Tripped For God’s Purpose

There they sat. A concerned daughter was sitting next to her wheelchair-bound mother in a crowded waiting room, waiting to see the doctor. But I didn’t focus on them. Not right away, anyhow. I was on my way to see my doctor. And then I tripped over the mother’s purse lying on the floor. Out popped the contents of my purse. Everywhere.

“I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have left my purse in the middle of the floor,” the mother embarrassingly mumbled.

“No worries,” I responded, smiling as I began gathering the mess. I thought to myself, this is an effective way to clean up one’s purse, right? Mine needed it.

“Hey, what’s that book about?”

They were pointing at a copy of Halo Found Hope that popped out of my purse, intended for my physician.

“I’m too tired to explain it. Here would you like to read the back?”

back cover of Halo Found Hope

The daughter eagerly took the copy from my hand, read the back and exclaimed, “Wow, is this about you?”

“Yep.”

“You’re a miracle, you know.”

“I’ve heard that before. You’re a miracle too, you know.” I commented. “Everyone that God made is.”

“Can, I look inside?” the daughter asked.

“Sure.”

“Nice cover!”

front cover with award

“Yep, I like it.” Halo Found Hope along this challenging journey. I admit I filled in that blank with thoughts other than hope when feelings of discouragement, fear, and doubt consumed me, but eventually, God showed me where you and I can always find hope.”

The daughter became pensive. She was staring at the Table of Contents. She looked her mom straight in the eye. “Mom, Helo wrote chapter eight for you.”

The mom grumbled, “Yeah right.”

“Yes, Mom, Helo wrote chapter eight for you.”

She grumbled once again. “I am so tired of being in a wheelchair. I am so tired of seeing doctors. I love you, but I am so tired of having you take care of me. I’d rather do something fun, and I am grumpy.”

They went back and forth a bit, and I thought, I don’t want to get in the middle of their discourse, Time to pray. So I closed my eyes for just a moment. “Dear God, Please stay with and comfort this mother and daughter. I think they need you right now. Show them how much You love them.”

BelvLvHope-4-BlkT

“Hey Helo, are you okay?”

I quickly opened my eyes, “Oh, yes I am,” and began smiling once again.

The daughter reiterated, “Mom, Helo wrote chapter eight for you! It’s titled RESILIENCE.”

Her mother wasn’t and didn’t want to listen.

So the daughter repeated, louder. “Mom, Helo wrote chapter eight for you! It’s titled RESILIENCE.”

This Halo Found Hope copy was not going to make it into my doctor’s hands.

“What are your names?” I asked.

I signed the copy and inscribed a personal note. Little did I know then, as much as I would later the divine purpose behind tripping over the mother’s purse.

The daughter contacted me shortly after our encounter.

“This was the first time in several months, which my Mom and I stayed up late, laughed, cried, and ate popcorn together. We read past Chapter eight and couldn’t put it down. My mom wants to know who God is now.”

Now I am stunned.

His purpose revealed.

God has an unfathomable way of directing our paths.

He did this. Not me, I thought.

I now understood that His blessings come down upon us, sometimes when we least expect them. This mother and daughter were encouraged. And so was I. He revealed a purpose behind my journey with a mean brain tumor, that I admittedly question at times.

God is not finished with me yet. And neither is He finished with you. We all have a story to tell. And the battles, challenges, and frustrations we face — once endured or conquered, may be the exact chapter that someone else needs to hear or read, in God’s perfect timing. Having our downtrodden souls lifted up by Him in inexplicable ways is remarkable.

I was reminded this day, once again, that we all need God. We all need hope. In Him, we can stay strong. And “The difference between a strong man and a weak one is that the former does not give up after a defeat.” — Woodrow Wilson.
BraveBecauseTblksame

“We need to understand that drawing near to Him, and asking Him to equip us with strength and determination, results in resiliency. God imparts hope to the hopeless, rest to the restless, and courage to the discouraged.” Excerpt from Halo Found Hope’s Chapter Eight, RESILIENCE.

I invite you to visit amazon.com to purchase a copy of award-winning Halo Found Hope for yourself or for someone you know who needs to find hope. https://www.amazon.com/Halo-Found-Hope-Helo-Matzelle/dp/145753133X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495211039&sr=8-1&keywords=halo+found+hope

Clasp hope

God bless you!

