good stuff!!  When we do what God suggests we do, and we are obedient to it, God will get us through it by walking with us.  I have had many friends in my life that have been that kind of people to me and it makes me feel great to pay it forward.

Who might you be the hands and feet of Jesus to today?  Are you willing to give up your schedule or time to follow through?  One less post on Facebook to send a text or make a phone call, or even a day without technology to help someone, have some quiet time, or whatever it is in your life that you need to do.  I got in the car to leave, left her crying and I was crying, but I thanked God for the time I got to spend helping her.  She deserved the help.  She helps others all the time.  God knew.  He gave something back to her and just used me to do it.  Love how God works!

So now this next week, I get to be the hands and feet of Jesus to another gal, and also to my husband after his surgery.  God keeps us humble and uses us when we notice where He is working.  I ask God for opportunities to be there for someone.  He always answers.  Always… I hope you find encouragement for your journey through these thoughts on my adventure.  I pray these thoughts push you out of your comfort zone and you begin asking God to show you ways you can love on others also.

 

Until next time…

~JoAnn

 

 

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Will You Sell Out?

I have found it rather difficult lately to watch various people who will ditch their loyalty for the sake of recognition or money. Do those who do this think they will gain any kind of loyalty for themselves?  Oh, they might gain ATTENTION from those who just want to get the story, but nobody really likes a tattle tail. I have always felt that if you worked alongside someone, you were to respect and keep confidentiality a priority with them unless it brought immediate danger to them. They deserve the same when you leave or part ways also. But so many will do anything to gain notoriety or make some money off of someone’s life or circumstance. Do you think the question is ever asked, “Will I enhance or degrade this person’s reputation if I break their confidence?” It saddens me that many never seem to ask themselves that question.

I would venture to say that we all have things we do or say that we would rather not have others know about us. That reminds me of a speaker I heard that asked a great question. He said, what would we feel like if God showed our life on a big screen where everything we ever did, said, or acted like were played there for everyone to see. I don’t know about you, but there would be things I would not be proud to have shared with everyone. It is something that is between God and myself, and with the work of the Holy Spirit, I want to improve. Thankfully, God gives me His mercy for “do-overs and u-turns”.  It is my desire to journey further with the Lord and to edit my life movie so that I am more of what God would see as fitting for the big screen. I want Him to be honored in what I do, say and act like. No regrets. I want to give him the keys to my house and allow Him to clean my darkened rooms.

Now you may be thinking, “I would never say the things these television people and a few others I know, are saying about their friends or boss.” Oh yes, we do! This is key: How many of you have walked out of church, having had a great worship and fellowship experience with fellow believers, and then closed your car door and let fly about something you didn’t like about the sermon, the worship, a person, or something someone said to you? Yes…we DO sell out. I have sold out at times. We just aren’t making money or credit off of the story.

Will you sell out to satan’s plan? Will you justify your words or actions based on some reasoning that you have? Or, will you use your mouth to edify and build up and carry another’s burden by keep their confidences to yourself no matter what? I desire to bring glory to God through my mouth. I turn my keys over to Him. Have I arrived? Nope. Not yet. But am I aware that I need to? You bet! There… is my plumb line.