My Healing Began with a Stranger

My health scare truly woke me up. Now all the “stuff” is extra. The last four years has been an adventure to discover the people around me, my family and strangers. It’s also been about letting go of perfectionism and legalism.
When I was well enough my doctor prescribed me to spend time out of the house, only for an hour at a time so I wouldn’t tire out. It was the best prescription ever. I met so many strangers in the book aisle at our Borders. They’d tell me their stories, hardships, successes, and recommend books. We even prayed together right there in the aisle! Most of the time I’d never see them again, but, we always left each other with huge smiles or tears of gratefulness for the encouraging time together.

picture by Haragayato
How it all began:
My favorite memory is of David and I walking through the mall one evening. I noticed the cutest little girl wearing her geta (Japanese wooden slippers). I remembered my own pair when I was a little girl. All of a sudden she noticed me and without hesitation ran up to me and reached up for a hug! She smiled and then she headed toward her parents who were watching. I stood there amazed, speechless, and overcome with amazing love. Halfway back, the little girl turned around, looked at me again, smiled the biggest smile and ran back toward me. This time she kissed me on my cheek and gifted me with a long bear hug. It was as if she knew me. Then clunk, clunk, clunk off she went proud of her wooden Japanese slippers. Her parents had the hugest smiles on their faces and we waved goodbye.

I was amazed that God knew I really needed that. It was at the beginning when my breathing was still labored and I had to walk so slowly. My friends and I all had crises at the time and were unable to be together.I felt so energized by what she had done. I’ll never forget it! This was the beginning of my physical, spiritual and emotional healing. Life wasn’t about me I realized. It wasn’t about how I thought it all should be. It was about discovering who people really are and appreciating them. It’s about discovering the beauty in how we fit together. It's about giving time to strangers and reaching out.
I see me different too. I’m beginning to appreciate God’s love in me for others. I could’nt do it without Him. I’m naturally selfish. Really, I am! Demanding too. Spending time with God has softened me and made me sensitive to people.

My prayer is that I never forget He’s the guest of honor not only at Christmas, but in my everyday. That will keep me going. As long as I live, I choose to give what He's given and encouragement to live out loud. I'm still the one who gains so much more from it all.

What ways do you give love and receive love? That's you living out loud :0)


Kristen @ Moms Sharpening Moms said...

Oh we share love is how we live out loud! THAT is one precious nugget of wisdom.

Here's to living out loud (clink, clink!)

LOVE this post.

Unknown said...

@Kristen@MSM clink, clink! :D

Joy said...

Giving time to strangers... that's one I really need to work on. My preferred method of entering the world is to tuck my head down and focus on getting my task done as quickly as possible. But God is beginning to make me look up, look people in the eye, and engage, especially through my children. And it is good.

Cheryl Allen Salinas said...

Jeri, your post is beautiful. I show love by setting myself aside when I am feeling selfish. I just stop it and focus on the loved one instead. I'm only selfish in those moments because I'm feeling out of control of a situation. Once I give up on being in control, everything seems to right itself.

Dwayne said...

Sis...great story and very good elaboration to make me feel as if I'm there. Never get tired of that story. Reminds me that God will give us what we need when we need it, not when we want it. Trust me...I speak from experience (right now). It reminds me to look within me for that "child-like" faith that I once had and journey to recover and embrace once more on my walk with God. Our chats really hit home as thier relativity and timing is just uncanny. Anyway really enjoyed the blog as it's another component in building a stronger faith. Love you guys sooooooo much. P.S. tell David I'm really sorry but I really think the Magic is God's team this year. LOL

Dave @GodsDreamsForMe said...

1st off, nice post sweetie! i remember that day... that was really, really special. God really did work thru that little girl to touch you... and heal your spirits... thanks for reminding me about it and sharing your heart.

2ndly, Dwayne, God called and said that He does not approve of magic and would rather work thru lakes =0)

Sheryl said...

I love your heart that reaches out to those you don't know. You must be a humongous blessing to so many!

Michelle DeRusha said...

What a beautiful story of healing and transformation...and the power of love and giving.

So glad to meet you here, Jeri...thanks for stopping by Graceful this week.

Unknown said...

@Joy - Woohoo! I'm a normally a loner, but God is balancing that out. I'm so happy for you. It is good!

@Cheryl A.S. - Out of control is hard. I agree. You're right giving up control to Him makes things right.

@Dwayne - you're the best youngest 'lil bro. Our parallels are very timely. I'm glad for our chats. So uplifting.

@Sheryl - It's all because of Him. I'd rather stay in and do my own thing, you know?. Thank you for your kind words. God Bless.

@Graceful - Yes! It's awesome to meet you too. The Jam is building a great little family for us all. Blessed by your contribution. See you again!

Melissa said...

God has such a unique way of working in us and for us. He is our Healer and what a beautiful gift for you.

Unknown said...

@Melissa - Yes and thank you for saying so. So glad you came over :D

Papi's Girl said...

Beautiful and powerful testimony. God is an awesome God and His mercy endures forever.

I give love by living my life surrendered to God. I allow His spirit to move me and position me strategically in His perfect plan.

Living this way allows us to be conscious and connected with others. It allows us to be used to bring hope, love, joy and peace to others lives. It also allows our hearts to be open to receive love.

Everyday that we walk with God and lived surrendered we live out loud. We are His story...His testimony and through us He manifests His love. :)