Finding Beauty in the Chaos
On Wednesday night my 18-year-old and I were eating supper in the Wegmans café, making plans for the future; on Thursday morning we were in the ER and my daughter was fighting for her life. The virus came out of the blue and in an instant Celestia was struggling to breath. It was as if her lungs were frozen. No amount of asthma medicine or nebulizing treatments made a difference. While I sat in the ER with her, and watched the doctors working on her for five hours with no improvement, I felt the moment was suspended in time. As I sat quietly in the corner watching the doctors around her bed doing what they were trained to do, I may have seemed calm and quiet on the outside, but inside I was in turmoil and my heart was breaking. It seemed so unreal. How can life change so quickly? I kept thinking of Pastor Doug’s words when he said that it is only because God ordains it that your heart keeps beating. As she got paler and paler and more and more hunched over fighting for breath, we prayed together and asked God to intervene. Only He could make her lungs do what He had designed them to do. Without His life-giving spirit they were nothing more than inanimate matter. I emailed the prayer chain and we knew people were interceding on our behalf. We threw ourselves on God’s mercy, trusting and hoping in His goodness.
Things that had seemed important before seemed irrelevant now. The messy room, the organized chaos of a teenage schedule, the small frustrations that had seemed so critical to me before, now seemed desirable. I longed for them with every fiber of my being. They were evidence of life, of growth, of activity. They were a gift to me and I had squandered the gift, not recognizing it for what it was. I begged God to allow me to enjoy those frustrations for many more years and to not require my daughter’s life of me in this moment. He who suspended the moon and stars in the Heavens could give her lungs new life. I threw myself on His mercies and begged Him to hear my prayer.
After a night in the ICU we saw improvement and we knew that the Lord had heard our prayers and was healing her. In the morning Pastor Sean came to visit us and pray with us. Camille and I stood with him and we laid hands on Celestia while he read Psalm 103. I drank deeply of every word he read. The words brought healing to my heart. The words were like life-giving water pouring into my soul and giving life. Because of God’s Word our heart beats, our lungs breathe, our bodies function. Truly His mercy is great towards those who fear Him, and yes indeed the Lord pities us; He knows our frame and He remembers that we are dust. He will not give us more than we can bear.
I cannot describe the joy I felt when we went home. How I rejoiced at the wonderful chaos and activity that teenagers bring to my home. How the mess and disorder is vivacious and energetic to me now. It is a sign of life, of growth… it is a gift. This is a moment I will not squander, Lord.
Friend, if you are facing a challenge that seems unbearable, if what the Lord is requiring of you seems more than you can handle, remember that He knows your frame. He knows you are like dust. His words will bring life to your soul and comfort to your heart. Without Him we can do nothing, our bodies cannot function, our lungs cannot breathe, our hearts cannot beat. Everything He gives us is to remind us of how much we need Him. I hope that you will have the strength to willingly endure what it is He is requiring of you in this season of your life. In this time of Thanksgiving my heart is truly thankful for His mercies. I pray that you can thank Him for the trials as well as the joys, and remember that He who suspends the moon and stars in the heavens is by your side and taking care of you. Whatever trial He has given you today, do not squander it. Use it to draw closer to Him and be thankful.
“For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him.”
About Lucinda: Lucinda and Kim have been at New Life ever since they moved to Virginia 24 years ago. They have three children, two cats and a hedgehog and are learning to embrace the joys of chaos that a busy family life brings. And Lucinda was not born in South Africa as most of New Life thinks, but actually was born in Kenya.
Thanksgiving Day Ministry is in full swing!
Please contact the Dales to help with this traditional yearly event. Thanks to them for taking the ministry on this year!
Loving Our City (L.O.C.)
There are many destitute children in our community attending public schools. We have an opportunity to provide some basic necessities for them. With the onset of cold weather, gently used or new coats in children’s sizes 6 to 12 are desperately needed. Toiletries such as toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap, as well as family games, crayons and coloring books may be donated in the white Loving Our City box in the foyer. We hope to expand the donations to include Thanksgiving Baskets and restaurant gift cards to Country Cookin’ for the holidays. If you would like more information or have any questions, please contact Sarah Worman.
“Pounding” for Sammie Asirifi-Addo
Sammie moved into his house behind the church last weekend. If you would like to contribute something to stocking his pantry, fridge, or helping out with a household item, please contact Amy Auker. Or when you are cooking your next dinner, how about freezing a single serving of everything and taking it to him? Or better yet, invite him over for dinner!
Visiting and helping Nadine Sparks
Our long time member Nadine Sparks is now living at Chancellor’s Village and would love to have visits from young and old. It is a particularly difficult and lonely time for her as she normally would be going to Florida this time of year but is prevented from doing so due to her health. She would appreciate helping hands around her apartment, walking her 2 cocker spaniels, and running errands to the pharmacy and grocery store as her mobility is not good right now. Even a phone call would be greatly appreciated. For more information, please contact George Giddens.
Save the Date – Christmas Cookie/Treat Exchange! Friday, December 12th from 10 am-noon in the Fireside Room
Please join us for a great time of fellowship and treats!
Directions: Place 3-4 treats in each bag (depending on size of treat). Bring some extras for tasting! Bring as many bags as you’d like, and that is how many you will leave with. Take your bounty home and make a gorgeous cookie platter or store in the freezer to be brought out to make beautiful cookie platters every time you entertain this season!!
New Life’s 40th Anniversary Celebration- July 11-12, 2015
If you are interested in being on the planning committee, please contact Christine Fulcrod in the church office. The first meeting will be December 7 at 4:30 pm. Also let the office know if you would like to give a brief testimony during a Sunday service between January and July, sharing how being a part of New Life has helped you to grow spiritually.
Do you have a heart for missions? The Missions Committee is looking for new members!
They meet once a month on a Thursday evening at 7:00 pm. The committee is starting to plan for next year’s March conference and is a bit short-handed right now. Please contact the office for more information if you are interested.
A request from Christine Fulcrod
I am looking for some ladies to help me in archiving our church history/records. Let me know if you would have interest in that or if you have knowledge about such an undertaking. I would like to meet on a weekly basis and get started as soon as possible. You can contact me at the church office. Thank you, Christine Fulcrod
Fredericksburg Pregnancy Center (F.P.C) News
F.P.C. is always looking for volunteers, including Board Members. There are all kinds of volunteer projects including consultants, reception help, stuffing envelopes, etc. Board members are required to attend a monthly meeting and don’t need any experience as a board member, just a profession of faith in Christ and a desire to serve mothers and their babies in many areas. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Eileen Roberts.
Several Afghan immigrant women are looking for work, especially in the area of housecleaning. None are believers yet, but they are at various places in their journeys toward Christ — and would benefit from more contact with Christians. Other variables are their English language abilities, skills, number of hours and pay needed, etc. Please contact Debra Smith to learn more.
Fall is a great time to fold bulletins – older children are in school, schedules are more regular, and you can plan a lunch date and follow it up with service to the church! Do you have a couple hours on a Friday afternoon you can spare? Takes about 2 hours (faster if you bring a friend!). Questions? Ask Pam in the office.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. For the Lord is good; His loving kindness is everlasting, And His faithfulness to all generations.”
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
All for His glory,
for the Women’s Ministry Committee
Do you have information or needs that you’d like passed to the women of the church, activities or studies you’d like to see? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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