Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Name:
Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Friday, November 16, 2007

"God Doesn't Even Know Who I Am"

I had the most disturbing telephone call recently. It was from an old friend of mine. She has been having some real health problems which in turn have caused some overwhelming financial problems. She was despondent, angry and depressed, her pain shouting out every word, as if she were unable to restrain it. I hadn't heard from Sheila* in a very long time. We used to be co-workers and friends. She attended a bible study at my house every Tuesday night for over a year. Sheila was one of the few people I have ever met who truly knew nothing at all about God. She had grown up in a family that did not go to church, that did not pray and in fact, that never spoke of God or religion at all. In fact, she did not own a bible nor had she ever and no one in her family owned one they could loan her. Her desire to learn and her fresh look at the Bible and its characters was inspiring. We knew that every week, Sheila would come with her notebook, having studied the lesson in advance and prepared with three or four pages of questions. She was not ashamed to have so many questions and as we taught her, she also taught us. Her simple questions reminded us that not everyone knows that the Old Testament land of Israel is in the same place we find the Israel of today. Not everyone knows that the Old Testament and the New Testament are both the stories of God and His people. Not everyone knows that Moses was a real life person and the story of the ten plagues was very real. And so, as we learned to together, we grew to love Sheila and began praying for her salvation.
It was not long before Sheila changed jobs and stopped coming to bible study. As her illness became symptomatic, she started to withdraw. She did not answer her phone, nor did she come to answer her doorbell, cards were sent without response. We looked for her while shopping, we looked for her when driving down the road and we asked about her to mutual friends. Sheila, it seemed had chosen to drop off the face of the earth.
So you can imagine my surprise, three years later and three states away, to get a phone call from my long lost friend. The first call was a hangup, but thanks to the modern convenience of caller ID, I saw her name and called her right back. Sheila began telling me about her recent struggles, her chronic pain, the lack of support from her family and friends and the emotional strain she was under. I cried as she told me how depressed and desperate she had become. I cried as she said that her parents did not believe she was ill in spite of the fact that she was losing weight and her hair had all fallen out. I cried as she told me, she no longer knew where to turn for help. My heart hurt so much for my friend and I began suggesting possible resources and services. I gave her phone numbers and contact people. I gave her names of people who knew other people who could possibly offer some assistance. She seemed to listen and I was hopeful that somehow she would be able to find relief, that she would once again be able to work, able to function, able to care for herself and that she would be the happy, beautiful Sheila I remembered.
As our two hour phone call came to a close, we exchanged the usual goodbyes and I ended my call with, "I will pray for you", to which she replied, "Please don't---God doesn't even know who I am." At that statement the phone call abruptly ended. To this day, I am not sure whether Sheila hung up or the phone lost its signal or what happened. I tried to call back several times but got no answer. I was unable to get back in touch with my dear friend Sheila. And now, several months later, I have still not reconnected. Every attempt has failed and I began to feel helpless. And then I remembered the incredible power of prayer. In spite of the fact that Sheila has no faith in it, in spite of the fact that her desperation has shaped or misshaped her view of God and His power, I still believe in prayer. I believe God can heal her, I believe He can use her pain and her illness to help bring her to Him. I believe He can restore her health and bring about a faith that will open the lines of communication between them. I believe in prayers.
So today, my request from you, my friends, is that you pray for Sheila also. I am back in the town where she lives and am looking for opportunities to minister to her, pray that God will open those doors. Please pray for her and although you don't even know who she is, we all know that God does indeed and it was for my friend that He sent His Son!

Peace
Neva

19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am praying for both you and Sheila.


Pat

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With loving tears, I have asked God's help for "Shiela" and for the many others like her, and for you, as well.

Love, Jeanie

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm praying, Neva.

Tammy

PS For you too. :)

10:48 AM  
Blogger DJG said...

I want to be a friend like you...I will pray!

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will pray too.

Rachel

11:19 AM  
Anonymous carol said...

That is the saddest comment I have ever heard, how horrible to feel so alone, so seperate from God.
I will pray too, I am sure there are many others who feel so lonely and desperate. Thank you for sharing this

Carol

11:31 AM  
Anonymous carol said...

