Friday, September 9, 2011

When Giving is Receiving

Some days move along smoothly with no upsets, surprises, or trip-ups. Most of my days are like that. I seem to move in a steady pace, doing what needs to be done, and ending the day wondering where it went!

But today was different. Yesterday, I stopped for some veggies at the stand on the corner, and I was thinking of a gal at church who has been on our prayer list. She is desparately looking for a job, and has been for some time. I knew (you know how you just know???!!!) that this HAD to be tough with two kids. So I got some extra stuff while I was there and headed over to her place.

I was met by a young teen boy who invited me in, offered me a seat and told me that "Momma" would be home shortly and did I want to stay. I needed to go, so he walked me out to the car, carrying on the sweetest conversation. As I got into my car, he asked me my name and said he would let her know that I had been there. I was drawn by him.

Her house was small and rustic --- maybe better called a cottage. Huge oaks shaded everything, and I loved the vines, flowers, trellises, archways, etc. It was such a peaceful place to be.

I wanted to speak with her and find out if there was anything she needed help with, so I went back this evening. Little did I know. . . .

It was ME who would be blessed beyond measure!!!! Beyond anything I could give, this woman gave me more. We talked about God's care and blessings, and I told her how He has brought me through cancer and chemo and supplied my every need. She then told me that she has been battling brain cancer for 25 years now, taking chemo all this time. She is on an experimental program with the Marines. I looked at her, and I thought about myself, "And YOU thought YOU had it bad!" I just grabbed her and hugged her. I couldn't help it.

I saw joy in her eyes, and peace. And as she spoke, faith oozed out all over the place. She told me how she built her home by herself, how she took in the two children, and how she had to build on bedrooms if she wanted to keep them. She told me of being in the Marines, an expert dog trainer (BUSTER, watch out!!!!), and how she took care of her Mom and Dad through long illnesses.

I drove out the long driveway, paused before pulling into the road, and I just sighed a HUGE sigh. Where had I just been???!!!! I thought I was going to find out how I could help someone, and I never even asked the question! Instead, someone ministered to me and lifted me up. Instead, I met someone who is content, happy, and at peace with very little in life.
Instead, I met someone who gives, and gives, and gives of herself for others.

I think I met someone who knows A WHOLE LOT about Calvary Love! Someone I want to get to know better. Someone I want to be more like.


Kristin Bridgman said...

What a blessed visit! And you are like that, you DO know a whole lot of Calvary's love! I can tell you show it all the time, just as you were driving up her driveway to give some more!
I'm so glad you met a new friend!
God gave you a gift today to add to your blessing journal :)

Denise said...

Oh my.... a beautiful story and what I call a God encounter. HE does things so beyond our grasp that it leaves us feeling with such awe that no words can even explain.

When blessing we are blessed, and that is what HE did for you that day.. It is the moments in time like this that HE walks right up to us and says...... I AM HERE... HE has just looked you in the eye..... and said to you I AM HERE...... :)

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

Many times I have read stories where folks have gone to help and come out with a renewed spirit but not from "doing or helping". They see the strong spirit of the lord in the one that needs. GOD did say he will be with us in our time of need and that is what people see...GOD's awesome grace.

I had tears in my eyes reading this. You sure have been blessed in many ways to see GOD in action.

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

Isn't our Lord wonderful....each and every time I start dwelling on my problems in life...which I know I shouldn't, he seems to bring my path to someone like your dear lady -- someone whose problems pale mine and yet they are filled with grace and faith. How blessed we are!! Thank you for sharing :)


Linda Moser Winebrenner said...

Cora, I am so glad God made you to bless others. Your words enrich, inspire and today they brought tears to my eyes. I am, simply, glad that you are...

Andrea Dawn said...

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Love these kinds of stories! Such a huge blessing that came from listening to the still small voice of the Spirit and acting on it.

KathyB. said...

This post made me cry, for joy and for both of you. Boy, Marines ARE tough!Tough for anything and anyone they are passionate about. This Marine is passionate for God, and how wonderful is that for you to have a Sister in Christ who loves Jesus that way? God planned this meeting, and maybe just for you and her. (for me too)

Nancy M. said...

Wow! That is such an amazing woman! I am glad you were able to meet her and share in her love and feel His blessing!

dsblanchard said...

Dear Cora,

I read this with tears streaming down my face. That sounds familiar, doesn't it? Turn about is fair play, Dear Sister. Who would have ever known all that lay beneath that woman's prayer for a job unless you'd have gone that second mile--beyond simply joining her in prayer, but truly made the effort to join her in life.

Whoa! and join her you did! You had so may die cuts that matched hers you could have built a dresser. Isn't God just so ready to do these kinds of fittings in our lives, but we don't heed his promptings. Dear Cora, thanks for this reminder that "His yoke is easy and his burden is light." Matthew 11:30.

Being with you is always joy,

Debra said...

This is beautiful, Cora-I needed YOU today. First, your music was a healing balm. I always know I'll come away from reading your blog feeling like I've been with someone who really really loves me, and who knows just the right thing to say.
I've missed you so much. I love you!
~Debra PS Thank you for the duck story!

Karen said...

This is a wonderful reminder of God's sacrifice and love for us all. Thank you so much for your sentiments and your humility. You made me stop and think, something I need to do more often, each and every day.

Lea said...

What a sweet and blessed surprise! You went to minister, and were ministered to! ;) I can't get over how long she has had chemo... -- honestly I've never even heard anything like that? Thankyou for sharing your day with us Cora...
I agree with Kristin, you have another "gift." ;)

Debbie said...

Isn't it funny how God does things like that to us? I've usually been on a giving mission when I received something wonderful. We'll rarely go out looking for someone to give us anything. :D
What a wonderful testimony and thank you for stepping out there so that we all could be blessed by this lovely lover of God.