My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62: 1 – 2
I truly believe God places certain individuals in our lives for a reason. We may be blessed to later understand what that reason is, or we may never know.
My friend and former neighbor, Betty, whom I met about 38 years ago, is one of those special people. A few months ago, I had the privilege of meeting her beloved aunt, and they both have taught me so much about trusting in God’s love and resting in His care. Some of you may remember the entry in which I wrote about meeting Aunt Annie for the first time, entitled “He Will Carry You” on March 4th. Since then, she has celebrated another birthday! She turned 104 on Easter Sunday and is just the most amazing little woman with the most wit and charm – and just as spry as ever!
We went to visit her again last week and took gifts to celebrate her birthday. I gave her a pearl bracelet and a pink hydrangea. Betty gave her the matching pearl earrings and many baked items she had made. Aunt Annie was overjoyed and so proud, showing them off to everyone she saw and announcing that she would be wearing her new jewelry for her big birthday party on Sunday afternoon.
It was so funny when she noticed the tag was from Stein Mart, and it led to one of her many amusing stories. She announced that it was her favorite store and she would love to be able to drive there any time she wanted. But she said that her doctor had gently suggested to her son when she was 99 that perhaps she should give up driving. She said she had never been back to that doctor since and she was still a little upset with him!
Wisely, her son let her decide when to stop, and she drove a little longer before giving it up completely. But she said she is very grateful that the driver at her retirement home will take her to Stein Mart at least once a week, sometimes twice. She said she would also love to go to the mall. I told her I would take her sometime, and she liked that idea! She said she had always enjoyed shopping and she wasn’t going to give it up!
She also mentioned that she missed driving to her home church, but she smiled as she told us how the last time she drove there at almost 100 years old, it didn’t turn out so well. She explained that gratefully God was with her and because of that, she wasn’t hurt and neither was the car. But it was the last time she drove and she missed being able to! But she also made the point of telling us that she still thought she could drive there again without any problems, if she were given the opportunity. She spoke of how much she loved this church and what it had meant to her. She was hoping to go on Sunday morning, and I hope she got the chance. For no one there would have worshiped with more enthusiasm, gratefulness, and joy.
Her daughter, son, and another niece came to go to lunch with us and we celebrated her birthday with a nice meal, a special birthday dessert, and we sang “Happy Birthday” to her, of course! She was determined to buy our lunch and we all argued about it for awhile until she won us over. But she was just amazing as she smiled and laughed the entire day.
She admitted that since our last visit, she was feeling much better and had much more “spark” and energy! That she did! I was just in awe of how easily she moves around – even getting in and out of the car, and how sharp her memory is! I left there thinking that this little woman is in much better mental and physical shape than I am!
I gave her and Betty several opportunities to have some time together alone before we left, and I took some short walks around the home. I knew they needed this time, but yet, I noticed when we left, that there weren’t the looks of sadness and longing for more time together that I had seen before. In fact, they spoke of seeing each other again really soon, and Aunt Annie even suggested that maybe she, her niece, son and daughter might come visit Betty the next time.
Such hope she has for the future. How she can rest in God’s presence and know such peace. Her amazing spirit and enthusiasm for life is just unbelievable! You would have to see it to believe it! Nothing shakes her. Her faith is strong. She finds rest, strength, and hope in Him. He is her rock and her salvation. Her love for God is obvious, and she gives Him all the praise for her long and blessed life.
She is such a joy to everyone around her as she lifts their spirits and makes them smile! I have no doubt God placed her and Betty in my life to teach me about trusting and depending on His love and grace. Betty is 87 and she, at 104, could both be facing uncertainty at this time in their lives, but instead, they have placed their lives in His hands and they are trusting in Him. What a loving example of grace they are to so many and what a blessing they have been to me!
Our most kind and gracious heavenly Father, thank you for the special people you have placed in our lives and for what they teach us by their trust in you. May we too grow in wisdom and faith as we learn more about your love and mercy. Amen