A reflection for me is a very personal heartfelt part of me. Sometimes when I have thought about this writing I have wavered on the subject. I was waiting on the Lord to bring to mind something that is very deep in my soul and memory. This morning Peter and I were talking and out of the blue my dearest cousin Tammy’s name came up. I knew right away that she will be my reflection.

We grew up together in a small town in Oregon. We were close in age and did a lot of things together. We went to church, vacation bible school, family vacations, and even learned to smoke together! I’m sure some of you can relate to that. We thought we were so grown up. That didn’t last too long as I think we both got sick. The idea was that we could share secrets with each other.

We went to different schools, so at this time we did go our separate ways. I married and moved to Seattle, and she stayed in Eugene, Oregon and married. We lost contact at this time as our lives were very different. Mine was being a mom, raising two beautiful children. Tammy, even though she had two children, was able to travel, and my travel was minimal in those years. We reconnected in our 40’s. We always had things to talk about and could share anything. I believe because we are Children of God, He has knit us together for always.

I remember when she told me she had to have a kidney transplant but had to wait for a donor. While she went to dialysis we would call and talk. One day I suggested a book series I had been reading, called Left Behind. Even though this is a fictional series it caused her to ask questions about my faith. After that we were off and running sharing Bible verses. I was so happy to share my faith with her, and she shared hers as well.   She ended up loving Jesus Calling. I have no doubt through everything Tammy and her family went through her faith was so strong.

Tammy’s health deteriorated during the years cancer completely took over her body. Many miracle drugs came and went, but nothing did any good. Her husband and children were always right there with her giving her courage. Every Saturday I called, and we would pray, talk, and cry together. Tammy did not want to burden her family with the sadness she felt, so we just cried together. I knew then God had put us back together for a reason. Just writing this, the tears are flowing of that memory. I know through the years God has brought people into my life to share Him and be a comfort to others in need. Sometimes it feels like a burden, but in Psalm 55:22 it clearly says, “Cast your burden on the Lord.” So here I stand knowing He is the one who called me for a mission that I freely and lovingly will be available for.

I shall never forget the Saturday morning call. She said I want you to know I have decided to go home. At first, I said, “Honey you aren’t in the hospital today, but you are home.” She stopped me to say no, Carol, I am going to go home and see Jesus. I knew she had held on for many years for her family and, as she said I have finally surrendered this life and want to go to heaven with God. It has been many years since that Saturday morning. Even I know she is where she is happy and well, I will never forget that morning, thanking God that He brought us together to reconnect our lives knowing He connected us so we both would know our faith is strong and the same. The faith, He connected us to have. I look forward to the day I see her, happy and healthy with our savior Jesus.

In this reflection it is my calling, I believe, to be with God’s children, to walk with them in trouble, to be close when the Holy Spirit tells me I am needed.

I thank God every day for the people that He brought into my life to share his love.