I have been pondering life a lot these last few weeks. The suffering in Haiti, newborns whose lives are full of challenge or so very, very short, the selfishness of our American society and on and on. Our plan sometimes seems better than God's - however he has the big picture we only have one little puzzle piece.
This morning we took the long way to church and stopped at the cemetery first. It was one year ago today that Lisa Pettijohn was cured of cancer forever. God's hand interwove our families in a way that I could have never planned or imagined, but continue to thank Him for allowing us to know Him deeper through walking this valley with Lisa and her family. It was saying YES to something that I felt totally unprepared to do but trusted in God's strength that He would give us what we needed one day at at time. Schooling extra children is not something that was on my "to do" list. One of my girls commented how actually having 8 children instead of 5 was easier (I worried we REALLY needed to work on her math) her reasoning was that God provided helpers almost every day so the ratio of "teacher/student" was 2/8 instead of 1/5!!! When we thought we were blessing someone, God turned it around and humbled me -- often Lisa shared things that I had no experience in (she was our "french" expert for history reading)and had amazing insight into scriptures. People came out of the woodwork to bring meals, help with transportation, be teachers assistants, cleaners, you name it they came! I found myself being very humbled to have complete strangers in my house amidst the mess and help with meals, laundry, school and more. We felt the BODY OF CHRIST around us in a very real way last year. There were many emotionally draining days, but there were also days where peace poured over our time together - time memorizing the entire book of James -- so much to ponder, time in prayer together and keeping journals. The moments when Lisa did spelling with the kids -- she was always so much fun -- I have tried to learn to be more like her! Lunchtime conversations were always full of laughter as Lisa would throw out "discussion questions" that usually ended up in silliness. These are the memories we hold onto.
I know in my head Lisa is healed and dancing in heaven with Jesus NOW but there is still the missing place in our heart and I am sure so much more in each of her family members. Many days this year we have felt a void missing the extra students and teacher in our class. I cling to Christs great love and hold to the faith that we will be together again! I thank God for each day in a new way -- knowing that each day IS a gift not a given. I desire to see what else God wants us to say YES to in order to see Him glorified and participate in the body of Christ serving out of love.
May God shower the Pettijohn family with peace today.