Lately, I have to admit, I've been grumbling complaining about life. Sick of school, homework, baseball, dance, cooking supper, laundry, this season in my life-the list is endless. I have to share how God gets and keeps my attention. Yesterday, I was complaining about an afternoon that contained, yet, another ball game, more homework. I was at the game, with my mind everywhere else when my dad said,"DeAnn, look at that little guy that's batting name." I pulled myself away from my conversation to look up and see his sweet little name on the back of his Model Blue Devils jersey. The reason my dad noticed it was because its not your ordinary last name-its mostly associated with eating fish;) Little did my dad know when pointing him out that this name means something to me, you see-I know this child's mom. I started scanning our opponents stands to see if I could see her, disappointed I didn't see her. I went on to finish my conversation-probably complaint, looked up again, and there she was. She was recognizable sitting on the bottom bleacher, cane in hand, dark glasses on. I explained to my mom that I HAD to speak to her. Molly insisted on being stuck to my hip and wanting to go, but I insisted she stay behind, I needed no distractions. I was hesitant about going over at first, wasn't sure how I was going to communicate with her--understand that my friend is both deaf AND blind now.
When I first met her, at my first speaking engagement the August after Shane's passing, I was surprised to find out that she was deaf. She never signed while speaking to me, I would have never known it until she shared that she was a non-hearing woman. When I met her, I couldn't explain the instant bond I had with her. She was so comfortable with herself, she exudes her love of Christ and she's not afraid to show it. This woman is the epitome of letting your "light shine!" The next day I finally saw her sign one of my favorite songs as part of the program-touched beyond words. The woman can not hear but she keeps up with the music by "feeling" the beat. I remember vividly, being extremely nervous and anxious about sharing my story for the first time and how this woman I had never met before prayed with me, for me and after our first meeting she didn't stop praying for me and my 3. After that weekend, we communicated through text. Out of the blue I'd receive a text from her telling me that GOd had placed me and my 3 heavy on her heart and that she was praying for me. The thing she wasn't aware of is that EVERY time I relieved one of her text telling me I was heavy on her heart was the very moment I was struggling, hurting, some of my darkest times. I often I wondered how in the world she would know-was it coincidence? I've said before, when it comes to all things to do with God, there's no coincidences. She was able to meet my children at the Toby Mac concert. She had her sweet daughter there as well. JSM were all surprised after she walked off and I told them she could not hear. Questions started about how can she talk to us-I explained that she could hear up until she was about 18 or 19 and she lost her hearing then. She was able to read lips and articulate her words because of the many years of hearing. They were amazed as much as me. We continued to text until I received the unbelievable news that she was in the beginning stages of losing her eyesight. What?????? Seriously? The one way she communicates with her children, others, her students, me? And she's losing that sense too?? God, really? Selfishly, I was thinking how am I suppose to communicate with her if she is no longer able to read my text messages, how is going to send me her sweet reminders of her prayers and of Gods love for me if she can't see to text? My questions for God were endless? I was angry knowing that she was a faithful servant for Him, that she loved Him, was constantly speaking of His goodness even while she had been robbed of her sense to hear her children speak to her, to hear wonderful praise music, to hear the birds I. The morning-and now to be robbed of seeing all of Gods creation? Prayers went up, but communication stopped. Luckily, a few ladies min my bible study group know her so I've been able to keep up with her. Ironically, as soon has she lost her sight she was speaking at a local church, yet again, telling her amazing story and that story being filled with Gods grace, goodness and love for her-even still.
Fast forward to yesterday. I got over myself land made my way over to her. Her sweet friend/interpreter was sitting behind her and I softly said her name. Her friend touched her back and she jumped up and we embraced. That embraced covered many days of not being able to communicate, many days of prayers, and kindred spirits. You see, different kinds of losses but 2 women that can see Gods goodness in it all. Also, very different spirits-mine of complaining and whining of singlemomness, too much too do, why me's. Her? She could have complained of what she misses instead she was telling me of the good. With the help of her interpreter signing in her hand so she can "feel" what's being signed or by me writing words in her hand we were able to catch up. She said, "DeAnn, I may not see or hear but I can feel, I feel others and I feel things that others can't. God has given me that ability." She went on to say that Jeremiah 49:11 is her verse-He has plans for her, she doesn't know what they are , but they are his plans. Of course, in her selfless manner, she asked how I was, about my children. I told her all was well and told her that my new life verse is found in Isaiah 43-(a whole different blog subject) and how the MEssage translation says that He loves me so much that He would sell His creation for me and that He would trade the world for me. I told her he felt the same about her as well. she replied with a wow! I'm not telling her anything she doesn't already know way down deep. She did say she would choose to be able to see her son play ball but that wasn't in Gods plan right now. I tried to comfort her by saying at least she was there cheering him on, all the while thinking of my complaints of having to be there. We had so much to say but I felt bad for the interpreter, we both were talking 90 to nothing. She told me not to rush off that she wanted to see-meaning she wanted to touch my kiddos. We saw her afterwards and she touched all 3 of their heads and arms to feel their hair, how tall they were, their skin. While she is touching them, the whole time I'm thinking that my children have no idea who is touching them, literally the hand of God. I know in my spirit that God is touching so many lives though this brave woman that continues to be a mother, wife, teacher. Yes, she continues to work with self-contained children and she said she was simply amazed at how they respond to her. I seem to think that these kids she works with every day, are simply amazed by her-I know I am.
