Once upon a time I found myself in a foreign land called Kentucky. I had been misplaced by a spouse in search of the perfect job where he could be both powerful and beloved. My family was uprooted from central Florida and plopped down in sub zero weather in the middle of the snow covered countryside somewhere outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. The Ohio river was frozen over, something that doesn't often happen. The Cincinnati Bengals were playing in the Super Bowl, something that doesn't often happen. We arrived in the frigid north to move into our new home on this day so there was noone to help us even navigate the icy roadways. They were all watching the bowl game.
Of course, the first thing I did, once it was safe to venture outside, was find a church. In that little church in a small town in northern Kentucky I made friends. I was an outsider and therefore suspicious but some of the indigenous people were willing to trust me and invited me to a Bible study in their homes. Five of these women would become, for a time, the most important people in my life.
I'm going to leave out the minor details, like my spouse was unfaithful with one or more of his students,(He was teaching at the local University.) and these women saw me through that and much, much more. This was a group of amazing Christian women who introduced me to events such as the "Praise Gathering For Believers" in Indianapolis, IN. They saw me through one of the most difficult periods of my life. (See previous post "The most difficult decision.")
One of the women was diagnosed with breast cancer about one year into my exile. She was a very special lady who braved every hardship with grace and concern for her family and friends. The reason I focus on her is she made a profound statement during one of my visits to her sick bed. She said, "don't worry about me. Because I know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, I am healed." I am sure she noticed my puzzled looked so she elaborated, "if I live, obviously, I'm healed. If I die, I am healed as I join Christ in heaven." I never forgot that brilliant understanding of Christ's healing power.
Not many people have the peace to walk in faith through the darkness with the assurance of the light on the other side. I am blessed to have known these incredible women who made a differnce in my life. (I'll write about the others later.)
I am praying tonight for that kind of peace and faithfullness for my friend who is braving a profound illness in her family. God bless you my friend.
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