It’s hard to God-size dream on your own…
This past week, our God-size dreamer group worked on finding “buddies” among ourselves. I have been super blessed to be able to pray for Delonna (www.chickflickdiva.com) as she works on behalf of children (amazingly she understands how hard it is to adopt through a state system). I have also be just as blessed to get acquainted with Lisa (www.lifeaftertheshore.com) who, along with her sweet family, is exploring the idea of adoption. She has already encouraged me greatly with her words…it’s so neat to see how God puts people in place to minister to us at times when we need it.
Speaking of how God puts people in place, I want to write about one of the most precious people I know. If you followed the caring bridge site I kept when Hannah Grace was sick and in the year that followed her death, you may remember me mentioning Bonnie. We met at the University of Arkansas in an education technology class (which at that time consisted of some crazy, new-fangled thing called webpage design and Powerpoint if memory serves). I just happened to sit at the computer next to hers, and we chatted during that semester. I would see her occasionally after that at UA basketball games, etc. She graduated a year ahead of me and started teaching in Springdale. Fast-forward to the spring of 2003 when I saw her down the hall as I walked around after my interview at the school at which she taught. I ended up getting hired there, and while we did not teach the same grade, we were in the same hallway. Even then I loved seeing her smiling face. Lo and behold, the next year I was moved to her grade level and I was blessed to work with her (along with some other awesome kindergarten teachers who I still miss to this day). During those years, she got married… I had my sweet Hannah Grace (we used to joke that her husband Thomas was the president of the Hannah fan club because she loved him the few times she saw him)… and she had her sweet Caroline. She made the tough decision to take a year off to be with Caroline. During that year off, her wonderful husband Thomas was killed in a car accident. That was in January of 2009. I will never forget seeing her in that little room in the ER…. never. I was so helpless… I had no idea what to say or do. Little did I know that she would be visiting me just 11 months later at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. She did know what to say… and what to do (she introduced me to migraine headache gel patches- I will forever be grateful) because, unfortunately, she had been there. I hate it… hate it…. hate it that she does know; at the same time, when absolutely no one else in the world truly understands, she does. We get each other’s dark humor… we can be depressing and wish for heaven without thinking the other one is suicidal… you get the idea.
I rambled along with all that to say this… God knew back in 1999 (or thereabouts) what we would each be facing. He knew. Does that make me want to scream sometimes? You betcha. But I go back to the fact that he knew- and I do not in any way believe that our meeting… going our separate ways… and then being reunited was a coincidence. We don’t talk every day and we see each other way too little… but she is 100% there when I need her. Bonnie has walked this road a year ahead of me, so I can look to her and see what I might feel like in another year. Most importantly, she kept living- even after losing her husband and having a toddler and being pregnant with another. It was gut-wrenchingly hard… but she did it. And she’s quick to point out that she has only done it through God’s strength and grace. So, I knew that I could keep living too- even when I didn’t want to. So, now Bonnie is still supporting me as I wrestle with these God-sized dreams (and I do mean wrestle… and it ain’t pretty). Even yesterday she sent me the most encouraging e-mail.
So what’s the moral of the story? We need people to help us along the way. I am not one of those “I have a hundred friends” people; I have a few very close, trusted friends. You may like having a big circle to call your own. Whatever works… but know that God sometimes arranges for just that person to come along for that season of life. Appreciate that person… reach out… support him or her just as you are supported (or better)… pray for each other. Life is short (we are a mist as Bonnie says); unfortunately not all friendships endure the test of time… they’re not all meant to. But we do need each other… and obviously we need God more than any human.
You can read more from Bonnie herself at http://www.sweetcarolinebaby.blogspot.com/
I am so thankful for all of you who are holding me up and living life with me… and thankful that I sat down at a random computer 12 or so years ago.