For months now the Lord has had me focused on the difference that one person can make in another’s life . . . in our world.

I am no English scholar, as my writing shows, but one of the few things I remember from school when learning about past, present, and future tense, and other “verbiage”is when we have the words someone, no one, somebody, anybody, everybody, etc, that we make the word(s) a new one. Instead of saying, “Everybody is at the beach” it would read, “Every one body is at the beach.” I have no idea why I remember that because Lord knows I hated school and never applied myself, but every time I use those words, in my mind, I insert the word, “one.”

I know . . . .  it’s crazy. 

But why the word, “one?”

Well, what I believe the Lord is teaching me through the word, “one” is personalization (is that even a word?) and purpose.  

We ALL . . . Every. SINGLE. One. have a purpose. A plan. And while I am studying how different people have had different impacts on our lives, in our world . . . in my life . . . today I want to share a story that I copied straight from a friend’s facebook post. Her name is Debbie. She has a disease called, “Inclusion Body Myositis.” I asked her permission to share this story. I have not added nor taken away anything from her post. Take a moment and read this incredible, inspiring story. 

Tried to do Wal-Mart today by myself after I met the ladies for lunch. Saying it was difficult is an understatement. When I’m with Jim, he drops me at the door and I get a buggy and it holds me up through the store. Jim does all the difficult stuff for me. But by the time I found a place to park ( I think everyone in the state of Florida must be handicapped, according to the parking spaces available) and walked in the heat to the store, (which kills what muscle I have) I was so over shopping! I walked to the back of the store, got an ink cartridge for my printer, walked back up and payed for it, walked back to the truck and cried because it was too hard to get in it. After I finally pulled myself in, I actually found myself saying “God, I hate my body.” I started the truck and turned on the air and was just sitting there resting and cooling and I see a little woman being lifted out of her vehicle and placed in a wheelchair by a younger gentleman. As he went back to get her purse and shut the door I watched her. She looked to have severe Parkinson disease. Her little body was a mass of convulsive twitches. I immediately felt so much shame. “God, please forgive me” is all I could utter. As I watched the young man attend her so lovingly and make sure she was comfortable for her shopping adventure, she glanced up at me and it seemed for a moment her little body was calm as our eyes met. I smiled and waved at her and she smiled and tried desperately to wave back as her body refused. I bowed my head and prayed for her, her care giver and for myself. I was enveloped in a beautiful peace that only comes from our Heavenly Father. No guilt remained. No shame for what I had said. Just a calm assurance that no matter what my future holds He will be my legs, my arms, my heart.
So, why did I feel the need to share this with all of you? Because I know like me, you have struggles. Like me, there are times when your body, mind or spirit seems to fail you. Like me you need a reminder that God is in the storm with you. Like me, if you pay attention, you will see the people God puts in your path
to show you how wonderfully blessed you truly are. And then, like me, you can praise Him in the storm…

I messaged Debbie and reminded her just how close I am to the store and asked her to let me know when she needs to go again, as did many others, but this was her response,

“Thank you so much Stacey. I keep forgetting you live so close to walmart. I don’t shop by myself often but yesterday I tried. What at first started as a small pity party for myself, ended up in praise and worship for a God who always shows up when I need Him the most. I cherish your prayers. The disease is called ‘Inclusion Body Myositis.’ Fill free to share. The more people are educated about it, the closer we come to research and funding. We’ve lost 6 members to our group sense January to complications with IBM. I’m one of the fortunate ones. I’m still on my feet! Praise God!”

Debbie’s circumstances are horrible. She is in pain every moment of her life. Debbie knows the prognosis is not good as to how she will spend the remainder of her life. 

But . . . . Debbie knows the Lord. She knows He created her and He knew her before she was even born. Debbie knows that God has a purpose and plan for her life. Debbie knows that God is responsible for divine appointments like the meeting yesterday with the woman living with Parkinson’s disease. Debbie has hope. And as Debbie shared in her post just hours ago . . .  Debbie knows  . . . the power of one. 

God used a stranger to completely change Debbie’s outlook.

God used one.

I have two challenges for you today.

The first one is read about Inclusion Body Myositis and educate yourself on this disease. I am making it easy for you to do so, click here. Then I want you to pray for Debbie, pray for her husband who is such a great helper and support for her, and pray for others that are living with the disease. 

The second challenge I have for you today is a little harder. Be the difference in ONE SOME BODY’S life . . . TODAY.  I shared today that the smile is a universal language. Sure there have been times I have given a smile only to be snubbed, but that’s one person out of thousands. Invest today in one person’s life. Drop them a note. Send an email. Pick up the phone (now that’s a new one) and call . . . “just to say hi.” Pay someone a compliment. Ask someone how you can pray for them today. AND  . . . . have you noticed the trend? Not one of these things cost anything . . . well unless you mail a card and then you have a stamp . . . but it doesn’t take money to change the life of one. So go do it. Now. 

I Thessalonians 4:18, “Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

I Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Galatians 6:2, “Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”