This week I connected with a good friend who lives about an hour away for dinner.  We always start off with the “Bro, we should do this more often” followed immediately by trying to out-apologize one another for not staying in contact more often.  As a guy it seems my nature is out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Maybe, it’s because I’ve moved so much in the last 10 years.  It’s easy to get focused on getting settled in a new area and lose touch with the group you just moved away from.  Bad habit I need to change.

Good friends.  Hard to come by.  Good friends.  There for you – trustworthy.  Good friends…

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Story – Part 7

May 18, 2007

Towards the end of the last round of chemo treatments, a friend of mine called me to see if I could lead worship for the youth group at his church. The guy that had been leading had suddenly stepped out and they were looking for someone else to step in.

I had just been cleared to be around large groups of people again by the doctor, so medically, I was able to be there. Spiritually and mentally I wasn’t too sure about it.

I was at ease playing guitar, but singing, by myself? When we traveled I would lead by myself, singing and playing, from time to time, but not on a regular basis. I was honored to be asked, but was I comfortable doing this by myself – with no band?

 
The answer was a resounding no… but surprisingly, I didn’t give that as my response. I told my friend yes.

Now, I was seeing a little more clearly. The lungs that had been covered with tumors – that God had cleansed and restored – were available to sing for His glory. The lungs I was hesitant to use before because I was scared, had been saved – for a purpose – and I wasn’t about to give up hope now.

The peace God had covered me with was not just for me to make it. The strength He had given me had not just been to get me through the process. The reason He restored my body was for me to live – really live. Here. Now.

The realization was amazing, I saw a part of His plan for my life and the next step.

 
Over the next few months as my hair began to regrow, I started working with the youth group in my friend’s church. After a while a few students expressed interest in playing or singing with me. God was using me to give others an opportunity to grow their gifts. It was a great time and the beginning of a new part of my life.

In addition to that, a friendship that had been lost for some time was renewed. Through another friend, I connected with a new group of friends that really surrounded me and helped me to heal.

Looking back, there was one important relationship I wish had been restored. Someone I loved very dearly. I wish I could have seen it then.

Nonetheless, God was gracious to me, and continues to be to this day. I give Him my thanks, my praise for His amazing love and for new life. He restored my spirit long before sickness tried to consume my body – and when it did, He didn’t stop with my spirit, He healed my body too.

 
The doctors to this day say that it had to be God. I was a goner – dead man walking… but God…

< Part 6