A Gift from My Friend, Melissa

I had a perspective changing moment today.  As I was mopping up the kitchen floor, anxiously checking my watch, knowing that to finish was going to make me a few minutes later than usual to pick up my kiddos at school, my mind turned to my friend, Melissa.  I found out last night that she is in Hospice care with cancer.  Even though I have not seen her in – literally – 23 years, my heart broke.  I went out to Facebook and discovered that she has a gorgeous family: a handsome husband, a son about my son’s age and two precious little girls that look like they probably smile their Mommy’s easy smile often.  I prayed hard that God would heal her HERE; that her family would know peace that passes all understanding, that her children would somehow be drawn closer to her and to her Lord through this tragedy in their Momma’s life; that her husband would feel the strength of the Lord Himself as he deals with all that people in his situation do… and on and on and on.  And then I fell asleep, sad, but knowing I had done all I really could.

This morning, my mind turned to her again and I prayed again.  Then, this afternoon, in the middle of my normal, unexciting life as a typical, stay-at-home Mom, while doing an almost futile job, Melissa suddenly came to mind again and I found myself thanking God for the strength to mop my own floor.  Tears welled up in my eyes as I thanked God for the chance to pick up my Kiddos at school and clean up after their endless messes.  I thanked God that I would have a chance to love on my husband again and even fight with him again about that same old thing we always fight about.  Suddenly, in the shadow of a million thoughts of my sweet, old friend, Melissa, all the things that were driving me just a little crazy a moment earlier were huge, precious blessings.  Those miniscule “burdens” I had been silently complaining about were unveiled as the blessings they truly are: I get to pick up my kids at school.  I get to mop up after their spilled milk and Popsicle drippings.  I get to have that hard conversation with my husband.  We get to try again.  I get to pay the bills and fold the clothes and vacuum the floor… again.  I get to take the dog to the vet and run the carpool and coordinate the PTA volunteers.  I get to.  I.  GET TO.

I finished the last swipe of the mop, ran out the door to pick up my kids and prayed for my friend again: this time that somehow she would know that no matter what happens, her life has made a huge difference.  Not just to her husband and her sweet babies, but to me.  I remember her as a beautiful girl.  A girl that was pretty from the inside out.  I remember her as a girl who cheered and sang and laughed and encouraged others and was a true friend.  I remember her as a girl who welcomed me into her circle of friends even though I was the “new kid” from far away.  I remember her every time I pass the church she went to back when we were in high school and even though it’s been ages, I know Jesus was the most important thing to her way back then.  Even though it’s been ages, I can tell that He is everything to her now.

I will continue to pray for a miracle until she is back to being the Mommy she wants to be again or until I hear she has finally met her Savior face-to-face.  And my perspective on all those “normal” things I do will never be the same because of what she’s fighting through.  That sweet, pretty girl, that the Lord brings to mind when I pass her old church in our old town has always been a part of the best of my “everyday” high school memories.  And now, God has used her to shape what will become the best of my “everyday” Mommy memories.

Please pray for my friend, Melissa.  And when the everyday, normal stuff you do feels like a burden, remember her and thank God that you “get to” do it.