The Chance to Love and Be Loved Exists No Matter Where You Are

Archive for April, 2017

I Believe…

I know that I am still working on part 2 of day 2 of my mission, but something happened to me last week that I feel begs to be told.

I was cleaning out some old junk from my mother’s basement and somewhere along the line, I sprained my ankle. It wasn’t one of those sprains where you KNOW when you did it. It was more like I must have twisted my ankle the wrong way at some point and didn’t feel it until I had slowed down after I was close to finishing. I was taking some things out to the trash can when it suddenly started to throb to the point that I couldn’t even put weight on it. I hobbled back inside and told my mom I was finished for the night. I prayed over it and asked God to please, PLEASE heal my ankle! I had a long walk from the parking garage to the chair in my office every morning. I couldn’t imagine that walk while having to limp like this.

When I woke in the morning, the pain was still there. I hobbled around the house getting my daughter and myself ready and out the door, praying again for healing for my ankle. I dropped her off at school, then drove the 5 minutes to my work, parked, and made the long trek (which isn’t really that long on a healthy ankle) into my office. It did take me longer, and it really sucked.

As I sat down at my desk, I felt defeated. My ankle was really hurting by that time and I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t healing it. I’d seen videos and heard about friends who had been healed. I had gone to a prayer night at a local church and even had someone pray over my knees, which had been hurting, and they were healed then. That same night, I had been told that I was destined to be a healer one day. I had felt unworthy, but was willing. But as I sat there, I wondered if that really was something I’d ever be able to do, especially if I couldn’t even heal myself! I was doubting not only myself, but the message I had been given. I asked God, “What am I doing wrong? Why aren’t you healing me!”

Then, I heard him. “Walk expectantly.”

What? So, that was what I was missing?

Just then, my boss asked me if I would create a list of our items in stock in another room. It would take me a bit of time and I would need to be on my feet the whole time, walking around the whole while.

So, here goes, I thought. I gave myself a pep talk. I know for a fact that God loves me, and I know that He wants to heal me. I just had to believe it. Then, the story of the woman who was sick and simply touched Jesus’ cloak flashed across my mind.

43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”  

Luke 8:43-48

And I heard the verse:

29 ….“According to your faith be it done to you.” 

Matthew 9:29

Oh, so, I now I understood! Jesus wanted to heal me, and was probably trying to, but I needed to believe He would and that He was able to. This wasn’t just a “maybe He will, maybe He won’t” kind of thing. After all, the Bible says that if we ask for things, God will give them to us.

“WALK EXPECTANTLY!”

I heard again. So, I got up, and walked into the storage room. NO PAIN! It was absolutely pain free! I’m not making this up! It really happened! Not only did I walk into the stock room, but I put on my earbuds and I danced around as I scanned all of our items!

Later that night, as I relaxed at home, the pain returned just a bit. I thought, Now, why is it returning? Was it only temporary or do I have to do this whole thing over again?

“WALK EXPECTANTLY,” I heard again. What I realized was that I had been sitting there, thinking about how much it had hurt that morning, and how it felt so much better now. Was it real? Had that really happened, or was it just one of those weird pains that is there and then somehow just goes away. and had coincidentally gone as I had prayed. Was I making this all up in my head?

Then, God reminded me of the story of Peter, as he walked on the water towards Jesus. He had no problems until he looked away. The moment he stopped focusing on Jesus and started to worry that he would sink into the water, he did just that! He started to sink! So, what God was trying to tell me was that I needed to remember to focus on Him! To remember that He had healed me. And every time that pain or any other issue would rise up, I simply needed to focus on Jesus and I would make it through and everything would turn out fine! It was an amazing awakening. Since then, my ankle has not hurt again. I began praying and believing in healing for my knees and my feet and everything has been fine! I feel so much better!

To be clear, I no longer believe in coincidence. I don’t believe things “just happen at the exact right time.” I believe those are God moments. But every once in a while, I have a moment where the thought “what if” creeps into my mind. I just have to remember to squash that thought! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS COINCIDENCE! I have no doubt that Jesus healed my ankle that day, and I have no doubt that He is preparing me for something more, something bigger! When I step up and make the full commitment, that’s when He will start setting things into motion. One day, I WILL be a healer! One day, I WILL be out on the streets healing God’ children! Just like Jesus did. Just like Todd White does now, and many others as well.

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Mission of Love (Part 2)

Day 2

We had a big breakfast and then were told about the day’s missions. Half of us were to go to Big Creek Food Pantry, where we would hand out our purses and Jackie would be cutting hair. The other half would swing by a person’s house who was new to Big Creek Missions. They would check it out and take pictures to see what all had to be done to it. Then, they would go to another lady’s house who had 2 kids with autism. They were to clean up her yard and just spend some time with her and maybe give her a moment’s break from the kids, if possible. Again, I knew what I wanted to do, but waited to see where I would be placed. Again, I was placed where I felt I had a calling. I had brought down some nail polish, and thought that would be a nice combo for when the ladies came in for a hair cut. While we were deciding details, Kevin came into the room. I thanked him for setting us up with Mona and told him how wonderful she was and that we had decided to adopt her! He asked where it was I was going for the day. When I told him I was going to the pantry, he said I could call her and ask her to join us. REALLY?! We could do that?! I was overjoyed to have one more day with her! I told Tiffany and Linda and they were just as excited! Kevin gave me her number and I called her.

“Hello?” came Mona’s Appalachian accent.

“Good morning, Mrs. Mona! This is Angie. How are you?”

