Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL article (11/27/14)
TITLE: A Match Made In Heaven?
By Holly Westefeld
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It was an era long before internet research and support forums, or even daytime television talk shows were exploring every topic under the sun. Disability law did not even begin to toddle until I was in elementary school. Fortunately, in the city of Houston, there were educational accommodations, but still next to nothing in the way of resources for parenting children with disabilities.
Thank God for common sense! My parents never overprotected us, or voiced low expectations of our potential. Nor did they disproportionately praise our daily activities or ordinary childhood milestones. They pressed for accommodations and provided assistance when necessary, and collaborated with us in creative problem solving to blaze trails not yet traversed in our local schools and community.
I was blessed to be taken to Sunday school from a young age, hearing all of the usual Old and New Testament stories. By God's grace, and faithful Sunday school teachers proclaiming the living and active Word of God, I embraced faith in Christ when I was thirteen. I was always amazed by Jesus' miracles, and wished that I had lived back then on more than one occasion. Before long, I was visiting other churches with friends, some of which taught that if I had enough faith I could be healed. Young in my faith, it seemed reasonable that that kind of faith might come. When years passed, however, and there was no resounding "yes" to my prayer for healing, I was forced to reassess the sufficiency of my faith, the power of God to heal, or some other explanation for the absence of an affirmative answer to my prayer. By God's grace, my faith in my faith and His power was unshakable, so I chose to follow in trust on the path ahead.
It was not until after our three children were born, and I was selling Avon Products to supplement our income so I could be home with the kids, that God granted me some insight about His purpose in not changing my circumstances. One of my customers was facing, in her senior years, challenges similar to those with which I had been dealing all of my life. During one of my visits she said to me, "If you can do it, I know that I can do it, too."
While I had long sense come to understand that God, in His sovereign wisdom, does not always choose to intervene as we might like Him to in this fallen world, the realization that He would use the skills and overcoming attitude instilled by my parents, and my joy and peace in Him to sow hope in another person's heart, crystallized my paradigm of eternal perspective. I grasped that a few decades of this life are a drop in the bucket compared to a glorified body for all eternity, and that if the challenges I face can ease others' fears, that is sufficient purpose, for me, for God having declined, thus far, to change my circumstances. Some time after that encounter, I came to identify with what God told Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9 concerning having not removed his thorn in the flesh. "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (KJV)
As others contemplate walking in my shoes, many, who are just barely able to get their toes in, conclude that I am "amazing." On the one hand, the "amazing" mantra gets rather tedious, but on the other hand, God bringing those people across my path who are in need of the hope and encouragement that my perseverance, peace and joy impart, is undeniably a match made in heaven.
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