Tuesday, September 29, 2009

~TAPS UPON MY SHOULDER and Everyday Miracles~

DOYLE - 1969

I have a little story to share with you today. It isn't too terribly long and it's fairly uncomplicated. It is a story I must tell for it affirms there are moments in life when we must stop and catch our breath allowing us to glimpse God's very presence in our lives. He promises to direct our every step if we will allow Him to do so...

I met my friend Mary H. by selling my wares on eBay. By her account we've known each other for about four years and we've forged a sweet, long-distance friendship. I've never had the privilege of meeting Mary face to face, but we've spoken on the phone several times and often exchange emails. She is fun-loving and very talented and I've been blessed by her presence in my life. She has easily become a lifelong friend and I thank God for her generous, giving heart.

I, of course, live in Oklahoma, and Mary lives in my native State of California. Of the thousands of cities in this very large State she lives only about 50 miles from where I grew up. This gives us many wonderful things to talk about, lighthearted moments sprinkled with laughter and joy. We've shared a passion for parenting, the excitement of becoming grandparents and our love for all things old (especially laces). And sadly, we have the common bond of how living with a parent with a mind-robbing disease can affect ones very life.

So, it wasn't surprising to me when Mare called me up a few weeks ago and we began another long, satisfying chat. She had read my POST about my 5th Grade Teacher, Mrs. Ferguson and felt compelled to call me. Something in that story had jumped out at her and she just had to share with me something she was sure I would want to know.

In that Summertime Post (June 28, 2009) I mentioned a classmate by the name of Doyle Griffith. I had a wild crush on this cute, well-behaved boy and I continually faced the wrath of my teacher for trying to engage him in conversation. Doyle and I sat next to each other for the entire school year and despite the fact I'm certain I drove him plum crazy with my chattering voice, he never failed to help me with my assignments or offer up an encouraging word. If my memory serves me correctly he moved away from our hometown the summer before 6th grade and I was to never see him again.

Such is life, I suppose. People come in and then move out of our physical presence all the time. I've learned to accept it. Still~over the years I longed to know of my sweet childhood friend and just what had become of him. As an adult, God constantly brought Doyle to my mind and I thought it more than strangely odd that I would remember a ten year old boy with such great detail. I mean...I was only ten years old myself, and had yet to do any REAL living...

And then came Mary.


When the phone rang I immediately recognized the soft voice of my California friend on the other end of the line. Always upbeat and kind, the conversation began with...

"I have something to tell you, Rebecca...something I know you'll want to know. It has something to do with your 'Mrs. Ferguson' Post..."

After a long pause she continued...

"I knew your childhood friend, Doyle'...he's been in my home many times."

After reeling myself in from the shock of Mary's statement, she began to tell me the story of a happily married husband and father who had attended her church and had lived in her hometown. Not wanting to disappoint me with incorrect information, Mary did some asking around and found out that indeed Doyle and his family had once made the tiny town of Hacienda Heights their home.

Now...with millions of people living in California, what are the chances of someone I met on eBay knowing someone I had gone to school with in 5th grade? More so, what are the chances of me even mentioning a boy I hadn't seen in at least 40 years by name?

Mary went on to share with me that Doyle had been diagnosed with cancer and after being in remission for some time had succumbed to the dreadful disease a couple of years before. I felt sick. My heart was heavy and I was truly sad. Another young life gone far too soon and I was moved by the knowledge that another one of my childhood friends had passed on...

It's important that I tell you here that I don't believe in coincidence. That said, what, if any, were the lessons to be learned from my present life intersecting with the one that I had left so many years before? Why had Doyle never strayed far from my thoughts and why was it that he was always being brought back to the forefront of my mind? Why was Mary involved? Was there a deeper meaning here? If so, what was it?

Maybe it's just that these days I expect only miracles on a huge, grandiose scale and miss the more personal, everyday kind....

Maybe what just seems to be a coincidence is nothing less than God tapping me on the shoulder, whispering, or even at times shouting: "I'm here! I'm with you! You are right on track with your life! You are right where I want you to be, Rebecca! Keep pressing on!"

I believe it is.

Blessings to you as you listen for the voice of God in your life...Rebecca
PS: Thank you Doyle, for everything. And, thank you, Mare.


blushing rose said...

My friend ~ It is strange how the paths of life meander in & out, whether physically or mentally, of another. It is sad that Doyle has journeyed beyond ... how blessed he now is.

I wonder, did you follow up with the Mrs. Ferguson leads I had sent to search thru? This is a story that I would love to hear an ending to.

Hugs of love, TTFN ~ Marydon

Unknown said...

What a sweet, sweet post. I believe as you do that certain things in life just aren't coincidences (or coinky-dinks as I like to call them!) I'm at a place in life right now where I'm trusting God more than ever to direct and guide me where He wants me to go. Sometimes I'm a little hard headed and need the extra tap on the shoulder. ;-)

Thanks for the post and have a blessed day!


