What happens when we begin to notice God at work in our lives? When we step out in faith and share those golden glimpses of Heaven with others? Lives are touched - sometimes infusing humor and eliciting laughter, sometimes strengthening and deepening faith, sometimes encouraging and blessing, and offering a new perspective, and every once in awhile unexpectedly preparing us for the future.
One lazy, August afternoon, as I watched my little ones playing at a local park, I casually struck up a conversation with another mom. We chatted about our kids for a bit, and then she opened her heart and shared her story with me.
She had three sons, she told me, "Two here on earth and one in Heaven." Ohhh! I quietly listened as she went on, not knowing what to say. She'd lost her third son to Sudden Infant Death at just three months old. I couldn't even imagine her pain, and my heart nearly stopped when she told me, "My unborn son is a 'heart baby.'" She explained that without a transplant at birth, her tiny, fourth son would not survive. He'd been placed on the transplant list just that week. All she could do now was pray. Yet in order for her son to live, someone else's child had to die. She more than understood the enormity of the situation.
I left the park that afternoon, overwhelmed, my heart aching. My friend's pain scared me. I, too, was carrying an unborn child, and I fervently prayed God wasn't preparing me to walk a similar path. He wasn't, though His plans would rock my world. Within the year, my only sibling, my brother, died of sudden cardiac death. The pain of losing him was intense, searing and at times nearly suffocating. Yet through those long months of learning to let go, I also learned to trust God, moment-by-moment, day-by-day, through every circumstance, in all things.
My friend's situation was very different from mine, and yet surprisingly similar. We both had to learn to rely on our Heavenly Father, no matter what, trusting Him to sustain us, protect our marriages, raise our children, calm our fears, and give us new reasons to hope, to laugh, and to love, and always, He was enough.
A heart never became available for my friend's son, but they performed a brand new surgery within hours of his birth, and today he is strong and healthy and nearly nine. We definitely won't understand all we will face in this life, but if we learn to trust in God in everything, He promises to always guide us, always protect us, always be with us, never forsake us.
Sharing our stories is a vital part of doing life together. The disciples shared their stories and changed the world, not because they were extraordinary men, but because they told about an extraordinary God. That same extraordinary God is still at work in our lives today. It's His story we tell, His Hand at work in our lives, His Almighty power touching hearts and changing lives every single day. How amazing that He chose us to share that message with a waiting world!
Cindee Snider Re lives in Sussex, WI with her husband, their five children, two cats, and two Shichon puppies. She enjoys quiet evenings, long walks, good books, homeschooling her kids, and lots of good, strong, hot, black tea.