Okay. So Christmas 2013 I gave a completed Daisy swap blanket to a young lady in our church named Angel. She's an overcomer with a really amazing story of addiction, prostitution, overcoming, and making it her life's ministry to help others in addiction problems. We have a ministry in our church named Seven, confidential, but it's for people in addiction (I think it might actually be a social-work sanctioned something or other, most people in it do not attend our church from what I've seen), and those people plus family members (like my mother-in-law) can be involved. Otherwise, stay away from those rooms on that night of the week, give them privacy.
So this past Christmas, Angel told me how much that afghan means to her. Every time someone comes over, she tells them how it was made especially for her (and it was, I preferenced colors to match a picture of her new place, from Day 1 it was all about Angel), prayed over, and made in secret just for her. I knew that when those dark nights come, as they will for anyone in recovery, she has something physical to hold onto, to remember She Is Not Alone.
Those words resounded inside my head over and over and over all through December. Not Alone. Then one day as I was praying I knew I needed to make more, and with Angel's help choose the recipient before I begin making the afghan, so I can pray over it, positivity, all that. And then when that person's "dark moments" come along, they have something physical to hold onto and always know they are not alone.
I was thinking on this a couple Saturdays ago, then got in my car to drive out to my parents', and on Christian radio heard THREE songs in a row about not being alone, then a recorded call-in where the woman said, "Everyone has something they can do for someone else to let them know they're not alone."
Hello! I really felt like God was asking me for my crochet! On the one hand, that's really silly, so many people still sneer at "crochet", on the other hand, wow. God wants my crochet! Okay, God, you do realize it takes a lot of time .. yeah. Nevermind. Okay. Sure, I really dont' mind to tell you the truth. It's a wonderful feeling to have a real purpose in the thing that you love to do!
So I get this box in from Herrschners, I had ordered the caramel colored Deborah Norville Everyday Soft for my Tunisian throw. The instant my hand touched that yarn, I felt the name CHAD. I was like, But I don't even LIKE Chad. Ugh!
Chad is my husband's brother. Addict,, thief, family-hurter. So at Christmas he told Jason he's been clean for 14 months. Awesome.
Then ... well, can I believe him? And I knew it didn't matter. After 20+ years of me doing my best to avoid him at family functions, not saying more than "hi Chad", I knew God wants my crochet, and he wants this for Chad.
Fast forward. I've already started it. Tunisian is new for me, and I had gotten my first 6 blocks done, and decided that's all I'm going to do. Six patterns, maybe 6 of each of them for a 36-block afghan. Then my mother-in-law posts on Facebook a plea for prayer. Don't think she's ever done that before, and I saw it at 11:00 pm when it was far too late to call. I told my husband, he had no idea what was going on either. So he called her first thing next morning.
Chad got arrested again. Not for wrongdoing this time, but for some unpaid fines. He's still clean. He sat in jail for nearly a week. Then he called, crying, begging for someone to help him, he was in so much pain. He had a cut on his thumb that had gotten infected and was very painful, and the pain in his lower back was just agony. Chad has a high threshhold for pain, and he was crying. So my husband immediately called a friend, asked for medical attention for his brother, and 5 minutes later Chad had been released and was being picked up. My mother-in-law took him to the hospital for care. When she took him back to his place, it was flooded.
Chad was so dejected, it seems like nothing is going right and nothing ever will.
And my husband tells me to hurry up on that afghan ...
You know, sometimes God will let us hit the bottom so when we finally break, we know without a doubt that it is Him doing the fixing, the repairing, the helping. And sometimes a person needs that something special to hold onto and know they aren't alone. I suppose I'm the perfect one to play a part in that, if Chad realizes that I've been thinking about him and praying for him and having others pray over this handmade afghan, he will always have that proof that he is not alone.
Even if you don't have some special hand-made, prayed-over object to hold in your hands, no matter how dark our world has become and is becoming, if you're reading this you have the Breath of God in you. God breathed life into Adam, and we are the children of Adam. God is always ready to answer, when you're ready to call.