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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Such A Time As This

As the leader of our church's women's ministry, I was often involved with service projects. Many of our projects revolved around a holiday- food baskets for Thanksgiving, gifts for Christmas, cookies for Valentine's Day.
Mother's Day was approaching. As a new mother myself, I looked forward to it. I'd always celebrated the day with my own mother. This year I could celebrate with my daughter. I knew my husband would surprise me with something.

Just as moms shop for Father's Day, dad's shop for Mother's Day. This Mother's Day, it dawned on me that there was a group of mothers who would not receive a gift, mothers in the abused women's shelter.

Many of them were literally in hiding. Who would reach out to them in love?

Our women's group organized a new project. We filled gift bags with cosmetics, sweet-smelling lotions and words of encouragement.
Days before Mother's Day, I stopped by the shelter to deliver the gifts, making sure that we had enough for every mom. I left my phone number and asked the shelter volunteer to call me if anyone new arrived. We didn't want anyone to be left out.



"We know of one young mother who is arriving later today," she shared, "she is coming here straight from the hospital."

My heart broke. I could not imagine bringing my child into this world with nowhere to go. My safe life could not comprehend how terrible the fear and pain must be for a new mother to check out of a hospital and bring her child "home" to a strange place. No family, no welcome home banner, no ribbon on the door.

I asked the volunteer if it was a boy or a girl.

"She had a girl," she said.

With that information, I quickly left and went shopping. This mother deserved more than a gift bag. She deserved a baby gift. She deserved so much more, but a warm receiving blanket and onesies is what I found.

I wrapped the gifts in the nicest paper I could find and attached a note. I returned to the shelter and asked the volunteer to give the baby gift to the young mother when she arrived.

Later that day, my phone rang. It was the shelter volunteer. My first thought was that a new mom had checked into the shelter and she needed another Mother's Day gift bag. I was wrong.

She told me that the young mother had arrived and had opened her gift. She wanted to know if it was alright to talk to me.

"Of course," I said, wondering what words of encouragement I would give to this frightened girl.

A soft voice was on the other end of the line.

"Hello, I just want to thank you for the gift," she said, "and thank you so much for the card."

Choking back tears, I shared with her how much Jesus loves her, how brave she was to protect her daughter, how God knew her circumstances and He was watching over her. I told her with sincerity that I was going to pray for her.

She answered softly, "I'll be praying for you, too."

We said our goodbyes and I hung up the phone.

I cried in my kitchen that day. I cried for this young mother and her child. I cried in gratitude for the safe home I lived in , the loving husband who supported me, and the God who watches over me.

I also realized that God had brought me to that moment. He put an idea in my head for a Mother's Day project. All the while I thought the purpose was to reach out to those mothers.


Although, I am certain that all of the women in the shelter needed to hear about God's love, I am even more convinced that there was a young mother with a newborn who needed Him so much more.

When God taps on your shoulder or speaks to your heart, rest assured He has a purpose. You may not know what it is. You may think you know what it is. God will work that out. All we have to do is be faithful and obedient to His calling.


Esther is a wonderful example. She became queen of Persia. She was young, an orphan, and a Jew, not the perfect combination for a queen. Unsure of her place or her purpose, she was obedient to God.


"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"
Esther 4:14

Esther's role as queen reached far beyond the palace. I am sure she had no idea what her real purpose was. In the end, her place in the kingdom and her obedience to God ultimately saved the lives of the Jewish people, a scenario that probably never crossed her mind when the crown was placed on her head.

Wherever you are today, in ministry, in your home, in a strange city, or in a palace, know that God has a purpose. It may be that you are supposed to fill gift bags for mothers, buy a baby gift for a new mom, or even defend the faith.

Your obedience to God may make you shout for joy or cry in your kitchen. Either way, the results will be nothing short of miraculous.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
Ephesians 3:20-21
Ephesians 3:20-21

Reflections:


1. Has there been a time in your life when you followed God's call, not knowing the "why" or "how?" Share what God did in your life.


2. Are you being asked to do something for God and you are not sure how it will work out?




Join Melanie at her personal blogspot, "This Ain't New York."





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11 Comments:

Blogger Denise said...

Fantastic post.

April 16, 2009 at 1:00 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

I LOVE this post! AWESOME!!!!

April 16, 2009 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Thena said...

Wow!!! I am so glad I have found this blog. It is so inspirational.

April 16, 2009 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Christa said...

Awesome post, you brought tears to my eyes. Have a great day
God Bless

April 16, 2009 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Woman on a Mission said...

What a beautiful story.

April 16, 2009 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

That was such a beautiful post and such an amazing thing that you did! It makes me want to do that right now!!

April 16, 2009 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Simply beautiful! Shining the light of Jesus and sharing His love....

April 16, 2009 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger BizzieLizzie said...

WOW - what a reminder of how good I have it here in my safe, humble abode. I cannot imagine being that girl in your post. Thanks for sharing your story. I too, want to head out and help more just like her! Blessings your way!

April 17, 2009 at 2:10 AM  
Blogger Susan D. said...

What an encouraging story for all to read! I lead a weekly Bible study at the local homeless shelter and take a small goody bag for each resident. You would think I'm handing them a hundred dollar bill. It means so much to them to know that someone cares! Blessings to you.

April 17, 2009 at 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Abha Benjamin said...

A very touching incident of love Melanie! Beautiful post

April 18, 2009 at 3:56 AM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

This story was beyond moving, Melaine, Wow, I am in tears. God loves the broken-hearted, and He loved through you. What a difference it made, and it still is. Wow, thank you for sharing it.

April 19, 2009 at 8:00 AM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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