I am pretty much a pessimist. Wait, I mean realist! When the challenging stuff happens around me I have to discipline myself to look at circumstances with a glass half full mindset. I squint hard to catch a glimpse of silver lining somewhere. It isn't always easy and I don't always succeed, but sometimes some pretty cool things come out of this discipline. Opportunities!
We live next door to the people who sold us our house two years ago. It wasn't part of their plan to become our neighbors. They didn't even want to move in the first place. When we moved in, they reluctantly moved on to another state because that was where he could find a contract job. On his first day at work, he fell and broke his back. Their family eventually moved back to live in his Dad's home so he could rehab and look for a new career and she could work two part time jobs.
And so they live next door to the home he built and they loved and we now live in. Awkward? Deeply! An opportunity? Definitely!
Last Fall, the wife came to me and apologized for all the tension. It was hard to wave at us and be friendly when they were drowning, she told us. She said that she would ask me to pray except she had lost hope. I told her I would pray anyways if it was ok with her. Over the past months, we have reached out to the family gradually. Their youngest girl and our girls became friends and the little girl accepted my girls' invitation to attend church with us. She now attends almost weekly with her parent's approval, though they don't come. A month ago, the little girl trusted in Christ! She reads her new kid level Bible daily (she had never opened a Bible before) and loves doing the projects they suggest (journals and all sorts of fun stuff). I am excited to see what God has planned next for their family! Maybe the parents and the big sister will begin to have a spiritual stirring in their hearts!
D and I were just finishing our run yesterday. My legs were like lead and we both only had about enough energy to drag our out of shape selves back into the house.
But a neighbor who was getting her mail a couple houses down stopped us to talk. She is one of those "wave at" neighbors who you maybe chat with briefly twice a year. But today she wanted to talk. She asked us to pray for her husband who was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. So sad? Deeply! An opportunity? Definitely!