Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Best-Laid Plans

Days simply do not always follow the plan I have in mind. I’m sure others have noticed the same problem.

My day was set: Zumba class at 9:30, facial at 10:30, write the rest of the day. But my daughter got conjunctivitis and needed to be driven to the doctor, along with baby Finn because his dad had a job interview—nothing to be trifled with.

Fortunately, her appointment was at 9, and even with stopping to pick up her prescription, I left her house at 10:05 and decided to go straight to my 10:30 appointment. I felt sure Elaine wouldn’t mind taking me early.

But, strangely enough, as I got to the street leading to my house, en route to Elaine’s, my car suddenly seemed to get a mind of its own and swerved in, heading for home. At first I was so aggravated, fuming to myself over the extra minutes it would take. And what could I do at home for 10 minutes? Nothing productive, I thought.

And then it hit me. Perhaps I was supposed to go home for a specific reason. I became excited with the anticipation of what I’d find at home.

Sure enough, there were three urgent calls. Two were for Steve—the car repair person and the president of a board he’s on. The other was my friend Linda, who could hardly talk for weeping, but making clear that she wanted to talk to me.

Hurriedly I jotted down the numbers Steve needed to call, checked to be sure I had Linda’s hospital phone number, and left. I was a bit stunned at finding three messages that all ended with, “…so if you can call me as soon as possible….”

In the car, I called Linda and learned of the thoughtless doctor who had upset her. At Elaine’s, I called Steve to leave a message and, almost miraculously to me, he was between classes and actually answered his phone!

After my facial, though not looking my best, I suppressed my pride and headed for the hospital to visit Linda. She had settled down somewhat, but still struggled—with pain, with alarm at the doctor’s harsh judgment, with concern that the doctor had said to her, “You are not the only one suffering through this. Your family and friends are, too.”

Linda said to me, “No! No one else is suffering for me. I have it all. How could she say that?”

I said, “Perhaps she means that your family is suffering at the thought of what they’ll do without you. That’s a different kind of suffering.” She hesitantly agreed.

Already there with Linda was our close friend Marcia. Marcia and I got to chat as the nurses worked with Linda, finally getting her into a chair for a while.

We eventually had a few minutes to talk, and I gave Linda a list of friends from out of town who had sent money to help with her “end of earthly life” expenses. She was overwhelmed at the names of people who long ago had left our congregation to move across the country or just to attend elsewhere. She’d touched all those lives and had no idea how much.

As one friend wrote to me, “She will never know (until she gets to heaven) how she has impacted so many families and lives. Here she is battling for her life and Dale and I get a card in the mail from her welcoming us to our new home last week. Always putting others in front of herself. What a testimony/example!”

So now I review the day and how it turned out. I got to help my precious daughter, to spend one-on-one time with grandson Finn, help Steve get his car fixed sooner, visit with friend Marcia, encourage Linda’s husband Daryl, and spend time with my dear Linda. All great and positive experiences—so it’s a good thing God planned my day and not me!

4 comments:

cincynana said...

Our God is amazing! His plans for your day helped you be in the right place right time!

Kenda said...

It is often so hard to know what to do in the face of such difficult times, but your story reminds us that the little things do matter--a hug, a kind word, acting on those small nudges that may be God's way of whispering in our ears. Thanks for sharing. With prayers for Linda and her family, and all those who are surrounding her with their love...

boyd2 said...

I love that you were excited to figure out why God was sending you home. What a fabulous change in perspective. And it's proof that we simply MUST be tuned into God's plans for us - always looking, always wondering, always thinking. You could very easily have gone home and NOT checked the machine. But because you were looking for God's plan for you, you did. I love that.

Lanita Bradley Boyd said...

And Stephen did get the job that he went to interview for, so that was great!