This isn’t about a book….but it starts with one. Are you surprised that I seem to find books at the source of every aspect of my life? No? I didn’t think so.
And this isn’t really a review – that will come on my review blog next week – but I wanted to share a bit of what impacted me as I read Made Well : Finding Wholeness in the Everyday Sacred Moments by Jenny Simmons.
So, basically this is a book about looking for God’s healing beyond the big and bold miracle moments we all hope for. It’s about the quiet, unobtrusive things that gently carry us through the pain, supporting us in the midst of darkness. As Jenny Simmons says: “…God is often quietly at work behind the scenes answering in ways we would never expect or pray for.” (p 32) I’ve had so many of those quiet moments during my 6+ years dealing with chronic neuropathic pain.
Like the church plant that started up in my backyard this year. I live in a downtown neighbourhood where churches are closing down not opening up. Because of my disability I wasn’t able to take the long bus rides out to the suburbs to attend church and I ached for a church family. And there was God working quietly behind the scenes preparing the way and a church plant opened this year within walking distance of my house!
Of course, just because God plopped a church into my ‘hood, doesn’t mean I wasn’t filled with angst over attending it. I didn’t know a single soul and I was really self-conscious about the ‘new’ and definitely not improved me I’d be presenting to complete strangers. I felt broken and I looked broken – shuffling in to church that first day – legs and feet wrapped in compression bandages, wearing old hospital slippers because my feet were too swollen to fit into any kind of regular shoe. Not to mention the walker I had a white-knuckle grip on. Oh, I hated making that kind of first impression because, honestly, that broken outer shell didn’t match the ‘me’ inside.
But there went God again, working quietly behind the scenes, prompting two women to befriend me that very first day. Ladies who readily looked past my physical barriers and actually connected with the ‘inside me.’
It’s eight months later and I’m settling in. Made some friends, joined a small group in my neighbourhood. Gathered my courage and shared my story and my struggles. And I have been so encouraged by the acceptance I’ve received. From prayers to service to reserving accessibility seating for me every Sunday – I’m being blessed abundantly in ways I never dreamed of. Yes, I’m still in pain and I struggle with the enormity of that and how massively it has changed my life but God keeps showing up in awesome ways, meeting me where I need Him most through the actions of others.