My friend Linda and her husband were going to go on their yearly trip to México for three weeks, but this year is was going to be a trip with no money for extras like help with their luggage, rental cars and/or taxis. Money was tight, but they were very grateful that they were going at all.
One night while lying in bed praying for their trip the week before they were due to leave, I heard God tell me to give them some money. Quite a lot of money (to me), as a matter of fact. “Wow, God, that’s a lot of money,” I told Him. As if He didn’t know. But who am I to argue with God Almighty? If He wanted me to give it to Linda and her hubby, then I figured He knew how we’d be able to do it.
I talked to Nolemana about it. “That’s a lot of money,” he said. (Kinda broken record, yeah?) “Are you sure that’s what you heard?”
“Yeah, it was,” I said; Nolemana said, “Okay then, go ahead.”
So a few days later, while picking up Linda’s adorable Cairn Terrier who stays with us while his peeps are in México, I dropped off the envelope with the cash in it (easier for giving tips that way), along with a card asking them not to open it till they were on the plane.
About a week later, I got an email from Linda thanking us for the money, saying that with it they’d been able to rent a car for their last week there, which was a real Godsend for them since their second-week condo wasn’t close to any kind of shopping and walking anywhere was pretty well out of the question. They’d planned to just stay close to home during that final week, but now they’d be able to get around much better, and the money we’d given them was just enough to pay for a rental car for a week. Linda wrote that they’d had something wonderful happen because of being able to rent the car, but it wasn’t till they got home that I heard the whole story.
There are a lot of car rental places in Cabo; Linda had called five or six of them in order to get the best rate, but stopped after calling one, even though she still had more on the list. She didn’t know why she just stopped calling; she just did.
Because of condo regulations, the car couldn’t be delivered to Linda and her hubby, who made his way to the meeting place where he was going to pick up the car. Usually Linda is the one to pick it up, but this time, for some reason, her hubby, who’s a larynjectomee and sometimes uses an electronic device to help him speak, decided to go himself. Imagine his surprise when the rental manager told him, upon seeing the cover over the stoma in Linda’s hubby’s neck, that his wife, A___ had also had her larynx removed and had been unable to speak for the past three years.
To make a long story short, they all got together for dinner the following night; Linda’s hubby took along his electrolarynx, showed A____ how to use it, and within two minutes, A___, who’d been told by her doctors that she’d never be able to use an electrolarynx, was speaking with it!
When Linda and her hubby got home, he immediately contacted his group of online larynjectomee friends, trying to see if he could procure a device for A___. In the meantime, those of us at The Gathering began knitting a prayer blanket for A___ because she was due to have heart surgery in May.
Within about a week, someone on the message board had purchased a brand-new electrolarynx for A___ along with batteries and all the connections that would work in México.
The prayer blanket was finished in record time.
Friends from church were on their way to Cabo, and they were going to deliver everything to our new friends!
In the meantime, Linda was emailing with A___, whose gratitude was palpable in her return emails.
The blanket, electrolarynx, a copy of The Shack by William Paul Young en Español and a photo of A___ and her hubby were delivered just two weeks after Linda and her hubby got back home!
I felt so connected to A____ because for so many years I felt as though I didn’t have a voice either. When Linda first told me the story of how everything fell into place, I just wept. I was incredibly humbled by the entire experience and oh, so grateful that I had a small part in the miracle.
I think of it as a kind of dot-to-dot thing, that began when I said yes to God. And it’s not that I’m so great. I’m just a teeny-tiny little part of this whole story. But what if I hadn’t listened? What if I hadn’t said yes? What if I’d said we couldn’t afford to do it?
God knew all along that I’d say yes. He knew how just one thing would connect to the next and to the next and to the next. And all of us who were involved got to see the pieces get connected together. We all marvelled at God’s incredible timing.
Linda got an email from A___ telling her how loved she felt, and how she’d been able to speak to her daughter for the first time in three years! She also said that her husband no longer had to try and look at her while he was driving in order to read her lips!
A simple request: “I want you to do this.” A simple answer: “Yes.” And bridges were built, a voice was released, and everyone involved was grateful to have participated in the wonder of it.
When I first wrote this story it was with tears running down my cheeks because A____ had her voice after so long. She was able to tell her little girl that she loved her, and was able to have normal conversations with her husband. A____ felt the love and compassion coming from people she didn’t even know (except for Linda and her hubby) who lived thousands of miles away. She felt the comfort of her blanket and the love of the women who had knitted on it.
A few days ago I sat in Linda’s den as she told me that she was shocked and grieved to get an email from A____’s husband on Wednesday, telling her that his beloved wife had died unexpectedly while awaiting heart surgery. I sat there, stunned. I said to Linda, “I don’t get it!”, and began sobbing, stunned by what she was telling me.
We talked about how God knew even this all along. He knew that A____ would only have a few weeks of speech. He knew the beginning, and the middle, and He knows the end as well. I don’t understand it. But He does. And who knows how it will all end? I don’t believe the story is over. I think there are more dots to connect.
I sit here at my computer, crying for this young woman who I never met, unbelievably sad that she didn’t have more time with her husband, her daughter, and her mother.
But over and above all, I trust God who can see far more than I can, and whose plans are for our good and not for our harm. I pray for A____’s husband, and for their little girl, and I wonder what the next dot will be.