[God's promised land] is a land with large, prosperous cities that you did not build. The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce. You will draw water from cisterns you did not dig, and you will eat from vineyards and olive trees you did not plant. When you have eaten your fill in this land, be careful not to forget the Lord, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.
-- Deuteronomy 6:10-12
this is pretty much my experience in the last three years with God and our church. truthfully, i've done very little compared to the benefits i've (insanely, richly) reaped.
example -- last year i ran out of my must-have medication (ativan). i had a script for it but at the time no health insurance. my blessed friend karen james told me straight up that they would help me with the money get it filled.
example -- david and i were just getting over the flu. it was one of those times where you have been in bed or on the couch for so many days that you are stir crazy, yet fatigued. the kids were fine so we decided to attempt to walk to the park (1/2 mile away), pulling them in the wagon. i remember shuffling down the sidewalk like an 80 yr old arthritic, so tired but loving the sunshine. we had recently moved from westerville (extreme north side of columbus) clintonville (more north-central) and had started going to central vineyard only 3 weeks earlier. as soon as we got to the park david got a migraine and ran home. i sunk onto a bench and gradually began to realize that there was no way i could pull two children in a wagon a half a mile in my condition. i might have started crying from both fatigue and frustration. i then saw someone i didn't recognize wearing a central vineyard tshirt (!). i siddled up to them and asked if there was any humanly way possible they could drive us back home. with cheerful faces jess aebi and family packed us up in their van. i've never forgotten that!
example -- remember in july when i had a post traumatic stress disorder related mental breakdown that kept me in bed/inside for a month? half a dozen friends came and literally sat in bed with me, cried with me, prayed with me, read to me, babysat my children, and in general stood by and in for me. it has been the deepest and most sincere expression of affection that i've ever experienced. to be totally undone and to find love is something i too often let my cynical side trick me into think isn't possible.
example -- a year ago david and i's marriage was pretty rocky. we both were kind of disconnected and we weren't spending very much time together. we both sought dysfunctional ways of expressing that hurt. i was very depressed and he was very pained. there were several weeks if not months of despair and feeling trapped and more depression and darkness. now, i can't imagine feeling that way! AT ALL! david and i have never been closer or stronger. we laugh together every day just like we've always wanted.
example -- as well as i am doing post-breakdown, i certainly still struggle. i have good days and bad but it's broken down more into bad "moments" vs "days", "weeks", etc. one of my battles has been getting my kids to school. i don't know when this ghost will roar inside me and that unpredictability makes being consistent in such matters tricky. jamie dellesky and chelsea kay pick up olive for school and drop her off every day! it is such a blessing to have friends who will bear your burdens with you!
a city i didn't build. goods i didn't produce. cisterns i did not dig, vineyards and olive trees i did not plant.