Pat @ My Tattered Elegance said...

Thanks for this beautiful post. Glad you finally know about your friend. Isn't God wonderful!!!
Hugs, Pat

Tanza said...

Good morning sweet ~r~,
Isn't it always amazing how the Lord intercedes with our lives (daily)I'm convinced of this.. Soo much happens that I just know is because of HIS presence in my life, and me allowing HIM to show HIS face..Yes, God is good, and right there in front of us.. Somedays behind us, ready to catch our heavy-burdened hearts !! What a sweet up-lifting story, I remember you sharing this with me earlier, and nothing happens by chance my friend !! Jesus loves you, and just wants us to uummmmm. listen and recognize always HIS voice..Thanks for sharing, and I'll chat more real soon.. Have a happy, blessed in HIS name day !! I LoVe my sweet,wise friend !!
Big hugs ~tea~

Lynn said...

I also do not believe in coincidences.
Your story made my hair stand on end.

Steph Jordan said...

Beautiful post. Your blog is beautiful and such a peaceful place!

Secondhandrose said...

wow , God is amazing! I am glad to be back visiting you blog. I was knocked flat with a perforated ulcer and a 28 day stay in the hospital. It is nice to read your posts again. keep them coming.


Lisa said...

Wow. Just wow...

Thank you for sharing such a great story. He indeed was a cute buy and a handsome man...

Isn't the Lord amazing?

Have a tea-lightful day!

Debra@CommonGround said...

I so love hearing of how God "whispers" in our lives. Beautifully sweet post, Rebecca.
Be sure and let me know when your headed up this direction!

Lisa said...

Wonderful story! I really love it when you know things happen for a reason!
Thanks for sharing!

Sandy~Romantique Inspirations~ said...

Wow, that is amazing Rebecca, I'm always find it ironic when you bump into somebody in the street that you know let alone this incidence. It's all Gods perfect timing!!

Have a Good one-

karen said...

OMG! I don't know what to say. I am crying right now. thanks for sharing. It is a small world.


Vicki said...

Hi, Rebecca,
I, too, believe that everything that happens in our life is not accident, but rather has a specific purpose. I am glad you were able to find out about your friend, Doyle. He was a kind and caring person. Your post about your teacher is one of my favorites (maybe as a retired teacher I can really identify with it). Thank you for sharing your amazing story. Sending autumn best wishes your way. Vicki

Tara said...

This just goes to show you that we are all connected. Sometimes it just takes the Lords little push to show us how. I'm sorry to hear your childhood friend has passed on, but I'm sure you were pleased to hear he had a good life and wonderful, loving family. After all, when it comes right down to it, isn't that what matters to us the most.

Anonymous said...

That was a wonderful story and well written. You are so right we never know what He has in store for us.
Thanks for sharing.

BECKY said...

What a precious story paired with a lovely truth about our amazing God...that He would cause the events to happen the way they did just so you could glimpse His great love and care for you and know that He is pleased with your life. Oh the absolute JOY of serving such a wonderful Lord! We are surrounded by His mercies each day! Praying that we all give the glory to Him for the goodness in our lives! Thanks for sharing, sweetie, and for your sweet, sweet heart!!


June said...

I believe too that nothing in life is an accident sweet Rebecca. Every one I meet was in my path for a reason. I have the opportunity to make them a friend or choose to let it go by. I hope that most of the time, I make them feel cared for and cherished.
Your story touched my heart today dear friend.
A big hug to you,

Mary H said...

~~Rebecca~~I was happy to see today's post about Doyle and that we were able to connect about him. I contemplated at first, even sharing that I knew him with you, as I wasn't even positive it was him until I spoke to his sister. She confirmed the little boy's face from your June post of this year. After that, I knew you would want to know. I too felt this was no coincidence, but rather God's gentle love for you and I wanted to share it with you. Doyle had a little bit of suffering and it was hard for his family and all of us to experience this heartache. He was truly though, a man of God and touched many people he came in contact with his love and determination. I was blessed to know him as you are.
Thank you, dear friend for this loving tribute to him...he would have been so humbled by it.
Glory to God...With love, dear friend, Mary H.

Dolores said...

Hi Rebecca,

I'm so happy that I found your beautiful and uplifting blog this morning through Karen's blog.

Your poignant story of Doyle is so touching, and yes ... a reminder that God does tap us on the shoulder reminding us that HE is always with us.

I'll be coming back .... your blog is good for the spirit.

A Romantic Porch said...

Rebecca, What a sweet touching tribute. I think of my friends that I grew up with so much and wonder. Also, many years ago I began to pray for different people who would come to my mind. I just decided that maybe God was calling them to my attention because I would be faithful.
Thank you so much for sharing such a touching story. God does everything on purpose and on time doesn't he? I guess even when it hurts. Have a wonderful day. xo rachel

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