<This post is longer than most, but, if you can, read entire post. Stay patient. There is a really cool encounter at the end, only to be explained as a ‘God moment.’>
I despise Jake’s stroke and everything it took away from him. Without warning, the thief stole the life he once knew and loved.
Pause for a moment … think about your battles, both past and present. Can you identify even one good thing resulting from it?
In order to find these gifts, it is a purposeful action, because reality is that there are those unavoidable days in life which feel like hell on earth.
For me, the most unexpected blessing has been the friends I have met along the way. They are spread across the country, and the world.
Periodically, I want to introduce you to these friends … and their stories.
<photo by me … Tammie Walker … San Francisco>
Tammie Walker of Kalamazoo, Michigan … who wears great shoes … mother of three …wife of Mike Walker. And then …
A dream shattering event in her life.
Her son, Trevor Rhoda, a sponsored snowboarder … was truly one of the best of the best. A great athlete who competed in an extreme sport; however, a second related injury to his brain … and, now …
Like Jake, Trevor lives with aphasia (loss of speech & language but not intelligence), plus right sided weakness. He and his family press to move forward while building a new normal.
Tammie arrived in San Francisco this week for 36 hours. My mission was to show her the city. Moreover, it was a time to press the “Pause” button on the rest of our lives.
<Chinatown, SF … No Tammie plate? No problem! We can adapt>
Our first stop was exploring the ‘treasures’ in Chinatown. On this day, we were simply … Two blondes + Two strokes + One fun filled day … Enjoying life …
While living in a trial, fear often puts us into bondage, robbing us of our freedom to enjoy life. There is even a sense of guilt toward having fun.
Ecclesiastes 3: 4, “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…”
From Chinatown, we continued to the Ferry Building at the pier. While en route to our destination, we paused, enjoying each moment, AND, more photos!
<selfies … with cute car and cute house>
During adversity, we often choose to be ‘happy,’ if and when life returns to normal.
Beware … dangerous territory. It’s critical to press toward joy, en route, in spite of the circumstances. <normalcy is often undefined anyway>
Upon arriving to the Ferry Building, we then walked along Fisherman’s Wharf before enduring the steep climb up the hills.
Sometime during life, we will all have to climb hills in life. They are much easier achieved with the help of others. Life is not meant to done alone. People need people.
Ask God to bring the right people into your life … it requires purposeful action on your part, along with trusting and relying on His guidance.
As Tammie and I cheered one another up the steep grade, we stopped for a photo op. <actually to catch our breath>. A young lady was at the same lookout and asked us for directions, which then led to conversation with her.
Tiffany was on business from North Carolina and sightseeing in the city between her meetings. We laughingly told her that we were two blonde moms from SC and Michigan, with two kids recovering from strokes.
She began to share with us how her own daughter had suffered a stroke, in vitro, five years earlier, and they had been in the recovery process. <happy to say, her child is doing fantastic>
Random coincidence? Absolutely not. Once again, this was a beautiful God orchestrated moment in life, a Gift. For a brief time, we were now … Three moms + Three strokes + One city by the bay.
<God orchestrated encounters>
As the day was winding down, Tammie and I reached our final destination … the Fairmont Hotel atop Nob Hill, for a refreshing drink following our 10 mile trek.
It was a day filled with laughter, a few tears, and a new friend, Tiffany. And then a farewell hug to Tammie … until the next adventure my friend.
<trying to behave at the Fairmont>
The same issues that I began the day with greeted me at the end. Yet on this day, I had pressed the pause button, and embraced the Gift of a friendship, one that came from a trial.
Pressing Toward Joy thought for the day … purposely look for the gifts during trials … and thank Him.
1 Timothy 6:17 “… but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for enjoyment.”
Next Blog … after the weekend …traveling to SC>>