Tuesday, April 21, 2015

An Orchestrated Friendship

Back when we were at the church in Visalia, pre-parenting days, still in my 20's, I met Jan. She was the mother of a high school student in Jason's youth group. We met in Bible Study and I was drawn to her warm, teachable and grateful heart. Jan was fighting breast cancer. Watching her, it was so evident of her closeness with the Lord. She graciously met me for lunch and took the time to share with me what the Lord was doing for her, how He was encouraging her, as she walked through the Valley of breast cancer. It was truly a thing of beauty to watch...I was very thankful that she allowed me in on what seemed such an intimate time between her and Jesus.
A visual she spoke of several times was finding refuge under (the shadow of) His wings, with reference to Psalm 91. She said this was very comforting those nights she felt ill from chemo, sitting up in her recliner. I learned much about the Lord, from this woman, as she allowed me to watch her during this time. 
So, guess who was one of the first few people I called when I received my own breast cancer diagnosis?
The Lord had orchestrated that relationship in His wonderous kindness, all those years before.
Jan had since moved away and really we didn't even keep in contact, except for annual Christmas cards. But that night it was just what I needed. For her to remind me of the truth I already knew, but seemed hard to see in the sudden cloud that had come over us.

I haven't spoken with Jan much since that October night in 2011. But, I have not forgotten what I saw in her, and I believe the Lord used it to strengthen and even prepare me for what was to come.
Today, when I read the "verse of the day" on youversion (Bible on my iphone) it took me back to that time. And, I looooovvvve this verse (okay, this whole chapter)...

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no foe can withstand]. 
I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!
[Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge;
Psalm 91:1-2, 4a

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