whew. this was a heckuva week. one i will most likely not want to live again anytime soon. what i have noticed is that in the extremely pressure-filled days, God's presence is more powerful. at least i believe that is part of the connection for 'the rest of the story.'
i was working away on tuesday, in the afternoon. my first bible study of the semester was to begin at 7pm that evening, and to be honest, i was not really thinking about it much. i've gone through some internal struggling just to release these studies to God, and not pretend that i have a part in making them succeed and/or fail. or even that i know the definition of success or failure in this arena.
whatever. a knock came on the door.
it was a woman, in a black coat partially hiding her face. at first, i thought it was my friend jenni. then she spoke, just briefly with the opening words 'i'm sorry to bother you, but i used to live here.'
then, she started to cry.
i have to admit, i did not think about things much at this point, i stepped out onto the stoop to hug her, and ushered her inside. as i waited for her to get her bearings enough to speak, the story started to spill out of her.
she was a teen in Fern in the 80s, i found out. she quickly rambled the story of a traumatic childhood, of much abuse and the aftermath of struggle, anxiety and pain.
at one point she told me 'this is the only happy place that i remember being when i was growing up.'
at which point i realized that God was indeed here, in Fern, as i had hoped.
we continued to chat as i walked her around the house to show her all the rooms. she was at the same time gleeful to see that much of the original house remained, and that i had indeed 'artisted' it up in a way that was pleasing to her. it became clear that she is an artist-type as well.
as we went down to the partially renovated and extremely messy basement, she got very excited and recalled that she and her brother (pic from the previous post) used to live mostly in that space. she laughed with me about the bathroom with no walls! she recalled that it seemed so tiny now, but then her family of four did not think of the space as tiny at all. how times change.
her brother, it seems, is an artist in seattle. i was excited to see that he paints animals and birds. he looks talented. she mentioned that when he visits SD in the summer, it would be neat to bring him back and show him around. i told her 'yes' to that thought.
and lastly, when the raw emotion started to wear off, we prayed. we asked God into the oddness of the situation. we asked him for peace and for guidance.
and i asked her to join my tuesday night bible study, even though she lives in another town and would have to drive to come to it.
she said 'yes.'
which says alot of things about God. first, that he cares for his flock, and will drop them off at the proper doorstep at the proper time.
and secondly, that our part in the plan is to be obedient, and not to pretend that we made up the plan.
it was the best part of my week :) seriously.