The staff meeting started on a bright note that Tuesday morning and as it wore on, someone asked, “Hey, where’s our tea and coffee?” The answer came. Someone announced it was my birthday and that tea and coffee will be served along with special delicacies, so the delay was due to everything being prepared.
“Then why don’t we sing happy birthday for her?” Joy could be felt as they sang, and I offered my thanks.
“You deserve it! You’re such a wonderful person!” I heard from all corners of the room. During the meeting, my cell phone didn’t stop ringing and receiving text messages from people all over the world sending their prayers, prophesies and well wishes.
Afterwards, I walked with happiness back to my workstation but as I sat down, I felt the pain again and tears stung my eyes. My pain was not in anyway physical, deep down; I needed healing for my soul, for I was hurting and looked to the Lord for my healing.
“Lord, is there no way I can love like you without being hurt?” I asked.
“There are times when love is not appreciated or accepted child.” The Lord replied.
“So what does one do at such times?”
“The one who’s hurting can be healed; the one who inflicts hurt has a problem and should be prayed for. Let it all go child, let my word stay in your heart, remember, my joy is your strength and I have given you joy already. Look to my word for your healing and keep loving.” The pain eased as God spoke to me and I smiled.
“I’m having a fantastic birthday today”, I told myself, “and nothing is going to steal my joy. Nothing”. My phone rang.
“Hello birthday girl!” It was the receptionist. “You have the most beautiful bouquet of flowers, a nicely wrapped gift and a lovely cake waiting for you here.”
I smiled and wondered who sent the surprise. “Thanks Linda.”
The flowers had a note in it. It read: happy birthday to a wonderful leader, friend, motivator, encourager and sister, we love you so much and can only pray for the best for you. We noticed you have not been as happy and as strong as you used to and ask that you please take care of whatever it is that’s bothering you, because you are such a blessing to us, we would not like anything to harm or hurt you. If there is anything you want us to do, just say it and you’ll get it. From all of us.
My eyes watered again. I knew who had sent it. It was the writers group I headed in my church. I didn’t know my hurt inside was beginning to show that much but I was glad for the encouragement. Sometimes, we never understand how much our lives are an encouragement to other believers. Sometimes, other believers don’t know how their words and actions are such an encouragement as well. I had my opportunity to express my thanks during our next meeting the following Saturday. I looked at every one of them and with a smile said “your surprise brought tears to my eyes. You may never know how grateful I am for the gift, the bouquet, the cake and most especially, the note. I am strengthened and encouraged to keep striving for the gospel of Jesus because of what you did. I cannot begin to explain it all, but I’ve written down a little something that I want to read to all of you. I saw their eyes brighten in anticipation for what I was about to read. I got my notepad and said “I titled this, FAMILY and it reads:
In our journey through life,
God never intended that we walk alone.
Many times, to show us He’s really with us
When we cry, laugh, dance or rejoice,
He places us in the midst of people
Who never leave nor forsake us
Come rain, or shine.
Sometimes, we meet them in the home
Where we grow;
Other times, He brings them along our path
And they stay.
But, one thing’s for sure,
As we walk through life with God,
We’re always surrounded by family.”
I was grateful for the opportunity to express my thanks but when I looked up from my notepad back into their faces, I knew that a whole cycle of gifts, poems, thanks, and encouragement was about to begin again.
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