A Little Girl Lost

Archive for the ‘love’ Category

New Life

Hospitalized after a serious injury I developed pneumonia. A culture of my secretions grew out MRSA (mer-sa) and the nurses moved me to an isolation room. My doctors said that if I lived I would have brain damage, be bedridden, and ventilator dependent. They told my husband that he was too young to be stuck with an invalid wife and they offered to let me die—comfortably, of course. My husband, remembering his wedding vows, chose life for me, and had me transferred to a rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta, GA.

As spring arrived, I had a birds-eye view of treetops outside my second floor isolation room window. Spring had always been my favorite season and I watched tender red shoots and buds appear on tiny limbs, followed by the smallest pairs of green leaves. Those signs of new life brought me comfort and encouragement.

However, one tree didn’t grow new branches or buds. Each day it was the same ash gray color and I decided that it was dead. I told everyone who came to see me that I wished someone would cut it down so I wouldn’t have to look at it.

Then one sunny morning I saw tiny pairs of green leaves on that dead tree. I began to weep as I realize what I’d been saying about that tree was what the doctors had said about me. I knew then God was with me, telling me my life wasn’t over.

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV).

In Christ Alone,
Berta

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Love Your Neighbor

In the early days of my life with a spinal cord injury, a friend from our church visited our home while Earl was feeding me. She didn’t greet me but asked, “Oh Earl, can I feed her?”

Earl looked at my flushed face and saw tears drop from my bowed head to my lap. I was a baby. A cripple. An invalid. Humiliated and unable to take another bite I wheeled to my bedroom.

After that, when offered a cool glass of water I would respond, “I’m OK. Earl will be here in a few minutes.”

“Can I get that for you?”

“Earl will get it.”

“Are you hungry?”

“Earl will get me something when he gets back.”

Earl encouraged me, “Berta, you need to let others help you sometimes.”

After months in rehab learning to do things for myself and trusting people around me, I had let that one statement steal my self-esteem.

Once I allowed my friends to help me, I found a new purpose in my life. I made a list of telephone numbers of women in our church that couldn’t always come to services. Each morning I prayed over my list and asked God to bless them in whatever struggle they were in. Then I picked one number to call. I had no idea what we would talk about once they answered, but I dialed their numbers anyway.

In the beginning, my calls surprised the women. They surprised me too. However, God had a plan.

There were women on my list that I never met face to face. I finally met Callie after two years of telephone ministry. Some women were young. Some were old. All needed Christian love, acceptance and encouragement—just like me. Over time, our relationships grew into a sisterhood of believers in Jesus that I‘d cherish forever.

Accepting the gifts of servants healed my crippled spirit.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:13,14 NIV).

In Christ Alone,
Berta

Homesick

Several years ago I received a letter from my friend, Lynda. In it she spoke of her homesickness. She talked about her family in Chicago, her grandmother’s death, and her Church family in Kentucky. She got me to thinking about homesickness.

I can’t count the number of moves I’ve made, and the people I’ve left behind throughout my life. I never seemed to stay in one place long enough to establish bonds, or I knew I’d be moving on sometime soon, and never opened up to anyone.

Looking back, I was always homesick. Never satisfied with my surroundings. Never content with the people around me. I remember crying out in agony even as a child, “I want to go home!” I was tormented with a desire for something I couldn’t describe.

Then in 1985 I met a hospital chaplain, who introduced me to the Savior. After the chaplain and I married, we moved to Kentucky to pastor a local church. Six years later we moved to pastor another church. Then five years later. Then seven years.

I’ve come to understand that God always gives us a ministry where ever He sends us. Throughout the years our family in Christ nurtured me with love, prayer, and biblical instruction. They showed me glimpses of that unfathomable home—that place my soul yearned for, and my mind struggled to believe in.

Today I know Heaven is my real home.

In Christ Alone,

Berta

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