Country Blessings

Last weekend was all about slowing down in the country, relaxing with family, and saying thank you. I don’t often go upstate to see my sister, brother-in-law and nephew, so I savor these special moments. When I stepped out their door, all I saw was farmland and rolling hills. Nothing seemed to move in Lansing, NY. Peace and quiet. Rays of sunlight cast over God’s creation. The world relaxed.

But I did have one plan. I had the address of the church that a group of Samaritan’s Purse volunteers attend—the next town over from Lansing. Wouldn’t it be great to visit their church? They came all the way to our house to help rebuild a few months ago. I wouldn’t get this opportunity again for a long time. Of course Saturday night I had the worst stomach pains I can remember, couldn’t sleep, and woke up late on Sunday. My plan seemed hopeless. I didn’t even consider going, thinking I might throw up, but Dad said, “Why don’t we go to that church…even if we’re late you can thank the Pastor for sending the group.”

He was right. “Okay, let’s go.” I prayed for my stomach to be calm for at least the duration of the service.

The church was a refinished barn, so pretty and unusual, perfect with a mountain view. We got to hear the last ten minutes of the message…then, reminiscent of being five years old and painfully shy, Dad nudged me to raise my hand and stand up. I discovered how hard my heart could pound. The man in front of me turned around and asked if I wanted to say something. I nodded, not sure of what this something was that I wanted to say. No turning back now.

He spoke to the pastor as they waved me to come to the microphone. Oh,no. With a quick prayer for help, somehow I stood in front of these people, introduced myself and told a quick version of my story. I explained how our house was damaged from Hurricane Sandy and a group from this church came to help us rebuild. They were a part of our healing. I wanted to thank them and their church.

Even better, I got to hug some of the volunteers who were there and talk with them again. One family knew my sister’s family. They use the calves on their farm in a 4-H Club competition. This is not just a small world, it’s a world that God watches over and uses to bring people together for His purpose.

My stomach cooperated for the time I needed, and I slept a few needed hours after to recuperate.  It was a good day…an unexpected, blessed, joyous day.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6


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