This response came from my friend Marci after one of the most wonderful days yesterday. She had organized a surprise party for me, invited many of my friends and family and then lured me there for lunch. I walked into this tea room sort of place and there they all sat. Renee had baked a beautiful and delicious cake. Then they had me going through tissues like mad as they each shared a special memory of a time with me, or the first time they met me. Guys, I was bawling. It was so awesome and I will not forget that day, ever. I felt SO loved. On the way home in the car, I said to Marcie, "I'd forgotten most of the things they mentioned until they started describing it." Then I said, "I just had no idea all these people see me this way." They talked about what they described as my strong faith, my adventurous spirit, my perseverence through hardship, my love for Jesus, my faithfulness as a friend, my generosity. It would take like ten pages to write everything they said down. Marcie said, "That's how we see you, and so unless we're all suffering under some mass group delusion, sister, believe it!"
So I pray God gets this in my heart. I also pray for each of you a church family of people who really are doing the stuff that Jesus did and who really are living out their faith 24/7 in a relevant way. I will never, ever take my church family for granted again. Marcie even had an invitation made with roses (my favorite flower), one of my favorite bible verses around the edge, as well as my author tagline (Pouring my vial of words over Him). She says the guy is also making a poster size of it. Then the tea room owners asked me to come back and do a booksigning!!!!!!!! How cool is that? And another really awesome thing is the place was named Changing Seasons and they had put us in the spring room. Okay now you have no idea how prophetic and significant this is. Let me see if I can explain.
Right before the ACFW conference in Dallas in September, I felt like God was impressing upon me that I was about to enter a new season. His words felt like He knows I've been in a really hard Winter season where I had to endure excruciating physical pain, immobility, physical therapy which made things worse because they'd misdiagnosed me. Then when the correct diagnoses came, I faced major surgery which terrified me. I knew God could go, "Pling." and I'd be healed but no. He made me face my worst fear...that I would bleed to death on the table or succomb to a bone infection and leave my daughters without a mother. Being a nurse has made me paranoid I guess. Who knows.
Obviously God brought me through with no complications because I'm sitting here typing this and I must say, I'm getting pretty fast on my walker. LOL! I felt like God gave me the verse, "Behold I do a new thing, I'm making rivers in the desert and a way in the wilderness. Now watch it spring forth." I'm paraphrasing but that verse is also one of my favorites. I felt like God had given me that promise. Then I go to the conference and the theme? New Beginnings. The key verse? The one I just typed. I even got a writing magazing that I felt God sort of snickering at...if He does that, I feel like He did. It had a picture of a Squirrel on it. Here's the deal..that's my nickname. I don't go around looking for signs.I really don't. But I do know when God perks me up BEFORE I SEE OR HEAR SOMETHING and says, "Hey, listen up. This is for you." So He does have a sense of humor. I feel like I'm coming out of a really hard season and spring in on the horizon. God is so awesome. If you're going through a hard season, it will pass. I promise. He will make a way for you. He will go through it with you. He will never leave or forsake you. He loves you and wants to be in your life.
I hope you enjoy my surprise party pictures today.