Her name is Sharon. I met her in South Bend, Indiana.
Sharon signed up as a volunteer to help at Fresh Grounded Faith a few months ago. Everything was going well until a week before the event. Her husband had a heart attack. Suddenly, without warning, he was gone.
I didn’t expect to meet Sharon after hearing her story. I would have completely understood why she would have chosen not to volunteer or even attend the event with such a recent, life-altering loss.
You can imagine my reaction when I found at that she was, in fact, there. Sharon volunteered to help other women experience fresh grounded faith last weekend. How brave.
When I met her, she told me how she and her daughter were doing my Missing Pieces Bible Study. She told me about the message she heard from it just days before her husband died. The video devotional dealt with how God is always with us and because He is present, even if “it” isn’t okay, we will be okay. She said God was using those words to comfort her and her daughter.
And … as if God had not already been so incredibly personal in her grief, what He did for her during FGF blew me away.
Compassion International was part of the event and their representative, Olive, a former Compassion Child, shared how God used her sponsors to show her love and kindness.
Sharon was moved by Olive’s story and went to meet her during the break.
As she visited with Olive and Eli (the other Compassion representative), she told them she really wanted to sponsor a child. More specifically, she really wanted the little boy to share that name of her late husband.
Her husband’s name? Joel. This made Eli just a bit nervous. After all, these little boys and girls were from countries like Ecuador, Uganda and Brazil. Let’s face it– “Joel” isn’t a very common name even in America, much less in countries where kids are named “Juan,” “Luis” and “Fernando.”
But, Sharon, Olive and Eli riffled through the hundreds of packets and … there he was. Waiting for Sharon.
We were all in tears over what God had done for our dear sister Sharon. Isn’t He good?!
I just want you to know, whatever your loss, concern or sorrow … God is with you. Sharon’s good Father God is your good Father God. Because He is with you, you will be okay. Your situation may not be okay, but you will be okay. Just ask Sharon.
God will reach you where you are. He will affirm His care for you in the most amazing ways.
My friend, when you feel afraid, be gutsy like Sharon. Trust God enough to take a sip of courage, swallow hard and expect Him to give you whatever you need. He will my friend.
Because Sharon was gutsy, Joel is blessed.
So, what does it mean to be gutsy? It means you “do it afraid!” You trust God more than your feelings and harness all the sadness, loss and fear. You let those feelings fuel you to go forward rather than running to hide.
You can do it sister, I promise. Just ask Sharon.
Can you think of a time when something that seemed like a bad thing turned out to be a blessing in disguise?