Friday, August 27, 2010

Speechless...Other Than A Whispered "Amen"

I try to get up before the boys everyday, to have a little quiet time, get myself ready in peace and to get a jumpstart on the day's to-do's. The other day I had a particularly meaningful email sitting in my inbox, and was thankful for the chance to read it in peace instead of in spurts between moments of craziness.

This is from a guy I went to jr high/high school with. We weren't really friends, didn't really run around with the same crowd. But when he friend-requested me on facebook a year or two ago, I immediately remembered him. I don't know many of the details, but I don't need to - he and his wife lost their baby boy at the end of July, I believe it was just a few days before he was due. There aren't many things that prick my heart quite like the death of a baby - especially when it happens to someone I know.

I use facebook and my blog just like the average joe - but I also try to be intentional about minstering through this social media, too. I try to be transparent in my life as a young mother, a wife, a family in ministry. And every now and then, I find out that some silly (or not-so-silly) little thing that I said or did really ministered to someone. I've been told by a few that just having a glimpse into our lives gives them hope, inspires them, makes them feel like they're not alone, or even just a laugh when they really needed one. And if a handful of folks see the light of Christ shining in me in this way - it makes it all worth it.

Then on Tuesday, which happened to be the 20th anniversary of the day that I was baptized (actually, I'm pretty sure that it was no "coincidence"), this is the much-needed affirmation that I received, via a man that I've had very little direct contact with:

Okay - I know you don't really know me at all. But, I remember you very vividly in the 8th grade, as I do almost everyone at GR. That year was one of the most influential times in my life. I know those that grew up there couldn't wait to leave the small town. But my last school had over 3000 kids in it... so, it was nice to know and be known for once, and have a chance to succeed rather than watch my back.

I just wanted to share with you why I was excited to connect with you on Facebook, though hardly ever a word has been spoken between us. I have at times peered into your life from a distance and I have found joy in watching you raise your kids. It's been humbling to learn of your struggles as your life is devoted to ministry. How I have at times struggled with finances, while your husband will go knock on doors and sell shingles in order to provide. I shared with my wife when you posted about your MeeMaw "dancing with her Jesus now" and it brought tears to both of our eyes. A very inspirational response to the situation.

When we found out we were pregnant, I often read your blog to get an idea of what I was in for. I have no idea how to take care of a kid. I often found inspiration in some of your crazy stories, and eventually determined that I could do this.

Since losing our son, I have come to realize that God had been preparing me for some time now. He taught me how to be a father and gave me opportunities to imagine what my life would look like. All this was so that my heart would grow and I could bond with my son in the few short hours I had with him. He also taught me how find hope and joy in death, and to truly rest in His peace.

So, I guess all this to say... you never know who you might minister to in what wacky way. But I appreciate that I've had this opportunity to learn more about you and your family. Continue to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit that you don't miss opportunities to be a witness.

Thank you, also, for your condolences. I was surprised to see your comment on my post and grateful that you would take the time.

Again, I know that your memory of me is foggy at best, but thank you for "accepting" me and allowing me to find encouragement from time to time through your encounters.

May God bless you and your family.

And still, I'm left pretty much speechless - other than a whispered "Amen," a feeling of gratitude for being ministered to by a friend in mourning, hope for his family to find peace, and a quiet plea for the Lord to continue to use me...
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Bonnie said...

Yes, there's intentionally a blank spot. That's my speechless part.
Glorify God in all you do. Both you and that young man have done so.

Heidi said...

Thank you for sharing. Made me cry just reading his email....not just because of their horrific loss, but because of his willingness to share with you how you'd touched him and his family. What a blessing that was to you! Keep on keepin' on!!

C Wells said...

How awesome! That's really inspirational Rachel. :) I hope it encourages you and press on and keep shining your light to people!!