Today I am reflecting on the miraculous events surrounding what pushed me into taking a leap of faith and purchasing a domain, working with our tech guru, Fred, to get it all set up and entering the world of internet blogging.
I am not sure how many years I sent my weekly Sunday school email out to encourage people but over time it grew to over a hundred people. Russ kept telling me I should write more and get it out there more and asked if I wanted to attend a writer’s conference.
So in 2013, I did a search of them and found out that Proverbs 31 Ministries held one called “She Speaks” (ironic name since we all know I speak a lot of words without help) so I registered for their summer gathering and Russ arranged for hotels and travel and all the things that he is so good at.
As the months began to count down, our son John, who was graduating and going to be a new hire in the fall, received news that the chronic back pain from an old injury could only improve with surgery. It was recommended that he do laser surgery as it is less invasive. I had a check in my spirit and so I prayed and prayed and asked every physician that had been involved in John’s care here in town and out in Tulsa, researching this laser surgery center in Oklahoma City and prayed some more. John pursued the screening appointments and yet I hesitated and asked questions and prayed more and more and more.
I even called this big old machine that was The Laser Spine Institute and spoke with the surgeon who would be in charge of it all. As we talked and neared the end of our conversation I did something I never do as I agreed to the surgery, I asked him if he was a Christian. He paused and quietly said yes. I said then I would ask him as brother to pray for our son in the days leading up to the appointment and surgery and that I would be praying for him as the surgeon. He agreed he would.
We were responsible for the downpayment, which was hefty – trust me – and our insurance would cover part of the rest. We also wanted to get the surgery done on our insurance and give John time to heal and not be a bill on his new company. We also wanted him to finish school and have his graduation.
So the date was set for summer and guess when it would fall.
Yes. The day my conference started.
I immediately told Russ I would have to cancel and my husband immediately told me I would do no such thing. He would arrange a change in flights so I could leave from Oklahoma City. I struggled deeply. I wanted to be with John. There was no way I would be worth my weight in mom-ness to leave as he was finishing back surgery, no matter how non-invasive they promised it would be, and head off for a writer’s conference. Not only was my heart wanting to be there, another part of me was imagining the conversations of all the good moms who would say how they would NEVER do that.
Except I did.
As I prayed, I knew that my wanting to be there was because I wanted to be there. John was fine with his dad and the girls thought he would do fine and by golly, that man I married and had children with is a wonderful, kind and compassionate father and would take such tender care of our boy. So I honored my husband and swallowed my own wants and pride and let him arrange all the changes.
The day of John’s pre-surgery appointment came and when we got there, our Christian doctor was gone on a mission trip…of all things. His replacement doctor wanted to get familiar with John’s case. John had been evaluated by the other doctor so this seemed over-doing it as he had all the records and x-rays in front of him…except he wasn’t convinced the surgery would help John.
He ordered another painful test for John to endure and determined that the first doctor had missed something significant. He regretfully and gently and kindly told us that the surgery would not relieve the pain. The institute refunded our money and paid for the additional testing. However, no money in the world could alleviate the heartache and disappointment of our son as he walked out, still in pain and tossing away the promise that had been birthed that this surgery would free him from his chronic pain.
We had a day before my flight left and we spent it together and then they put me on the plane. His dad went back to Tulsa with him and helped him visit doctors again and put a plan in action. And I boarded a plane free to bawl my eyes out and first thank God for sparing him a useless surgery that would have caused more scar damage but also asking Him what on earth had just happened here and please to heal our boy somehow.
And thus I went to She Speaks with a roller coaster of emotions and a heavy heart, but God ministered to me while my husband ministered to our son. I can tell you the road to his healing has been diligence in exercise, regular chiropractic treatment and an acceptance of what he can do to keep healthy and strong. He bikes, swims, plays softball, basketball and tennis, hikes and stands tall again. God has healed him as John has fully cooperated by doing the hard work and discipline that keeps him healthy.
At the conference, I felt alone and silly for thinking I was a “writer”. I had even made an appointment with a publisher! Can you imagine. No book idea to present, just a handful of my devotions. I sat across from one of the kindest women I had met at the conference to that point. She looked through them and asked me about my audience. I told her I just send an email out every week to a hundred or so people and I apologized for wasting her time.
And she looked at me and said a hundred people could be considered a nice sized church attendance. She told me to keep doing what I do and to remember who I do it for and pray for God to show me the next steps.
I took her words to heart and as I went to various workshops the idea of a blog seemed to be my next step.
Seven years and over 1600 posts later, I still ask God every time I sit down to type what He would have me say and to send whoever needs to read it.
This has been a long story and if you are still with me, God bless you for your patience.
My point is that the ministries and ways of serving that God calls us to will be birthed out of the stuff of life that would threaten to sideline us. It is in the challenges we face with what life on planet earth gives us that God shows up in His amazing, beautiful and creative ways.
Covid, the political scene, the economy, the wild weather, the brush fires….God is at work over and in and through it all.
Hold fast to Him, my friends. Hold fast and do not think little of what He has called you to do.
It, and you, matter much <3