“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Friendships of Women #9

My Oregon Mom and newly born Christopher -
Sheila was the first loved one to hold Christopher...
even before Anthony and me!

The Friendships Of Women
(This is post #10 in a 12 post series. Click here to read the rest of the story.)
Chapter 10

God Knows Our Needs Better Than We Do

I have been studying the book Esther and God's Providence. (Actually, I was to teach on it yesterday, but God had greater plans... that's another story.) Providence means "to see beforehand and provide what is needed." Isn't God just like that? Providing what we need ahead of time? Where some may see a series of coincidences... the Christian sees God at work behind the scenes.

When Anthony and I moved to Portland in 1996, we did not have a welcoming committee when we got off the airplane. There was no party. No gatherings. No neighbors popping over with a hot cherry pie to welcome us. There were no friends waiting for us in Portland. AND there was no family. Nada. Not one. Just us. It was to be a very lonely time... especially considering the fact that we were both working out of the house.

But the Lord had placed in my heart that I should volunteer when I arrived in Portland. I didn't know what that exactly would look like... but I recalled the prompting when within days of our arrival to Portland... a flood began to brew. There had been ice storms and rain and the conditions were calling for a flood.

I had wondered whether I should go help with all the sand-bagging, but I had just recuperated from thoracic surgery the year before. I asked God, but He told me to wait. That there would be plenty of help needed after the flooding subsided.

So, I waited. We had subscribed to the Oregonian when we first moved here to get the lay of the land. One day, as I looked through the paper, I saw an article asking for help to clean up homes. I knew this was the day.

I called the number and they gave me an address of a lady who needed help cleaning up her Tupperware. I pulled out our handy dandy Thompson guide and headed to Scholls.

When I arrived Sheila was a bit surprised, but let me in and told me how I could help. She asked about my background, and when she found out that Anthony and I were new to the area... she decided that she would take us under her wing and be like an "Oregon Mom" to us. And so she did.

I am forever grateful to the Lord. He knew exactly what I needed. I could never have found such a dear friend so quickly with such compassion for me. She was endeared to me because I came to volunteer to help her. I could never have set this up. I could never have orchestrated this friendship. It was all God's doing. He prepared everything even before I arrived in Portland.

All I needed to do was obey.
And the blessing of this friendship continues on...

I encourage you to think about a time when the Lord brought someone into your life... exactly who you needed when you needed them... and praise God! You could even leave a comment to honor your friend... and then maybe write them a note... Okay, so excuse me while I go grab my retractable Uni-ball Gel 1.0 Bold Black pen and get out some pretty stationery...

Dear Sheila,
How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? (1 Thessalonians 3:9)...


elizabeth embracing life said...

Sheri what a special story to share. Mary Alice is my adopted mom as I have shared about her. You must come join me one evening for dinner with her. She lives in a real doll house too. Wouldn't it been fun to have an honorary lunch for those people God brings us at the very moment we need them. Thanks for sharing. Love and Blessings

yardenxanthe said...

Yay for God-appointed friends! Sheila is great!

Anonymous said...

I can completely understand moving and not knowing anyone! I've done it 3 times now and it's so very hard...like you, God has always given me "angels" at just the right time and in the right circumstance. God is so good! One thing I would love is for some honorary grandparents for my kids in this season of our lives :) YOu are blessed to have a special friend!

Kathy said...

I just love it when God does things like this!

BP said...

This is a great story. It is so neat to see how God works in other people's lives and brings us together, usually when we both need it the most.


Beautiful story thanks for sharing it and your photos with us.
p.s. Gracie and her hat are just adorable!

Anonymous said...

It is great to have someone who will be family when you move to a new area.
Love Ruth