Last week I received an unexpected blessing. A friend at work had told me a week or so ago that she would be attending Women of Faith‘s One Day event in Dallas this weekend with her mother. That day at lunch I listened as she shared the amazing blessing her mother had offered her for her birthday – VIP tickets to this inspiring event for women.
She volunteers on Thursdays at the Ministry Center helping our Compassion Ministry distribute food boxes to those who need a hand up in a difficult time. She has a smile on her face and cheerful attitude though she daily struggles with the debilitating effects of a very serious disease. She recently told me that she has multiple surgeries a year just so that she can breathe. Please pray for God to completely heal this precious woman of God.
As she talked of the upcoming conference, my friend shared she was very excited to see Christine Caine who is a good friend to the women of GatewayPink | Women’s Ministry. After hearing her speak of her hopes and desires for attending the conference, I was sad to learn on Thursday that she had offered to give her VIP tickets to Women of Faith away.
A co-worker and I met in the break room at the beginning of the day and she said, “Someone asked me if I knew someone who would want to go to Women of Faith this weekend and you came to my mind. I told her you would like them. You should talk to her.”
I did not immediately make the connection back to our volunteer until my co-worker said she is the volunteer who helps with the food boxes. My heart sank so I went to talk to her. I found her sitting in the front window ready to begin the day’s work of handing out life-giving boxes of food to families in need and inquired, “Ivette said you are giving your tickets to Women of Faith away? You were so excited to go. What happened?”
She smiled brightly, but I could tell inside her heart carried a weight of sadness. “Do you want them?”
“I’d love to go. Are you okay?”
She shook her head as she fought back tears and related the story of a family tragedy that would take her out of town. She would have to spend her birthday at a funeral and attending to family members who were hurting their way through the early days of an unexpected trauma and loss.
Yet later in the day when she placed the tickets in my hand, I asked, “What do I owe you for them?”
She stopped and said, “Really?”
I said, “Yes, I would love to pay you for them.”
She placed a hand on each of my arms and said, “You’re beautiful smile is enough.”
I had an appointment at Women of Faith. A time to go on a date with my Jesus and a time to find more confirmation from God about my season of change that is just around the bend. I met two wonderfully influential women who were gracious, kind and remarkable in so many ways. I saw some of our PINK Leadership cheering on their friend Christine Caine, and I heard an old blog friend share her heart-wrecking story of grief, loss and redemption as she honored other women who had suffered a similar heartache.
Real ministry happened today and I wish I could do more for the sweet volunteer who blessed me so graciously with her gift. I purchased her a set of Christine’s books and a WOF tote bag. It was the least I could do to encourage and bless her as she has so tremendously blessed me.