“Oh, I’m just fine.”

“Well, I called to tell you that we didn’t get enough of you yesterday. We’re not doing anything exciting today, just hanging out at the food pantry. Would you like to join us?”

“Oh yes! That would be nice!” I could hear the happiness in her voice, and this made me even happier. I told her we would be to her in about an hour and asked if that would be enough time. She said yes, and we hung up and I got ready for our day together. I found my friends looking through the purses and choosing a purse for each of the ladies they would be seeing. Kevin told us that purple was Mona’s favorite color and we had seen her carry a small brown purse the day before. So, we chose a small pinkish purple purse for her. We rushed out of the door, eager to see her again. We picked her up and went back to the food pantry.

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Jackie had already begun cutting hair and making people feel beautiful. There was a man in her chair and a cookie cutter boy of about 10 years old who lingered nearby. He was definitely the man’s son, no denying it. He was watching his father get his hair cut. He smiled shyly, but when he was told it was his turn, his smile faded. He wanted nothing to do with Jackie’s scissors. Our friend Carol Ann was helping Jackie with whatever she needed, be it clean up, conversation, or just to hold the mirror. She helped him over to where Jackie sat to cut his hair. I marveled as Carol Ann tenderly held his hands to help comfort him and help him feel secure, and the way Jackie so patiently showed him everything she would be doing and how it would feel if it touched his skin, before she even made the first clip. She IMG_0343talked him through every moment of it. Carol Ann helped with any other need he had, including holding the mirror and telling him how brave he was and how good he was doing.

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Eventually,  Jackie brought out what she called her tickle monster. She told him it would tickle him so much that his tummy would hurt from laughing. She turned on her clippers and as they buzzed, his eyes grew wide with fear. She showed him that the clippers would not hurt him. She invited him to touch it, but when he refused, she put her full hand on the clippers to show him it wouldn’t hurt. He carefullIMG_0345y lifted one finger to touch it. Slowly, his worried frown turned into a smile, and eventually laughter. After his hair cut, I asked if I could take a photo oIMG_0350f him with Jackie to show the difference. Without hesitation, he quickly wrapped his arms around both Jackie and Carol Ann! The change in him was unbelievable! He had come in, a nervous, shy boy, who was a afraid to death of getting his hair cut. But here he was, hugging two strangers. I snapped a photo of his handsome, beaming smile.

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Later, there was a couple that sat at the front, waiting for their turn to have their hair cut. I struck up a conversation with them and talked to each independently, as they waited for the other to finish. Through conversation, I learned that he had worked for the local coal mines in a factory called a coal tipple. Never having met anyone who had ever worked for a coal mine, I was intrigued. I asked him what a coal tipple was, and promptly started IMG_0362looking for images on Google, to help me understand what we was talking about. I learned that a tipple is a structure used at a mine to load the extracted coal for transport into railroad hopper cars. He said it was hard work and it was just as hard and just as dirty as working in the mines. But it was safer because you didn’t have to worry about hitting any pockets of natural gas and having the mine explode coal tipple workerwith you in it. That thought terrified me! We grumble about going to our safe, boring little cubicles each day, but here was a man who had, at one time, gone to work in a mine every day, not knowing if he would come back out again! There weren’t a lot of options around there for jobs, so this was how they made their life. I asked how the men got down into the mines. Did they have to walk all that way or did they have to get into one of those carts they have, like the one’s I’d seen on Indiana Jones?
dirty man trip I imagined them lying on their backs in the darkness of their carts, watching as the various lights flew by over head, one by one. How dark and scary that would be! But I was told that they road in what is called a man trip. Its a short, squaty car that holds around 10 men or less. The men hop on and they go into the mines, sometimes as deep as 7 miles! The man trip has headlights, and there are lights throughout the mine, IMG_0358but its still dark. I wondered what it would be like if there was a storm outside and the electricity went off, and you were 7 miles deep in your tunnel. I remembered the “dungeon” where I work, in the basement of a hospital garage. How I complain about not having windows and not knowing if its a rainy or a beautiful day. But all I need to do is walk up a flight of steps and I can find out. These men go miles into the dark and won’t find out until the end of their shift.

I asked his wife what it was like to be married to a coal miner. I was thinking it was probably much like being married to a police officer, never knowing if they would come home, or if they would fall in the line of duty. She said no, she never thought about IMG_0360it like that. She said he always came home dirty, from head to toe. She had to clean her bathroom every single night, because otherwise, it would be black. She told me the miners wore masks over their nose and mouth and goggles over their eyes to protect them. Her husband would come home and the only part of him that would be white was a ring around his eyes, nose, and mouth. He said the mask part was very uncomfortable, and a lot of the time, he didn’t even wear it. I thought of all the coal dust that probably got into his lungs.

He had worked a long time in the mines before he was eventually given a uniform. He would put it on to work in, and take it off and leave it at the mineIMG_0359 each day. This made it a little easier for her, because less of the coal dust was coming home with him.

Then, she smiled at me. “And it’s even easier now that he’s retired!”

I asked what they were going to do now that they had been spiffed up with their new hair cuts. He smiled down at his wife and said he was taking her on a date. They would be IMG_0363heading to the next town over, where he planned to take her shopping and see “what other trouble they could get into.” Seeing as they were old enough to be my grandparents, this made me smile. They were still madly in love with each other and it was so nice to see. It was written all over their faces and the way they talked to and about each other. They were definitely a very sweet couple who still had a lot of sass left in them and, it seemed, a lot of life.

 

To be continued on the next post…