Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I'll be a kook for Christ any day

It was close to 10:00 a.m. as I was folding the last of my laundry and getting ready to head out the door to my appointment. I popped in my ear buds so I could continue the conversation I'd been having with my oldest daughter, grabbed my keys, and walked out into the bright sunshine. A wave of Georgia heat slammed me in the face. It was mid-morning but already the sun was high in the sky and the humidity made it unbearable. Climbing into the car, I turned the engine over and waited a few minutes before cranking up the air conditioning. My ride was only going to be about twenty minutes. 

I pulled into the parking lot just a few minutes before my appointment. When I went inside the dental office, I noticed a new receptionist. She stood up, greeted me with a smile and said, "You must be Mrs. Annis!" I was surprised she knew me by name. I'd never seen her before in my life. Out of curiosity, I leaned forward on the counter and said, "How did you know who I was?" She explained another one of her coworkers had brought in the feature newspaper article done on my a couple of weeks ago and everyone in the office had taken time to read it. I was shocked and even more so when several of the office staff came up to greet me. They were all smiles and made comments about how well done the article was and how grateful they were I'd been willing to do it. I thanked them for their sweet words and took my seat in the waiting room. About fifteen minutes later, I was called back for my time with the dentist. 

Oh, how I love my dentist! (We met right after our move to this area so he's been with me through just about every step of my journey.) He's the sweetest man...so gentle, soft spoken and kind. He loves the Lord and though very humble, makes sure others know he's a man of faith. As he came around the corner, he greeted me with the biggest smile ever and held out his arms for a big bear hug. I gave him a hug and after exchanging pleasantries, he got down to business. I'd come in for a followup on some work I'd had done about 3 months ago. Dr. E explained each step of the process and started working on me. His assistant, Sharon, is a sweetheart. She told me she had been the one to bring in the newspaper clipping and she'd encouraged all the staff to read the article. She said they still had the article in their break-room on the wall. It felt funny having such a big deal made over me and I didn't know how to respond. 

At the checkout counter, Kay, the receptionist, went over the proposed bill for my services. This work was going to be done in 3 steps so it would be rather expensive. She wanted to make sure I had no surprises and I was thankful for a heads up on the financial end of things. As I stood there talking with Kay, I could feel something troubling her. I felt a deep need to share my testimony with her and as we began talking, I told her how cancer had been used by God to teach me to live in the moment. Her eyes filled with tears and she thanked me. She said she needed to hear that today. I talked a little longer and tried to give her some words of encouragement. I didn't want to take up much of her time because other patients were coming in but I was trying to be attentive to what the Holy Spirit was speaking to me, too. 

The car was unbearably hot after sitting in full sun for about an hour. I let it cool down and started to drive off. Before I reached my next destination, I felt God saying, "Call Kay. Tell her I have a plan for her. Share Jeremiah 29:11." I pulled over and fished my Iphone out of my purse. Thankfully I had Dr. E's office on speed dial. I heard Kay's sweet, soft voice on the other end of the phone and I told her I'd just been in and I felt like I was supposed to call her. I prefaced what I was going to say with "I hope you don't think I'm some kind of kook or something, but..." As I explained I felt God telling me to give her a word, she got very quiet. I asked if she'd ever heard the verse of Scripture found in Jeremiah 29:11. She said she had but couldn't remember it. I quoted it to her - " For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." She thanked me and I could tell by her voice the verse impacted her in a mighty way. I was glad I was obedient to what the Lord was telling me to do. I could have easily ignored His prompting and just gone on about my day but if I had, I would have missed the blessing and Kay would have missed it, too. 

I still don't know why I prefaced what I was going to share with Kay with the words, "I hope you don't think I'm some kind of kook or something..." it really didn't matter whether she thought I was a kook or not. I guess I was just concerned because we'd just met and she had no idea who I was or anything about me other than what she'd read in the paper. I'll be a kook for Christ any day of the week, any time of day. I think it's so important for us to be sensitive to others and to do what Jesus leads us to do. 

After I completed my call to Kay. I went into our local Goodwill store. I like to peruse the aisles on Tuesdays because I can usually find some really good bargains on craft materials or toys for my grandchildren. As I was looking on the toy aisle, I saw another woman there. She was looking at a little ceramic figurine. I felt led to speak to her and just said, "Hi. Do you know what color items are today's 50% off colors?" She smiled and said, "Today's color for sale items was green. Anything with a green label would be 1/2 price." I thanked her and got to talking about how I come to Goodwill to buy items for my grandchildren. She said she did the same and was looking for something for one of her granddaughters. We talked about twenty minutes and then went our separate ways. I marveled at how God, once again, has caused me to step out of my comfort zone by prompting me to speak to complete strangers and share His love. I am learning so much by choosing to be "in the moment" and not hurrying through life any more. I have the gift of cancer to thank for that. 

P.s. I forgot to tell you Kay told me the newspaper article had really touched her heart. She said my testimony and my journey through cancer was amazing. I told her all glory goes to God and I was so thankful He used that article to reach others. It's amazing how He's been using my story. I got a Facebook message from a woman in the UK yesterday asking about the alternative methods I've been using to fight cancer. She'd read an article I'd written for Cure magazine. If my story can help others in any way, shape, or form, I will be so happy. To God be the glory for all He's done in and through my life these past 2 years. 

1 Corinthians 12:25-26 God’s purpose was that the body should not be divided but rather that all of its parts should feel the same concern for each other. If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts share its suffering. If one part is praised, all the others share in its happiness.

12. Romans 12:15-16 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

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