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BE A BLESSING!
Just when you think you don’t have enough strength, money, energy, or time, God will bring someone into your life who needs your last. And guess what? He will provide!
Welcome to the 53rd post of The Aim and Soar Life, a weekly Christian personal growth and lifestyle newsletter that provides actionable, relatable, and biblically rooted content to help you live abundantly and GROW YOU. GOD’S WAY.
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We are continuing with this month’s theme of “Embracing Your Blessings!” by learning how to be a blessing.
In the most trying seasons of your life, God sometimes requires you to stretch yourself in order to serve someone else. Just when you think you don’t have enough strength, money, energy, or time, God will bring someone into your life who needs your last.
And guess what? He will provide!
He will give you that extra measure of strength, money, time, energy, or whatever resource you need to be the blessing He is calling you to be.
When God brings someone into your life for you to bless, you need to be ready and open without grumbling or worrying. Most importantly, we have to remember as Believers, that any resources we have whether it is our time or our gifts and talents, belong to God. They are not ours. They are on loan to us from God so that we can do His will on this side of heaven.
Responding in any way other than a humble, willing, servant may cause you to miss out on the blessings God is trying to give you.
My blessing was Ms. Pauline, an 80-year-old widow who lived around the corner from my church. She wasn’t a member of my church, but I was connected to her through a senior companion/outreach ministry at my church.
I quickly learned why almost everyone in that ministry felt I would be a “perfect match” for Ms. Pauline. I don’t think anyone else wanted the job! I tell you more about that in just a minute.😂
I was excited about the new opportunity to serve God. I was about 30 years old, newly divorced with a young son to raise, and I wanted to honor God with my life. Both my maternal grandmother and great-grandmother were deceased, and I felt being paired with a senior would be a wonderful opportunity for me to have a grandmother-like figure in my life.
Before I met Ms. Pauline, I imagined myself spending time cleaning her place, washing her dishes and laundry, shopping with her, and learning from her as she shared wisdom about life.
God, however, had something different in mind. You see, Ms. Pauline lived alone with her dog in a house that was uninhabitable. That’s right. It was an unlivable situation. You could smell the stench from the sidewalk. She never invited me in and told me the house wasn’t fit for guests. From the glimpse I got, she was right.
A neighbor gave me the 411. The home was filled with dog poop and trash, it rained inside because of the roof, there was no running water, and the house was altogether an unsanitary mess. I literally had to fight with my gag reflexes just standing near the home.
I was a social worker at the time, so I went right into social work mode. I was on a mission to get Ms. Pauline out of the house that should have been condemned. I found a senior living apartment and a church member pulled some strings so Ms. Pauline could move there right away, skipping the waiting list.
Unfortunately, Ms. Pauline wouldn’t part with her dog and she missed the deadline. Next, I tried to get the state involved by letting them know she was incompetent (she was) and needed to be placed in a safe environment. But on the day the social worker came to assess her, he or she deemed Ms. Pauline mentally competent. I was disappointed again. I kept thinking to myself, “Doesn’t the worker understand that a mentally competent person would not voluntarily live like that?” As frustrating as it was, I was back at square one.
In the meantime, I did whatever I could, often bringing Ms. Pauline a home-cooked meal and fruit almost every Sunday after church. I also brought Ms. Pauline to my home at least a couple of times a month. I cooked for her, bathed her, washed her hair, and bought her new jogging suits for every visit (her clothes were uncleanable and I could get tops and bottoms for $10). During this time, she never remembered my name. She just called me “friend.”😍
Whenever I was out of town, or unable to go by Ms. Pauline’s, I had an acquaintance of mine drop off fruit, snacks, and a meal at her home, just as I did every Sunday after church. Ms. Pauline had no living relatives, and she was unable to receive any spousal benefits because according to her neighbor who had known her for a long time, her second husband had been a bigamist. I believe she and her first husband had divorced and she was not privy to any benefits. To my memory, he was also deceased, and Ms. Pauline had no children or siblings.
I tell this story not to show what a good person I am (I’m well aware that I’m not all that😂), but to let you know that caring for this woman gave me strength. I was broken and defeated by the pain and shame of divorce. Ms. Pauline allowed me to take the focus off my pain—off me.
I’d love to tell you that I served happily all the time, but I didn’t.
Sometimes, I cried on the way to her house or on the way back to my house on the days when I had to go straight home from church and cook and then drive back across town to drop off Ms. Pauline a hot meal and some goodies (the church provided her with meals on wheels during the week). I was a tired single mom who still had to do homework with my son and laundry and everything else.
But in that season, God gave me more grace and more strength. He blessed me with Ms. Pauline’s heart and her wisdom. I learned how to confidently witness to anyone regardless of his/her age. I made sure that Ms. Pauline knew and understood The Gospel of Jesus Christ and accepted Jesus as her savior.💕
Ms. Pauline reminded me that despite being divorced, I was a good person and a good woman, not any of the names my ex-husband called me.
She reminded me that I was worthy to be loved and treated kindly by someone. In fact, there was a running joke in my family because of Ms. Pauline.
On one of her visits to my home, I cooked for her (she loved Cornish hens and macaroni and cheese😍), bathed her, washed her hair, and gave her new clothes to wear. She looked up at me and said, “You are my friend. You are so nice. You cook good, and you have a wonderful home. It’s clean and nice, and you are a good mom. I don’t know why that man left you!” And frequently out of nowhere from that point on whenever we were together, she would say, “I don’t know why that man left you!”😂
She allowed me to laugh at myself and life in general, even though it was sometimes painful. She gave me hope that one day someone deserving would love me and be good to me, and even if that never happened, I learned that it is better to give than to receive. God provides what we need when we need it.
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
Acts 20:35, NIV
Ms. Pauline had a fall outside of her home and was admitted to the hospital. She was placed in a nursing home afterward. Thank God for hospital social workers! They were able to immediately do what I had been trying to do for a while.
I visited Ms. Pauline in the nursing home, and she still called me “friend.” After a few months, I allowed life to get in the way and I missed seeing her for a couple of weeks. In that short time, she became sick and passed away in the hospital.
I was crushed, and initially, the guilt was overwhelming. Then I remembered all the good times Ms. Pauline and I had shared over about two years, and I remembered that she had Jesus. I had been her friend, but He was and is the ultimate Friend.
As I was blessing Ms. Pauline, God had been blessing me even more!
Allow yourself to be a blessing as you pray and wait on God to bless you with the desires of your heart.😍
Peace and Love to You!
Until Next Time,
GROW YOU. GOD’S WAY.
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