So amidst all the grumbling and complaining of everyday life that I find myself doing more often than not-God sends me a sweet reminder-a rainbow of sorts-only this time the rainbow is a sweet deaf and blind friend. She told me she missed reading my blog that she wanted to find a way to get back to it, I hope this one is the first one she gets to. I know she probably has her complaining days, however, I truly believe she has more praising days than complaining. She chooses to see, hear, feel how deep the Fathers love is for her. I want to be just like her. Love you and continue to pray for you and your sweet family DT!
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
I've noticed myself, as well as countless others, asking, "what was he/she thinking?" I've asked it about politicians, famous people, my own children, and some that are very close to me and some not so close to me. Seems in conversation the person I'm speaking with will sometimes beat me to it---"what was he/she thinking?" While we are all curious creatures, me included, choices belong to individuals. We can ask "what were they thinking" all day long and in to the night, but we may never know why people make the choices they do. in saying this I know people in my life have questioned some of my choices. Thinking my 3 ask themselves that everyday when they think I am being overly motherly. I've recently had to explain to them, that as their mom I will always try and make the best choices for me that involve them. They may not see it at the time but hopefully, always in the long-run, they will look back and know I always had them at the forefront of my mind when making choices about mine or their lives. Either way, I own those choices and decisions-good or bad. I also know that truly the only One I have to answer to for any of my choices is my Father. He's the only One that counts, the only one that truly knows why I choose the things I choose, good or bad. While I will always care what others think of me-others will not be standing with me when I am waiting-for my King to judge me.
I think about some circumstances that are currently happening around me and I have to point out that we all fall short. Last I checked, we are all still sinners-big ones, small ones-sins-that is. Pretty sure that not telling the truth, disobeying parents, adultery, saying "God" in vain, and all other sins are still sins. Guess I'm saying that maybe we all should not be throwing the first stone. A wise, bald-headed accountant use to tell me-"DeeDeeBo-we all are just a choice away from messing up." unfortunately, some peoples choices or mistakes are in wide-open spaces for everyone to see. Oh how quick we are to throw stones i.e-pass judgment, gossip, turn our backs. When instead, we should follow the One that the Pharisees would question by saying-how could He keep company with that dreadful woman who is an adulteress, or the woman that has bled for 12 years, how could He could drink water from the well that "that" woman drinks out of? How could He let that tax collector sit with Him for dinner, or let him follow him? I could hear them now in their most righteous tone..."What was/is He thinking?" Maybe, just maybe, we should be more like Him and reach out to those that haven't made the best choices, maybe we should accept that with a blink of an eye, in a moments time-we could be in that persons shoes we are questioning or judging. Guess I'm trying to figure out why their "sin" is so much worse than mine. I'm fairly sure that God keeps it all real and keeps it all on a pretty even playing field---sin is sin-big or little. This blog is a reminder to me,as much as anyone, to not be so quick to judge-instead-i need to pray for that person instead of asking-"what was he/she thinking." I need to check myself-before throwing that stone. In doing so-I will realize (I pray) that I'm just as sinful as the murderer, the adulterer, bank robber-I'm as lousy as the next guy-even if I carelessly spout out in my most 'righteous' -"what was he/she thinking,"with the "oh I'd never do that" undertones. We ALL are sinners and we all are just one choice away from messing up. I believe, actually, I know-that my God believes in do-overs. Let's let Him be the One to ask, when the time is right-"Precious one, what were you thinking? You, know righteous child of mine-you don't have to answer that-because I already know-I also know that as soon as you knew you had made a bad choice you turned to Me and asked for forgiveness, and while others didn't or couldn't forgive you-I did. I forgave you when I let them nail My Son to the cross-I knew the choice you would make and I thought of it and you when they placed that first nail in His hand. I also know those that questioned you, and my dear one-I know all of their bad choices as well. Let's put it all behind us-and let Me tell you 'what I AM thinking....GRACE." Can't you just hear Him saying those sweet words. So the next time we ask "what were they thinking?" or before we cast that first stone think instead of what HE was thinking and what He cast upon us...pure and simple GRACE.