In a blog from a week ago I mentioned going to a 30 year vow renewal for Rob and Linda while my son-in-law, their son, Mike officiated the ceremony. Who gets to attend something so cool? I mean really! I mentioned in that blog post not knowing who was invited or who was going to be there because I knew this blog was coming. If you want to read that blog post, please look back two posts and read “you’re still the one”.
We were all gathering on the beach, Sullivans Island, waiting for the moment that Linda would walk around the dune to start the vow renewal and celebration. While we were waiting I was taking pictures, still getting used to my new camera, and I was walking around shooting pictures of everyone. I saw a woman, and what appeared to be her daughter, sitting in beach chairs. Something drew me to this woman, but I wasn’t sure what. She smiled at me as I was walking around and I kept feeling the pull to go and speak to her. This isn’t really part of my normal personality. I know that people who know me say “what?” – but, if I don’t know people, I really am shy, at first. So, stepping out of my comfort zone I walked up to this woman and began to talk to her. Rob came right over and introduced me to Heidi and her daughter; “they are from Ft Mill but now live in Virginia” Rob said and walked away. She smiled at me and said to her daughter “this is Morgan’s Mom”. This threw me for a second because it’s been a long time that a stranger referred to me as Morgan or Kyle’s Mom. Everyone that knows me KNOWS I am their Mom…but now that they are grown, I am known less and less as Morgan or Kyle’s Mom, at least in public. So it took me a moment and I realized, well of course she knows that – she knows Mike, Rob, and Linda, and Morgan married into their family. DUH. I cannot remember how the conversation went exactly – I should have blogged before I forgot what was said, but I remember enough to set the scene for you.
Heidi mentioned that she knew me, she said she saw me walking around and realized who I was, and then knew she was going to be able to meet me. She told me that she had read a lot of what I had written when I was sick. She asked me how I was doing now and I said “great – I feel good and I am good!”….she smiled so sweetly at me and mentioned that it was odd for her to know so much about me and know that I don’t even know who she is. Ahhh….a blog reader, this is not the first time I have been in this position. It is a little odd for me to be faced with this situation but her gentle personality and her sweet demeanor made me feel totally comfortable. And then she said “I prayed for you….a lot”…BAM – there it was; the mention of prayer during the hardest part of my life. I was so touched. I have to say, it was truly an honor to be talking to another human being, knowing in my heart and soul, that this precious woman took time out of her busy life and prayed for me, a stranger. She smiled such a sweet smile and her loving spirit came right out of her and covered me. I could feel it in that moment….as I could feel it…many times during my illness. I knew, without a doubt, that I was covered in prayer. When people tell you they will pray for you – you have to know that some people actually do pray and some people actually don’t. They say they will and they forget, or maybe they never intend to, but I could tell that she did. She knew way too much about me so I know she actually read what I wrote, and she actually prayed for me.
I was humbled and honored and it was a huge reminder how loving and caring people can be. The vow renewal was about 45 minutes away from the party and I was alone in my car. I had my sunroof open and music blasting. I was enjoying the beautiful day and I kept reflecting back to Heidi and our conversation. It wasn’t so much the words that she said “I read what you wrote” “I followed you through your cancer battle” “I prayed for you”….it was more the feeling that I got when she looked into my eyes. She knew me. I am not sure if you have ever experienced this kind of thing, but it is different to meet people who “know” you - but you have never met and you don’t know them. Then to realize that your story, your words, and your life touched them enough that they thought enough of you to pray for you. It’s a really a pretty big moment in your life when you wrap your mind around this.
After thinking about this all of the way to the party, I decided I was going to ask Heidi if I could blog about her. I wasn’t sure how she would feel or what she would say and I was a little nervous asking. You have to remember, I hardly knew her, but I knew I wanted to blog about what it feels like to have this wonderful thing happen. So, I was chatting with Morgan and Heidi came up and I just flat-out asked her. She got a little flustered and laughed with a twinkle in her eye and said “YOU want to blog about – ME….really???”….she threw her head back and giggled. This made me smile as she said she would be honored. Isn’t that crazy? I am the one who is honored. I am the one who has been reminded that people, sometimes people you don’t even know, are praying for you and asking God to help you through some of the darkest days of your life. I am the one who has been humbled, many times over the past three years, by things like this. They may seem small to you, they may seem inconsequential and not worthy of a blog post, but if you have prayed for a stranger, or a friend of a friend, or you have met people who have prayed for you during a difficult time and you didn’t even know them, then you know that this blog post is big. Prayers are big. No, prayers are huge.
You see, you never know who you are going to meet in your life. You never know whose eyes are on you when you don’t even know it. You never know who has your back when you are too sick, or weak, to stand on your own. If you are lucky, like me, on days when you least expect it, you get to find out.
For this, my new friend Heidi, I cannot thank you enough. It was MY pleasure meeting you and spending time with you. When I think of the smile that came over your face when you simply said “I prayed for you”….(then my jaw popped open and hit the sand)…it became extremely obvious how far-reaching our God allows our story to go…not only because it touches other people, but it allows other people to touch us, through prayer, and years later, through hopefully, a new friendship.