Her face lit up whenever she saw me, usually in the hallway at church or during our Sunday School class. Her husband taught the young married class and she took on the role of church encourager. She always had a blessing to share, an encouraging word to dispense, a thankful word at the tip of her tongue. Her joy was contagious and her hugs seemed to solve all the world’s problems in a single moment.
We had recently moved with our two girls who were four and two, at the time. It was a small church where at least half of the congregation were related by blood or marriage, and many of those my age had been born into the church nursery. It was a tightly-knit church family, but they readily opened their arms to include our needy little tribe. Needy describes our situation quite well, at that time. My husband lost his job shortly after our move, and baby number three came as a bit of surprise just ten months after our second daughter. My heart was overwhelmed, but I affixed the obligatory smile in place at church. I knew each one there carried their own burdens, so it wasn’t necessary to saddle anyone else with mine.
But Sally’s kind words were a balm to an overwhelmed mama’s heart week after week. When I struggled with the news of the upcoming baby to our unprepared nest, she affirmed God’s promise that children are a blessing from the Lord. When others innocently teased me about knowing how babies were made, she made it a point to encourage me to see God’s goodness through it.
She often told all of the young mothers that she was praying for us, even sharing her tried and true method of how she prayed for her family and others. She would listen when we talked of our struggles. She usually had a funny story to share of her own struggles with her five, then-grown children. It reminded me that riding the struggle bus was not a lone journey; we were all in it together.
Her life served as an example to me of how to live a Spirit-filled, abundant life of joy, and then she showed the same spirit when cancer robbed her of strength. None of the congregation even knew of her struggle with the disease until the very end. She finished well in faithfulness and thanksgiving, with not one complaint that I ever heard. Her life still inspires me as I continue on in my own journey of life and faith. It is amazing to me how our God weaves lives together with purpose and knowledge of our every need. When one day I bow before Him in eternity, I will thank Him for the examples and encouragers He placed in my life, and then I will find them to hug and thank them, too.
Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done,
and thy thoughts which are to us-ward:
they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee:
if I would declare and speak of them,
they are more than can be numbered. Psalm 40:5
Dew drops melting
From blades of grass,
Even so swiftly
Each life twines past.
The blood-bought ribbons of legacy,
Woven together in intricacy
Sewn in shades of hope and grace
Eternal thread with perfect purpose placed.
Nestled neatly within the Grand Design
A single, useful, yielded line
Spun over, under, through, and then
Over and around again.
Bracing, guiding, sustaining on,
Countless other well-placed yarn
Completing its place in Artistry’s plan,
Surrendered wholly to the Master’s deft hand.
Have a blessed weekend!❤️