Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

“You may not know what your future holds, but that’s okay as long as you know who holds your future in his hands.”ó Joel OsteenMy brother took me to visit a church one Sunday and it was so good to worship with others, to listen to the message and the music and to watch the baptisms of several folks who had invited Jesus into their lives. The only sad thing was I missed my morning visit with Joel Osteen on TV.
Since I’ve not had a church home for a while, I listen to several preachers on Sunday mornings and he is my favorite.
Some folks see him as a “prosperity preacher”, but I see him as a “positive believer.” Sunday night he came on at midnight so I stayed up to hear him share God’s word. Recently, I started getting daily devotionals by e-mail from him. The opening statement in this article was part of his sermon, “God is in Control.” Osteen always uses examples of God’s activity in the lives of his family, friends and his church.
It reminded me of a new door that has been opened in my life. Osteen explained how things don’t “just happen.” I know from many different experiences I’ve had that God is at work behind the scenes. I asked my new friend, Judy, if I could share this story.
I was at Wal-mart when this redheaded lady on a scooter approached me and asked if I went to school at North Rowan. She didn’t think I would remember her from high school, but she was one of two redheads in my grade and the other one has been my friend for years. It’s hard to forget a redhead, even though we were never close.
Judy has read my stories over the years and has had even more suffering in her life. She has had a desire to talk to me for a while but had not made the move to call me. Was it an accident or coincidence that we were at Wal-mart at the same time on the same day at a low point in her life?
I had to catch the disability van so I told her to call me and maybe we could get together. Well, since then we’ve talked several times on the phone and spent two days together. She bought a pizza and I listened as she talked about how her husband had passed away just eight months ago. Larry was her best friend since she was l5 years old and she misses him so much. Some folks have told her she should be over her grief and she is struggling with the judgment of others about what she should or should not do.
Sometimes it helps to talk to someone who has been through similar circumstances and can be less judgmental. Judy said, “I need a friend.” And God knows, I will try to be there for her as I so clearly see that she is another person God has brought into my life. I teasingly told her that many folks have told me I should have “hung out my shingle” years ago.
I happened to have an engagement coming up to speak to a church’s senior group and Judy’s vehicle is perfect for me. She had never heard me speak, so off we went. Some folks can’t take me places either because of the design of their vehicles or their physical inability to load or unload my wheelchair.
Judy is still able to walk most of the time and drives but she has some serious health issues. Due to the health problems her husband had, her van is low enough for me to transfer myself in and out. She also has a swing-out lift in the back of the van and her husband’s power chair is still in there.
Besides driving, she only had to ride my power chair back into my house and then get her chair ready for me to get out at the church. We had an interesting time sharing the history of our lives. It was amazing how comfortable we are together. I shared with her the story about how my friend, the other Linda, and I met and instantly felt like the “kindred spirits” in the book “Anne of Green Gables.” And there’s always room for another kindred spirit in my heart.
Judy is a Christian, but her church is on the east side so that doesn’t solve all my transportation problems. But she’s already talking about places we can go together. I offered her money for gas, but she said she had been praying for a way she could serve and she would be glad to take me again, if and when God gives us another opportunity. So here I am writing this story at 2 a.m. hoping that others can see that God holds our future in his hands and he had all this mapped out in our lives and his timing is always perfect.