Halloween is over.
CHRISTMAS is coming!!
But, let’s not look past that easily forgotten holiday: Thanksgiving!!
I have so many things to be thankful for–my home, vehicles, clothes, books …but nothing brings me to my knees in gratefulness more than the people in my life! I have been richly blessed with some precious friendships. I pray that everyone would be surrounded by such precious people.
This morning, as I was talking with the Lord about the upcoming month, He began to reveal to me how relationships shape me. The people we choose to spend time with profoundly affect us. I started a mental list, then started writing their names down…all 24 of them. One for each day of this month leading up to Thanksgiving Day. I love when God shows me things like that.
The first name on the list, the one I know needs prayer today especially, is Diana Rucker.
We have been rehearsing together for the 2011 Women’s Banquet and I have had the opportunity to spend an hour or so with her each week. Diana is playing a part in the skits and speaking that night. I think she is the perfect person to speak on our theme, “It’s A Wonderful Life”.
Last week at rehearsal, conversation turned a little uncomfortable when the subject turned to her bald head. I don’t recall how we settled on the topic, but you see, Diana is a breast cancer survivor. After chemotherapy, she lost all her hair. Seriously though–have you seen a prettier lady!? And Diana did what any woman of poise and grace would–she told a joke to relieve the tension. Her ‘hair-raising’ story relaxed us so much that I was able to ask some personal questions (inquiring minds want to know!). Do you have eyebrows!? (Yup, drawn on) She made all of us feel better.
I don’t think there is any personal pain that eclipses watching your children suffer. Among the tragedies her family has endured, she watched as one of her daughters lost a husband to pancreatic cancer. I ask myself: In that situation, would I ever get past the stomp-my-foot-telling-God-it’s-not-fair stage of grief? After his death, Diana asked the Lord to send someone to be a father to her grandchildren and a husband to her daughter. She is faithful to trust the Lord for His provision in her children’s life.
She needs prayer now, because tomorrow Diana will find out the results of a bone & marrow biopsy. Doctors have told her she may have leukemia. I asked her last night how she was feeling. Smiling she answered, “tired”. Her granddaughter, Haley, told me recently that she gets up very early every morning to spend time with the Lord. Because of her relationship with Him, she perseveres with peace beyond earthly comprehension.
Even though many would consider all she has been through as drawing the short straw over and over…she really has had ‘A Wonderful Life’. Her positive outlook, joy filled heart, and sweet spirit truly embodies the Titus 2 woman. Because she teaches and encourages me, I’m thankful for our friendship!
The following is Mrs. Diana’s response to the above:
“Thank you, Kelley. I don’t think I know that lady you are speaking of. My eyes are moist with tears after reading what you wrote and I am thankful for you and blessed to know you. It thrills me to see how God shapes us and uses the unique gifts and personalities He has given each of us to accomplish His purpose in our lives on this earth. Because to me, you are a very special young lady who God is using in so many different ways. Thank you for using your talents and gifts for Him.It is okay to share any or all of it that you want to, and here is why: I want others to see how God works in our lives. I want to be transparent enough for others to see my weaknesses and know that anything good they see in me is Jesus and Him only. I pray that my life will make others thirsty for Him.Thanks for your prayers!”