As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Monday, January 16, 2012

What Can I Say?

Her name pops up in my inbox, and my heart jumps right into Happy.

She knows the hard stuff, the ugly stuff. She is the one who answers my phone calls in the middle of the night and cries tears of grief and confusion with me. She asks the hard questions, isn't afraid of the screaming rants, sees the light in the darkness.

She has walked through the darkest with me...and sees the light in it all...

She has a gift for validating the hard stuff and still believing in the great stuff.

And I love getting her emails.

Lisa Buffaloe is a writer, speaker, radio host, mom, friend, my cheerleader, my intercessor, my companion believer in the miraculous among the muck.

I have a whole file folder devoted to her emails.

And what does she say that is so profound? So heart strengthing? instilling?

"Jerri, I am so excited about what God is doing in you and the children and your lives. It is so fun to be on this journey with you."

Yep. She even wrote me such things during the Year From Hell.

Change the words, but the statement is always the same--


WOW!!! Who doesn't want to hear that? Who would not want to hear that they see good things, GOD things? I would far rather have someone see me walking on water, or floating in a God-given dingy, than someone who can see nothing but the waves coming at me, the cup I'm dipping the water out with, or my sopping wet clothes.

There are times when people are so focused on the fact we are not where we used to be they cannot see where we are. They are so focused on the fact we are not "back to normal" (I could preach a whole seminar on the prison of "normal") that they can't see how better than "normal" we are, and honestly, sometimes I just want to scream...or delete email address and phone numbers, which I have done.

In the last few weeks, a few people I have chosen not to speak with in several months have emailed. The emails are the usual: "I am here if you need me. I can listen. If you need someone to encourage you, I'm here."

The rest of the emails convey how sorry this person is that the kids and I have had so much pain, grief, sorrow, and so on. The person is so sorry it has been so hard, so sorry about Rob, so sorry about my sorry my life isn't what it was...but remember God does good things despite...list all the negative things that have happened...and how my life isn't what it was.

I delete those. I don't even respond. I don't try to tell the person how inaccurate their perception is. I don't try to list the good stuff going on. I used to, but I became tired of the, "I'm so glad you are having a good day and thankful you can have a positive outlook despite everything..." Really? You want to encourage me, and I'm having to help YOU see the good stuff?

And then there is Lisa and folks like her. She isn't the only one. She is the one who comes to mind because I received an email from her this morning, and she is excited about some travel possibilities for the children and me, some writing opportunities that have been presented, and some ministry opportunities opening up for me.

She isn't preparing invites for a pity party for me because of the roof or the garage or the computer issues or next month being February or....Nope.

She prays for all those things, asks me about all those things, but she never defines me by those things. She defines me by how she sees God working in our lives, blessing us richly, doing new and creative things.

And she is excited.

And that spills right over and dumps my heart right into Happy.


mizzbrizz said...

So timely! I just finished reading Joni Eareckson Tada's book, "A Place of Healing" and in it she talks about all the things she was able to do--all the people she was able to touch for God's glory and those who found our AMAZING and AWESOME God thanks to her allowing herself to be used in His mission rather than wallowing in her disability. That is how I see you; choosing to be used to further God's kingdom. It's better when we have been to battle and can share the journey to the other side. We can relate, connect, and share God's grace and mercy even in the darkest of times. Sometimes, getting to the other side or even the next step gives us a new perspective that someone not yet there needs. So, thank you for sharing that so that others can find God's grace and abundance.

Lisa Buffaloe said...

Awwww, Jerri thank you! Thank you for blessing me. I'm so grateful God brought us along the same pathway to pray and encourage one another along the journey. And boy what a journey it's been. I love watching God work in your life, love knowing that His promises are true -- that He truly does work all things out for the good of those who love Him and are called by His name. And I'm watching, believing, praying, and excited to see how God will blow our socks off with His goodness as He restores what the locusts have eaten. (Joel 2:25-26). God is restoring, renewing, breathing new life as He unfolds a new wonderful story!

Love you, precious friend!

Jason Wert said...

I love the dichotomy of the e-mails you focused on the struggle, the other focused on the joy. Sure, there's times you have to focus on the excrement that is cascading downhill at you but most of the time it's better to focus on the good things God is doing and working in the midst of the storm.

Nicole said...

Glad you kept blogging, Jerri-O. Love you :)

Jerri Kelley said...

MizzBrizz, "...allowing herself to be used in His mission rather than wallowing in her disability." Oh, friend, that is some powerful truth there, life-alteringly powerful.

Lisa, you bless me deep. I put this in my journal. :-)

Jason, perspective is a big deal, isn't it, my friend?

Nicole, thank you! Love you, too!!!!