Hope in Him,
Helo

What Does It Take to Be a Safe Friend?

I answered the phone and the call made me shake and drop to my knees. She is one of my closest friends. She loves me and I love her. We have laughed together countless times. Giggling is fun! We’ve never forced a conversation. I’ve never had to hide behind a smile. She loves me even when I frown. If I let my guard down around her she is a safe friend. I never have to pretend I am someone I’m not. And if I am someone I’m not for a little while, she never holds it against me or brings it up. No “remember when you were grumpy, sad, stubborn, and / or doubtful?” No more remember whens. No more bad yesterdays. Just precious todays. Just anticipation and believing in beautiful tomorrows. No more sorrow. No more pain. No grudges. No judgment. Just wisdom and forgiveness.

friends

Back to the phone call. Back to the trembling voice on the other end to the phone.

“Helo, I’m scared.”

“Why? What’s going on?”

Nothing but tears intertwined with silence on the other end of the phone.

“Are you okay? I can come over right now.”

“No, I know you’re busy.”

“Not too busy for you.”

More silence between tears.

“Helo, I have stage four cancer. I’m so scared.”

“Would you like me to come over? I can sit and just listen.”

“No, I don’t want you to get off the phone. I just want you to listen to me some more, right now. Besides, my husband will be home soon.”

“What can I do for you, precious one?”

“I just need you to be a safe friend.”

“Beloved, you know everything between us stays between you, me, and God.”

“I know. I just don’t want to go to Heaven. Not yet anyway.”

“I don’t want you to go either. What did the doctor say?”

“It’s spread. Stage four is mean. Part of my colon, liver, and kidney needs to be removed. Then chemotherapy and radiation. Why me, God?”

“I don’t know, beloved. You asked me to be a ‘safe’ friend. I promise you I will be. I won’t bring this up when we talk again, not because I don’t care, but rather because I do. You bring it up with me when you want to. I won’t stop praying about it, but I will stop asking about it.”

“When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.”

(Proverbs 31:26)

In every conversation since the day my precious friend told me that she has stage four cancer, we only talk about it when she brings it up. And when she doesn’t, we still have quiet, tender, laugh-filled moments. We both need normal ones, as normal as they can be given what we both know. We love each other deeply, even when we hide behind our smiles.

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”

(Colossians 3:12-13)

Why is being a ‘safe’ friend important?

There are times we need to be a loving friend. “A friend loves at all times.” (Proverbs 17:17). There are also times when being a “loving” friend means being a “safe” one too. When we face something difficult we all need moments of normalcy. It’s not denial. Instead, it’s renewal. You have, are, or will face something that frightens you. Often that’s when you’ll want a “safe” friend. Someone who tells you, “I will keep this between you, me, and God.”

When I faced four miscarriages, attempting to conceive again, I needed a safe friend. I didn’t want to talk about my hope of getting pregnant. I didn’t want to talk about other friends having babies. I was hurting like crazy and just wanted a few safe friends. God surrounded me with them. He is so good at comforting.

When I dealt with that brain tumor diagnosis, I had only six days before I’d lie on a gurney. I needed normal moments. I needed time with my husband and kids. I didn’t want to field questions. Couldn’t handle that. I needed safe friends. God brought them to me, again. Time and time again through every heart-wrenching challenge, God showed me what a safe friend was, and one day He took the lesson He taught me to be a safe friend for someone else.

But sometimes, our safety can only go so far. I will do the best I can to be a safe friend for my friend, but I can’t be everything she needs. Only God can do that. Part of being a safe friend is knowing when to step back and let God sort it out.

Feeling alone? seek Jesus

I now know that my best and safest friend is Jesus. He showed me His love through my safe friends. He is so good at surrounding us with people who can comfort. And when comfort from my friends isn’t enough, I know that God is just a prayer away.

alone - prayer away

If Jesus is your best friend, share Him with others. And if He isn’t your best friend yet, ask Him to be. He’s the best and safest friend you’ll ever have. Listen to Him.

I will refresh the weary and satisy

Oh, how Jesus loves you. Remember that.

Hope in Him,

Helo