What would you think if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?
This is the first line of the song, With A Little Help From My Friends, written by the Beatles and released in 1967 on their album called Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Oh, how I relate to this song during this season of my life.
Ever since the day I drove into Medford on December 31, 2017, I have received nothing but help from my friends, and their support has contributed to my ability to be resilient during this time of great loss in my life. Like the chorus says, I get by with a little help from my friends.
In my blog post called Resilience Part 1: Recharging with God’s word, I share that the power source of resilience comes from God’s Word and not myself. In this post, Resilience Part 2, I share how friendships can infuse life, joy and energy into your life. I would like to highlight my friends who have help me during my transition to Medford.
Jesus says in John 15:13:
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
I can honestly say I have friends that have shown me this type of love.
The first week of January 2018 was also my first week living in Medford. I am so thankful for Ybeth and Shannon for allowing me to stay in their apartment for my first 3 nights in my new city. These two single girls are members of my new church family. They allowed me to set up my make shift office in the middle of their kitchen so that I could continue to work remote for my California company during the day.
On Wednesday, January 10th my furniture and boxes were delivered and unloaded into my house by professional movers. On Thursday, two young married women, Windy and Amanda, who are also members of my church came over to my house and unpacked all my kitchen boxes and did an excellent job organizing my cabinets. Also that same day my daughter, Lian, and Amy Sanchez drove 3 1/2 hours south on the I-5 from Eugene to my home just to get a chance to see me before I left for the airport the next day. My daughter drove me to the Medford airport at 3:30 a.m. the next morning, and I flew to Chicago O’Hare to attend my sister’s memorial in Indiana.
Despite the four days I spent in Chicago and Indiana, my house was unpacked and completely set up by Sunday, January 21. This could not have happened if I didn’t get help from my friends.
Before I explain how my house got set up so quickly, I would like to share about the amazing time I had with my friends in Chicago and Indiana. As many of you know, on April 7, 2017 my sister Joanne was baptized into Christ by my brother and I in the ocean in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. Joanne flew back to Indiana all excited to serve the Lord, and she became an active member of the Northwest Indiana Church of Christ in Crown Point, Indiana. Pam Stewart, who is also a member of the NW Indiana Church, let me stay at her house during the weekend of my sister’s memorial. Pam was an amazing friend and mentor to my sister before and after her baptism, and she extended that same friendship to me during my time in Indiana.
When I walked into Pam’s house, I noticed her table was filled with flowers and decorations and learned they were there for her upcoming wedding on January 31st. Even though she was busy with preparations for her fast approaching wedding, she gave me her undevoted attention during the two nights I stayed with her. I loved the meals she would whip up for us to eat, and this inspired me to learn how to cook so that I too can whip up tasty meals for my friends in my new home.
On Saturday, January 13th, Pam and several of the brothers and sisters from the NW Indiana Church of Christ attended my sister’s memorial. On Sunday while I was attending the church service of the NW Indiana Church, so many of the brothers and sisters came up to me to tell me how special my sister was to them. I was happy to meet the people my sister would talk about during our Facetime calls.
I left the church service in Crown Point, Indiana and drove to Hoffman Estates, Illinois to spend Sunday night and Monday with my high school friend, Deb Broderick. Deb drove from Illinois to Indiana to attend my sister’s memorial. I appreciate the effort she made to be there. I also appreciate my high school friends, Nina and Kathy, who also made that drive from Illinois to attend the memorial.
My friend Deb is Italian and loves spending time in Italy, and during my stay at her house I benefited from her Italian inspired dishes. She prepared, just for little ole me, this amazing antipasto cheese plate and served me her homemade Limoncello. Deb loves her friends with her whole heart, and I’m so grateful I’m considered one of her best friends.
In the late afternoon on Monday, January 15th I drove away from Deb’s house in the frigid cold and snow to catch my flight to Medford out of the Chicago O’Hare airport. I was excited to have the rest of the week off from work so that I could get my boxes unpacked and my house set up.
On Tuesday, January 16th I picked up Angela Hines from the Medford airport. Then on Wednesday, I drove back to the airport to pick up my friend Julie Kauffman. Both girls are members of my church that meets in Orange County and Long Beach California, and both decided independently to buy airline tickets to fly to Medford to help me get my house set up. They met each other for the first time at my new home and a new friendship ignited.
Words can’t describe how loved, supported and well taken care of I felt with Angela and Julie. They were determined to figure out how to put my newly bought bookshelves together, and this endeavor was no easy feat with the numerous pages of instructions and the various pieces of wood that they had laid out on the floor. There was nothing these girls couldn’t do. They had a “let’s get this done” attitude but “let’s have fun while we are at it.”
Our week was a flurry of activity. We shopped for furniture, got creative in getting the furniture to my house, made decisions as to where to place the furniture in my house, unpacked boxes, made decisions as to where to put the stuff that was in the boxes, tore up boxes, transported boxes to the recycle plant, hung curtains, hung pictures, cooked, ate, laughed, cried, talked and prayed. It felt like their love and support was washing over me and infusing energy and joy into my heart.
They also met many of the brothers and sisters of the Rogue Valley Church when we went to the midweek service on Wednesday night, a Bible Study at the Weger’s home on Friday night and the church service on Sunday. I will never forget this special week with Angela and Julie. After both girls flew back to So Cal, I walked around my house in awe that it was all set up and more beautiful than I imagined.
And the help just kept on coming from my brothers and sisters in Christ from the Rogue Valley Church. Bruce Hahne who is married to my new best friend, Jeanne Hahne, spent an afternoon putting together my desk and cabinet that I had bought for my office. Jeanne and I spent an afternoon shopping for furniture and housewares, and her excitement was contagious. Judy and Dave Weger, the ministry leaders of my new church family, also stopped by and Dave pitched in by screwing the legs into the base of one of my chairs. Judy gave me some of her cook books because she knows I need to learn how to cook.
I am so fortunate to have a church family in Medford that is putting the verse from Acts 2:42-47 into practice.
The Fellowship of the Believers
They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
I am convinced Resilience cannot be achieved on our own. We need God’s Word and God’s people to bounce back from adversity and feel refreshed and energized.
I know everything is going to be alright in Medford because I get by with a little help from my friends.