It's the Little Things
I don’t think we truly realize how much of an impact we have. It seems He uses the little, nonobvious things to achieve purpose greater than we know. It usually takes the end of a chapter to acquire the gift of noticing His achievements served through our lives.
One day I promised God that I would share my story if He would use it to save one person. Two years ago I started to write. It would take two years of reluctance before I would share. I leaned on perfection, preparation, and procrastination and then a shot of tequila before finally clicking the post button.
Collective bargaining was part of the process too. I wanted to know what benefits I would receive given my story is a little crazy, both figuratively and actually. It makes for an interesting coffee date conversation, but it’s unnerving to share beyond a select group of people.
With each space and letter I wrote – I started to benefit from the cathartic process of reliving the written words. The health insurance is provided by the undeniable obvious existence of a real God and how He weaves gifts throughout our chapters.
The reluctance is slowly being replaced with eager anticipation as I continue to unpack His benefits.
As I write each multi-faceted story, the connections between the people and the chapters become more pronounced. During reflection, I’ve started to see the little, nonobvious things. The ways God used others as vessels to keep me afloat. And then the little things I did for others without even realizing it.
Such little things as ten words.
The verse was written on the bottom of a coloring page. It was one of the last things I noticed, before leaving the hospital. She had written down Philippians 4:13 – the verse I remember by ten fingers.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Earlier in the day, I shared this verse with a table full of ladies. Ironically, it was a time when I didn’t have much to say. Which is unusual. I simply said “he got me through a tough time and he will do the same for you.”
She was in her early twenties and she had a two month old. A struggle with postpartum depression landed her in the hospital. She had beautiful long, blonde hair and a bubbly personality. But she had to force the smile and force the happy.
I told her to keep at it even if it’s forced. Continue to take pictures, because you’ll look back and see the ‘aha’ moments. The times you were genuinely happy with a genuine smile. You’ll start to see where the good days outweigh the bad ones. You’ll know when the black cloud enveloping you has moved on and you have secured victory.
My baby was two months old when I woke up in the hospital. My mom brought me a picture of him and I held onto it during my stay. I still remember his smiling face in his Fourth of July outfit. I missed his first Independence Day. We were supposed to visit friends at their beach condo and watch fireworks from the balcony. Instead I spent Freedom Day imprisoned.
“Get your Dad to bring you some pictures of your son,” I told her. “It will help.”
The next day she showed me pictures of her little guy. Then she showed the pictures to the younger group of girls in the hospital. She ended up making some friends. I saw her start to relax. She was in the right place.
There was eight of us in this tiny room with a window of walls on my last day. The younger girls were coloring, stretched out on the carpet. Laying on their bellies, with their legs moving to the music. Chit chatting about boys and things. She was down there with them, looking genuinely happy.
We had a small radio with a broken antennae. It had to rest in the window a certain way to pick up the stations. One of the girls took charge of turning the dial during commercials. Several hours went by with us singing along. And chit chatting. About whatever.
That’s when I saw her coloring page. With ten words. I didn’t say anything – just kept singing.
Then I left that day.
With a genuine smile.
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed,which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32, NIV)