A week ago, I launched my own business doing Geriatric Care Management. What? Basically, I do whatever the family needs to support an elderly client (doctors appointments, navigating systems, shopping, brain storming, counseling, support, etc.) I named it Aging Gracefully. This is a crazy, scary and wonderful endeavor. I have one client at this time. This client has had several health issues in the last month that have required multiple hospitalizations. Her kids all live out of state and I am the only person "on the ground". So, Friday our family packed up and we were literally driving out of St. Louis to Knoxville to see friends for the weekend. I got a call that my client was being sent to the ER. What should I do? Well, I decided I really needed to go to the ER. Peter dropped me off and thus the trip was cancelled.
So, Friday was also the three year anniversary of Brian's death. He died in the ER and that day was a beautiful day of surrounding him and singing and loving him into heaven. So, here I was sitting in an ER having no idea of the fate of my client and watching the monitors wondering what would happen. I found myself asking God why He had put me here and if He really loved me. Why today of all days would I be in an ER again? His voice sounded like this, "The doctor will be right in. His name is John Oldham." John is a doctor from my church who is an excellent doc and a loving, godly man. I felt like God was saying to me. "Melanie, I am redeeming your story. Remember that day three years ago and how you felt my presence? I am here with you now, too."
I really think that a byproduct of Brian's death in my life is that it made clear God's love for me. I had really questioned whether God loved me when my own mom died. If He loved me, why would she not live? I don't really have the answers to that, but after Brian died I remember very clearly looking at Max and Briggs and knowing that God loved them even though there daddy died. Well, if it is true for them then it is true for me. It seems simple, but for me it was a profound moment that unstuck my heart and opened it up more to give and receive love. I will be forever thankful to Brian for giving his life for me to learn God's love. I know that there will be many, many reasons why Brian's death is 'good' in God economy. This is just one. I still miss Brian so much and often wish for him to call. He was great on the phone and always so encouraging. He was truly a delightful man and I miss his voice in my life.
I think another part of God redeeming my story is the work that I do. I am helping people "finish well". My clients will at times be healthier than others, but they are truly finishing life. They are reaching the end and not the beginning. I know that my experiences have taught me that it is important to finish well and prepare to meet your maker. They have also taught me that often it is important to show up and be there when someone needs you. This weekend, my client needed me to be there to advocate, to hold her hand and to love her. When I met her getting off the ambulance, her response, "I'm so glad you came." God wanted me in that ER on Friday to remind me that He loves me and He is ordaining my steps. He wanted to show His love for my client through me and probably many other things that I don't know.
Starting my own business is really challenging my fear and my need to control my little world. It will push me to trust and to rely on God and others. I am not good at that. It seems that it is also showing me the gifts He has given me and operating within my gifts feels like the easiest thing in the world. Perhaps that is the experience of others. Life rarely feels easy to me. So, I am thankful that I didn't make it to Knoxville even though I wanted to be there. I had a meeting I couldn't miss and it wasn't with my client. My Father wanted to show me His face and on Friday. His face looked a lot like Dr. Oldham.