I meant the comment Sheila made not any ofthe comments on this page, just to clarify

Carol

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am praying that God will open her heart to you and open the doors for you so that you can take him to her.

Dan

11:40 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

I too pray for Sheila - may the words of His messengers open her heart to His love, grace and mercy for her - may she come to know Him and Him crucified for her and with that, receive the peace of our LORD and Savior in her life too. I pray words of thanksgiving for caring friends, especially in this case and so many others, for our dear Neva. May God make His presence known to Sheila, may she cry out to Him and feel His loving hand touch her heart and soul. And I pray her mother become more empathetic to the struggle her daughter is experiencing, the battle she's waging, and give Sheila of her maternal love and care.

All this, Dear LORD I pray to You in awe of Your great love and give my worship only to You, in Your precious Son's name, Jesus the Christ. Amen!

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Georgian Peach said...

I will pray right now, I know that you will keep trying until you find her, dear Neva. I will pray that happens soon.

Georgia

1:16 PM  
Blogger ben overby said...

Neva,

You're invited to submit your favorite blog or blog article to be considered for the soon to be released book-----The Church of Christ is Blogging, (subtitle) The Best Blogs of 2007--Selected Articles and Essays.

Edited by Ben Overby and John Dobbs
Published by Fresh Grace Publishing, Rochester NY
Publish Date: January 1, 2008

So,get your suggestions in ASAP. I'll be researching hundreds of blogs and John and I will funnel the group down to between 30 and 50 blogs before I send the work to my printer.

Please send me the web link and the reason you enjoy the blog. The book will divide into a handful of blog themes such as some of the following: Seniors, Teens, Inspiration, Issues, Family, Doctrinal, Motivational, etc.

The book will be marketed to members of the churches of Christ. I hope to introduce traditional print readers to some of the talented writers we're blessed with in the world of electronic media by providing a wonderful sampling from each blog (with the blog author's permission of course). I'm only interested in well-written, thoughtful, blogs which are updated with some regularity (daily, weekly, monthly).

Deadline for your suggestions: November 30th 2007.
Send suggestions to benoverby@specialtywriting.com

Thanks for your help! Please forward this to your favorite church of Christ bloggers or post as a note on your blog.

Ben Overby
www.specialtywriting.com

2:26 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Neva,
I will pray for your friend Shela that she will understand just how much God love her and that he is with her during this difficult time in her life. I know how hard it is when you are hurting and in pain to see things clearly. I will definately keep her in my prayers sister. I will also keep you in my prayers as I know how hard it is when you see friends suffering as well. Know and understnad God is with you as well sister. Hang in there. Don't give up. He love's you more than you will ever begin to imagine. His grace is bigger than we can fathom. Know people are praying for you as well and you are not alone.
In Him,
Kinney Mabry

8:52 PM  
Blogger Helen said...

I love that you kept her in her heart and I pray that she'll soon really know that, because you found her again.

Actually during reading I thought that there are many Sheilas out there who'd say, that God doesn't even know...

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Don said...

OK

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right, God knows who she is and He loves her. We will all keep her in our prayers,

Jeneane

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will pray too.


Karli

10:19 PM  
Anonymous GM said...

I hope she finds her way. My prayers are with you both. Gosh, my heart goes out to her.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous James said...

Praying! Sorry I haven't kept up well.
James

12:56 PM  
Blogger Abiding In Christ, Amen! said...

Good morning My dear sister Neva,

I marked this post for followup after I read it and I was wondering how this was going and if you found your friend Sheila yet.

You've said that your back in the same town where she used to live? There's hope in that..I think its just a matter of time Neva before you find out something.

I do hope that she's gotten in touch with someone who's been able to help peel back those feelings that you spoke about. It can be distressing when you feel alone in illness and faith becomes weary. I hope and pray that someone is ministering to her and giving her hope and encouragement - and support for whatever she's facing.

We all need somebody.

Bless you Neva in your concern for your friend, and your Marine-Like friendship - "Leave no Friend behind."

8:23 AM  

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