Saturday, February 23, 2008

Provisions, encouragement, and comfort...

Today I had an all day rehearsal for the community choir I am in. We were there for 5 hours, but we had a break for lunch. Let me tell you, we put on a good spread. Incredible salads, warm casseroles, breads and spreads, gourmet desserts… there is no way you can go through the line and not feel compelled to have a little of everything. After we have gorged ourselves, our director then expects us to somehow sing again!

Looking back at the day, I realize how much God has truly blessed me. He has given me a few people within the choir that I am able to talk to. One of the older gentlemen, whom I am so privileged to know, has such a deep faith, wonderful sense of humor, and great compassion and understanding and discernment. One night after a rehearsal, he came up to me and said that he noticed something was different about me. He said he would look across the choir, and he didn’t see me smiling, or hear my laughter as much as he was used to. He wanted to be sure that I was alright.
I shared with him my struggles with depression and negative thoughts, among other things. When I started sharing, his eyes got all teary. He almost got me started! Then he revealed that he struggled with many of the same things, for different reasons. It was so encouraging to talk with him, and to feel the warmth of his friendship.

Since then, he has brought me a book to read that encouraged him. Periodically he also has given me some scripture verses, and devotionals that he has run across that have encouraged and challenged him. Just today, he walked across the choir to me and handed me some more devotionals and scripture verses on index cards that have helped him.

My children’s pediatrician sings in the choir with me. And there are a couple of others that know bits of my story there. I have a handful of people there that I don’t have to put up the mask with. I have in the past been able to walk into the choir rehearsals, smile and show by my actions that everything is “perfect” but now there are a few people who know me better. People who genuinely care about me, about my family, and how we are all doing.

I have realized today, just through a few conversations I had, that God has blessed me richly through being in this choir. He has given me an outlet for my musical skills, answered a desire of my heart to sing in a good choir. He has provided new friendships, and people to come alongside me, even if it is only for a season. I am so grateful for their reminders that people care about me, and the reminder through them, that God cares about me, loves me, and provides for me… even in the times of heartache and struggle… this season of life… this suffering.

"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
Romans 5:3-5

May He produce what He wants in me through this season of life.

May He purify me and make me more like His Son.

May I be able to use my experiences to help others as I have been helped by those who have traveled this road before me.

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