Have you ever reconnected with someone you went to high school with... that you would never in a million years think you would? That is my situation with JJ. Even though she was nice and I was nice, we ran in different circles. I was library geek who wore the same jogging pants all the time, and she was teen angst who used to hang around a lot of people that liked Kurt Cobain, so I don’t know why we weren’t BFFs because we would have made quite a pair. We could have had lots of fun getting thrown off the breezeway and stuffed in a locker. Luckily we reconnected this year through my FAVORITE mindless activity…Facebook. Now that we are adults being geekish and having past teen angst is a good quality…it helps us teach better and we are creative thinkers!! (I’m going with that ok). We have a lot in common and have been able to do a few things together this year…I just love making a new friend.
Today I joined JJ and her parents for church. It was such a beautiful day for a service, sunny with a warm breeze. It makes me sad that cold weather is around the corner. Today was Rally Day at her church and JJ was dedicating herself to God and joining the church. There were a few differences in this church and mine. For one thing at breakfast they had little cake plates to eat off of. The Baptist way is to have a huge Styrofoam tray so that you may pack at least 3,000 calories in gravy and biscuits on top of it. Also, the handshaking lasted about 10 seconds versus the 10 full minutes us Baptist take to get all the details for the week from each other. But, it was a beautiful service. I loved the church dedication, the prayer of confession, and the music was beautiful. Also, a gentleman received recognition for not missing one day of Sunday for 16 YEARS!!! Isn’t that amazing?? That is True Dedication to the Lord folks. It makes me ashamed for the times I missed (for not great reasons). I was really glad that I got to attend this service.
JJ has had a few hard years, that in my opinion, she has handled with grace. Not only was she in a terrible car accident that left her with permanent damage to her leg, but she also endured losing her job in conditions that were very unfair. As a result, JJ has had to endure rejection after working hard to secure job interviews, consistent unemployment, strict budget, sickness without health insurance, pain without medications, and other issues that so many in this country can currently relate.
Being the big sister type I sent her an email of encouragement, after all I see myself as the spiritually mature one after being a part of church and knowing God for over ten years. I wrote something that read like-
I so admire you for your positive and sunny attitude. Don’t worry God will be Faithful to you and I know everything will work out. I plan to dedicate myself to praying for you…….
Her response read something like-
God has been faithful to me even when I was denying it. Even with everything that's going wrong, I feel like I will be okay just because I know that God will take care of everything. It's such a beautiful feeling!
Her response made me see 1. that I wasn’t the spiritually mature one after all 2. JJ already understood that God is not Faithful when things are going good, but God is Faithful to us all the time. 3. It really is a great feeling! I think if I were in her current position I would have a lot of anger and would probably just lie in my own self pity for a while, but JJ isn’t doing that. She is opting to see the good and beauty in the world. As the sermon reminded me today- … those who are faithful to God will see a new day when “never again will there be in it an infant who lives but few days, or an old man who does not live out his years, he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.” -Isaiah 65: 20-21
What a happy day that will be! And, thanks JJ for a great morning.