There’s one particular blog I always enjoy landing on, because the writings are not only wise, thought provoking and hilarious, but so gut wrenchingly real and transparent. The name of the blog is “Cupcakes, Sprinkles and Other Happy Things” (don't let the cutesy title fool you) and its author is Jenny Simmons, singer for the Christian band, Addison Road. The title of her latest entry was ‘Road Trip,’ which showed pics of her little girl, Annie, sitting in her car seat, munching on some messy Oreos and cuddling a fluffy, pink stuffed monkey in her arms. Between the adorable photos and funny captions Jenny wrote beneath them, I was soon smiling, then laughing out loud. Oh, and I got such a kick out of the fact that the pink monkey being held in a love grip by little Annie was identical to the one that my husband won for me down the shore last year and which now resides in the place of honor on my side of the bed! Too funny. After an entire weekend that seemed to consist of mostly moaning, wailing and gnashing of teeth on my part, it was GOOD to be able to smile...and laugh...and smile and laugh some more.
So right then and there, I decided to leave a comment on Jenny's page, to let her know that something so simple and innocent as a few precious pictures and some well placed words had given me some much needed joy and laughter. I never expected it to go any farther than that...but it did.
On Monday night, I logged onto my computer to find that Jenny had written a reply and it wasn’t to say thank you for commenting on her page. If I may share her words:
"Good morning Pam. I have so been there. The anxiety that feels paralyzing. The phsyical pain of lingering illness. And the loneliness/frustration of wondering why everyone else in the world seems to have neither! I just wanted to encourage you this morning. Keep your head up. Keep smiling. Keep finding things to delight in.
I woke up thinking about you this morning... weird... because I don't even know you! But yesterday when I read your comment, I was sitting on the couch, and for some reason the TV was paused on a commercial. It said, "You have cancer. Cancer doesn't have you." And I thought how strange it was that those exact words were frozen up there when I read about your pain. So I woke up thinking about it this morning and felt led to remind you- You have pain. Pain doesn't have you. You have anxiety. Anxiety doesn't have you. You are 'had' by Someone much bigger."
'Oh...my...gosh. Her words made me catch my breath. And then start to cry. Her reference to the cancer commercial completely blew me away. In my original comment to her, I had made no mention of my past battle with cancer, or that the anxiety I’m struggling with came from fear of its possible recurrence. I sat there at my kitchen table, shaking my head, just so overcome by all she'd said to me. How could she have known? Clearly, this was a message of comfort and encouragement that the Lord had prepared for me, using Jenny to convey it so clearly and beautifully.
I was reminded yet again that there are no coincidences or chance circumstances with God. Nor does He allow people to just randomly enter and exit our lives. There's a point and a purpose to everything God does. I was also reminded in a such a big way that God is so very REAL. Oh YES He is! He’s not a flying-by-the-seat-of-My-Pants kind of God or some way-high-up-in-the-sky kind of God, distant and indifferent to what’s going on in our daily lives. He’s as close as our breath and closer than our skin. He loves us. He cares deeply about us. He knows exactly what we need and exactly when we need it. And so very often, He will use and speak through other people...sometimes people we don't even know personally....to bring us the message we need to hear.
There are days in which we can find ourselves in such a state of physical, emotional and mental pain that it takes a Herculean effort just to take a breath, get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other without continually bursting into tears along the way. In times like these, let's be still....be alert....and be listening....because somehow, some way, God may be speaking to you and to me.
Have you ever cried a tear that
You could not explain?
Have you ever met a stranger
Who already knew your name?
What if it's Him?
What if it's God speaking?
Who knows how He'll get a hold of us
Get our attention to prove He is enough
He'll do and He'll use
Whatever He wants to
To tell us "I love you." ~ Mandisa, 'God Speaking'