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Notes from a Mission Stay Saturday that I thought rained ruined…

July 13, 2018

Years ago I wrote about how I had learned, via a hard lesson, that I needed to release my grip from the pen. My son was very ill, lying in a hospital near his college, lucky to be alive. We were granted grace, but on a road that required patience, strength and prayer. When the ER doctor told me that my son was lucky to be alive, I should’ve been unconditionally and unequivocally grateful and willing to move through any speed bump or hurdle that followed….but I didn’t read that rule book. I fussed to God through the botched surgery, the painful recovery-times two, the unanswered questions, and the unknown prognosis of his future. I continued to wrestle God for the pen with all of my being and energy. I wanted to rewrite this chapter and carefully pen the next, I was not happy with how He was writing our story. I realized quickly that this was a futile effort and a waste of prayer and spirit energy. We are either fully in, or not in at all. We will either realize to submit to the One who has not created us to fail but to soar, or we will be a pain in His most holy bottom side.

I have no doubt God will roll His eyes, and brace Himself, when/if I come sauntering through those pearly gates. Beginning with my morning prayer, the rest of the prayers through the day, and before I go to sleep I somehow imagine Him to have his chin resting on His hand listening intensively but waiting for His chance to speak. As I fight Him for the pen, I also fail to allow Him to speak to me as often as I should. When I sit in silence and feel His presence I always wrestle with why I don’t do that more, or sooner, because He really does know what He is doing!!!

My day began this very way on Saturday June 9th, with a wrestling match in prayer.

3am- A crash of thunder.

“Hello God. I know you are awake as I am. Could you solve this rain issue by 8am, please? Really this is “your” deal that we are committed to do, NOT mine! We have 5 hours to solve this predicament. You know we have people coming out to help because YOU moved them to do so. I know YOU don’t want to deter those who are willing to give time and effort, so I know YOU will fix this situation to work for YOUR will and not mine.”

4am-Sound of pouring rain, thunder, and add lightening to the mix.

“Hello God. It’s going to be a difficult mow and yard work day if you don’t cut this storm out soon. Just sayin….”

5am-(No difference in the sound from two hours prior.) “Hello God. Can you hear me?”

5:08am- (Same sound. Same storm. I place the pillow over my face and grumble.)

“I don’t mean to be a pain but I’m getting a little stressed here!”

6:00am- “Ok God, you put me on this path. I didn’t ask, nor have I complained (too much), but if you want us to do YOUR will today and finish these lawns for the seniors these thunderstorms will have to stop soon, unless you have a miracle drying plan in mind.”

6:45am (My phone begins blowing up with texts asking what the plan is.)

“Ok God you have this. I told them I’m not cancelling because I know your will is for us to help those that need help, soooooo I trust you have this. P.S. I told them you do.”

7:45am (Still pouring rain heightened with claps of thunder and flashes of lightening)

“As you can see, God, I am heading towards the Police Station to see if anyone shows up. Everyone would have to know that the rain must have been out of your control. As you know I really really was hoping to make a difference and help these seniors today, especially our friend who will be leaving us soon and entering life with you. Sometimes I know I’m a pain God, but I just want things to work out.”

7:48am- (I stay quiet and just pray to be guided on what to do.)

7:50am- Inspiration hits, because I stop cluttering it with grumbling nonsense….I turn the car around and go home to get paper, markers, pens and a large envelope. I head back towards the Police Department hoping, just hoping that people will be there because there is a Plan B!!!

8:05am- I, and about twenty others, gathered in the training room of the Police Department and create letters of love and support for one of the friends we were to have visited today. I received word just two days ago that she just entered into hospice care. She may not have been able to enjoy the work we would have completed on the outside of her home, but she surely would enjoy the expression of compassion, love and faith that was communicated to her through an envelope filled with letters from friends she never met but who cared to “show up” in her hour of need. For more than an hour people who “showed up” to mow, weed, trim bushes and trees, and clean up a yard instead poured their hearts and passion into the most beautiful communications of unconditional love that I have seen. Their heart and love transferred through my worn out, overused markers and older than the first loaf of sliced bread paper, becoming love letters to a friend in the battle; a friend nearing the end of her battle, and the family surrounding her wanting to see her feel peace and love.

This group of walking angels showed up to put their body to task to lift hearts and spirits and they instead sat down and put their hearts and spirits to task and filled a tired body, heart and spirit with the exact support she needed.

Had the rain stopped, as I wanted it to, this beautiful act of compassion would not have been accomplished.

9:20am I delivered an envelope packed with letters from beautiful people who cared to write them, to a beautiful person who needed to read them. Support arrives to a home in the exact form that it was needed, as He had planned all along. The storm was a type of irony. We faced a storm that changed our plans, and our friend and her family was going through a storm of their own that was painfully altering theirs.

He inspired this act of kindness what appeared to be a dark and dreary morning when the sun could not be seen by the eyes, yet wound up being deeply felt by the heart.

Once again I was taught that I am not the one who should hold the pen. I could have written a page in a chapter that read of mowed lawns, trimmed bushes, trees, and pulled weeds, but I would not have written of poetic and artistic expressions of love to a heart and spirit who balanced on the edge of here and heaven. I would’ve only touched the surface, He allowed us to touch deeper.

“God I owe you an apology (again). I submit once again, God, as a flush-faced, humbled servant who thought I knew “the plan” and begrudgingly followed along as you showed me that you had a better one.

I will forever remember this day and this lesson, the experience and the love that came from a stormy Saturday morning that produced much light, hope and love that you had hoped to shine on one you dearly love.

I forfeit the pen, God, and I humbly step back and hope you will be patient with me as I gratefully continue to watch you weave such beautiful acts of kindness with those who “show up” and allow you to work through them here in this corner of the world.

#missionstaysaturdays #hopeandfriendshipfoundation #releasethepen #GodsPlan #HeNeverFails #LoveNeverFails #thiscorneroftheworld #RIPfriend #CancerSucks #lightinthestorm

Next Mission Stay Saturday July 14 meet us at the Lemont Police Department at 8am.
Wishing you peace and comfort,

Terri O’Neill-Borders

Hope and Friendship Foundation
721 Hickory St, Lemont, IL  60439

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Proverbs 31: 8-9



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