Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reprint of my recent speech....

I was asked to talk to the congregation at our church about our group and it's ministry. I wasn't sure that would be an easy thing to do, since I'm very passionate about it (and I might cry). So, after numerous requests to print this, here it is.

Ministry Minute – Peace by Piece Quilters

 Sometimes you never know what God wants you to do… I’d thought that for a long time, tried to fit myself in to various places at St Mary’s; Sunday school teacher, Vestry, May fair… I tried to think of the gifts that God had given me, and while I knew I had some, to be honest, I wasn’t sure what they were or how He wanted me to use them. Not until I saw an announcement from the ‘knitters’, did He speak to me. While I didn’t know God would use me to provide comfort to those in need, it was HE who created Peace by Piece Quilters, even if I think I did that. 

I quilt. I quilt, because I love the process of picking the fabrics and having them speak to me to make something to snuggle in. I thought I’d be able to use up some of my fabrics in this group, and I wouldn’t feel ‘guilty’ spending money on new fabrics for a project. But I now believe God spoke many times when I wasn’t listening. In the hands of those who help me create the quilts, those who put in a request for someone that’s ill, and in the face of those receiving the quilts they didn’t expect to get. That’s really the best. And nothing needs to be said. Nothing. 

It’s what God wants me to do… We comfort those who are sometimes consumed with dealing with things we can’t imagine. Because we can. Nothing needs to be repaid, but all of us involved with the group know it’s repaid in volumes! I now know this is what God wants me to do. To give. And LOVE doing it!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Where is God's Voice?

Sometimes you really think nothing is affecting what you do. And then sometimes God speaks with a soft voice. Sometimes so soft that you don't realize it's His voice until later. That's what happened yesterday.

I had heard a very dear friend of mine (second family) was going in for surgery to have a hysterectomy (and removal of a 'mass'). She couldn't wait because she thought it would end the stomach issues she was having. I offered her one of our quilts (was He speaking then?) and she gently refused it saying she wasn't sick enough for THAT. (Did she think they only go for the dying?) I really insisted that they go for people EVEN just having surgery, after all, it's made to 'comfort' you when you need it. Reluctantly she said that if it would make ME feel better, I could give her one.

Yesterday, I went to her house with a few choices. And some pocket prayers, in case she really insisted that she didn't need one. When she answered the door she didn't look good (did I disturb her sleep?)... I told her I could come back if that would be better, but she opened the door and said 'now is fine', then blurted out, "I have ovarian cancer." I quickly said "I know" (although I hadn't been told and don't know why I said it- was HE speaking again for me?). She corrected me and said, "No, I haven't told you that yet". "Oh yeah, you said it was a mass..."

Then I realized what she'd told me... she had cancer. Definitely. They WEREN'T gonna do surgery because of the lymph nodes that could be compromised. Apparently another panel of doctors read the report and rediagnosed it....

As I sat there for the hour I spent with her, we cried, spoke of being scared, angry, afraid of losing friends, control, faith. I hopefully, reassured her that her friends ARE her friends and the ones that don't stick by her may not know how to handle her illness. That, while she's afraid to be back at her church because people will 'pity' her, she needs their love, and prayers and hugs...Then I gave her a quilt and told her when she starts her chemo, she needs to bring that with her, because until she feels God is with her, that quilt will be there (as is God) warming and comforting the chaos in her life. Be honest with other people. Tell them you're afraid they will pity you. They'll figure out how to react to this by what you say and do. If you're angry, and you SHOULD be, throw a nerf ball at the wall. If it doesn't work, throw something else. Kick a wall. Yell. Scream. SWEAR!! I would! I also tried to make her laugh. I told her to hang on to anything she can control, because she won't know what she can control and how the treatment would affect her. I told her I'd help her cut her hair when she thought it was time (my sister is a hairdresser and can do it out of the relm of the salon where she was worried others would 'see' her). I reaasured her we'd keep her husband busy (her concern after she's gone)....I also reigned in her panic when she cried out that she was DYIING, by saying yes, I know. we ALL ARE. ("But I'm dying before you are..." "Unless I get hit by a bus when I leave here", then I looked to the heavens and said "Not yet, Lord, I have things to take care of." ....

I left when she felt a little tired. Somehow, I know I heard God's voice....

This is the quilt she picked out.... "Where's First Base?" is the name of it.