Last Friday was October 12. What a day! Here’s why:
1. It was the 45th Anniversary of Jake-and-Sarah’s first date.
That was a drizzly Friday afternoon when Jake called to invite me for a bike ride. We rode on the white-gravelly prairie path, along the train tracks to the next Chicago suburb, to an ice cream place called The Cock Robin. The rain thickened and the place filled up with commuters needing shelter. And ice cream. We shared a table with others, and I remember staring at Jake’s handsome reflection in the window.
Five months later we were married and have enjoyed bikes and rain and ice cream uncounted times since.
2. Granddaughter #4 turned seven.
Flannery, born in Dubai, is a warm, sunshine-y, pixie of a girl that everyone loves to love. A good gift from God!
3. Andrew Brunson was released from his two-year suffering in Turkish prison.
I have never met Andrew but his family is supported by our church, his parents are our friends, his nephew is in my four-year-old Sunday School class. We have ached and cried and begged God to free him and He answered, on October 12: oh, happy day!
4. Our renters moved out of our apartment.
This was a big deal. It had been six weeks of commotion and occasional drama, with four adults, three small children, a crying baby, and a whining dog living in that very small space — their cars gummed up our driveway, their noise and odors pinched my peace.
It was hard to live so close to them, but guess what? God blessed me with a miracle. (Remember my stories are about how God is determined to bless me. And the greatest miracle is the miracle of a changed heart.)
I knew our renters were doing the best they could, trying to find another place, but it was wrong of them to move into ours without permission, and my heart was irked and bitter. I often thought, They are taking advantage of us, of our grace and patience and forgiveness.
Then it hit me: that is exactly what I do with God: I take advantage of His grace and patience and on-going forgiveness when I do things that are wrong. When I allow commotion and drama and crying and whining in my soul, He is always kind and compassionate and understanding of my needs.
That day, remembering God’s amazing love, my heart was changed, and two weeks later, October 12, when our renters moved out, they invited us to the littlest girl’s birthday party next week.
And I look forward to going.
And lastly, #5. Jake came home from the hospital.
It was a big surprise to us last Tuesday when the doctor found a large blood clot in Jake’s left lung, provoked by his hip replacement surgery. “God had mercy on me . .. to spare me sorrow upon sorrow” and I felt that “peace of God which transcends all understanding.” I knew that “this turn of events was from the Lord.” We are grateful for good medical care and that Jake is home-resting, healing-slowly-patiently.
October 12 will always be a remembering, thanks-be-to-God day for me!
(Scriptures phrases from Phil 2:27, 4: 7, 1 Kings 12:15)