Today I have been seeking God's comfort. When I started the 2012 Advent Challenge, I expected my own contribution to be a lot of warm, fuzzy moments because that's the way the first few days of Advent started for me. That's not the way it ended up after Wednesday. It still hasn't been resolved so I still can't explain it fully, yet. But the post is already written and saved.
It has been a challenge to function on any "normal" level when something so big preoccupies my minds and my heart feels like an elephant is sitting on it. I feel like everything needs to be put on hold until this issue is resolved. Although, even once the resolution comes the effects of what we have been through will still have to be dealt with and we may need to make some changes because of it.
But for today...for Living in This Moment in the Eyes of Faith...God spoke to me through a facebook post from a young woman that I have never met but is someone we have a special connection to. Let me explain it a little!
A couple of years ago, a visiting missionary priest from Rwanda, Fr. Leonard, came to our parish. He shared about his country, and a donation was taken up that day. But it didn't end there. Fr. Leonard was doing advanced studies in a seminary about an hour away from our parish. After his visit, some people were inspired to connect our Parish school with a service project to raise money to help some Rwandan children attend school for the year. Our school ended up sponsoring 10 children, doing a fundraiser later in the year to send soccer balls to the Rwandan children, and now we hold a yearly Variety Show to raise the funds to continue sponsoring the same 10 children in their schooling.
Fr. Leonard has visited our parish many times since that first day. He is such a joy filled priest! Jay was very inspired when Fr. Leonard first came and had started a dialogue that has led to a warm friendship with our family. Before it was set up with the school to sponsor the school children, Jay asked him if there was anyone we could personally help with schooling. Fr. Leonard had a niece that was in the middle of their equivalent to college whose father had fallen ill and needed financial help. We had the blessing, along with a couple of our friends, to help Stella finish her degree. We corresponded with Stella by email several times a year. She is a faithful, hard working young woman!
It was her post that inspired me today...like a whisper from God that touched my heart.
"Be anxious for nothing but in everything, by prayer and petition,with thanksgiving,present your requests to God, and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts. Phil.4:6-7"
..."and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts." My take, and how it comforts me, is that despite all the craziness that attacks our lives right now, God's peace can still be in our hearts. And not only be present in our hearts, but guard our hearts! Why guard? Because when we are hurting it can be like an open door for spiritual attacks to come and rip away the peace we so desperately need even more when we are struggling with something in our lives. We have definitely experienced those attacks here in the last day and a half!
So, special thanks to Stella. Ironically, her inspiration to me comes on a day that I will be giving Fr. Leonard something that I felt inspired to give to Stella a couple of weeks ago.
The short story is that at the Variety Show that raised money for Rwanda a couple of weeks ago, one of our parishioners was selling Silpada jewelry and offering all the profits as a donation. She was also raffling off the hostess bonus and the winner would receive the money towards free jewelry that the party generated. The night of the Variety Show, I ordered something for Sarah that Ellie desperately wanted to give her and I ordered something that Andrew had picked out for his girlfriend for Christmas. I had the thought of wanting to get something for Stella, but the jewelry I was eyeing did not fit into my budget!
So...guess what happened! I was the winner of the drawing! I never win anything either! I got to go on a shopping spree with a little over $300! I got the bracelet for Stella I was eyeing, 2 pairs of earrings for friends that God put on my heart that I don't ever exchange gifts with, a pair of earrings for Ellie, a pair of earrings for a family Yankee Swap we do at Christmas, and, I even got a pair of earrings for myself! I have wanted a nice pair of snowflake earrings for a couple of years...Silpada had them and they were on clearance! That made it feel even better!
I have to wrap the bracelet and a faith book that Jay wanted to give her. We will see Fr. Leonard tonight and he is heading to Rwanda in a couple of weeks to celebrate a wedding for his family. Perfect timing:)
That's how God used someone to inspire me today...and how God used me to bless someone else!
Do you have a story about inspiring or being inspired by God to share? Link up below with the post to share and inspire others:)