Gail G

God was not a part of my life growing up. We never spoke of God at home, and I had no idea what God was supposed to be like. Instead, my mother focused on her high expectations for my behavior and accomplishments, often saying I wasn’t smart enough to get a good job.

That just made me more determined to succeed. I had a heart for helping others and worked with children with disabilities through the Red Cross in my home state. I remember teaching one girl who used a wheelchair how to walk, supported by the water in a swimming pool. She was thrilled, and said she wished she could take the pool to church, so that she could attend her sister’s wedding without using her wheelchair.

When I got a job at the Academy of Medicine in my home state, I knew there must be something more for my life than “not being smart enough.” I saw how people with serious health issues needed information and went for funding to create a Consumer Health Library.

Then, a feeling came over me. “I have a heart for people and have so much more to give,” I felt.

Later, my husband and I moved to central Delaware, in fact, right next door to a lovely Christian couple who were about my age. I was struck by her love and openness, and in particular, how she accepted me at face-value. I began attending their church, and one Sunday I was listening to the Pastor’s sermon – I don’t even remember what he was saying – when a feeling came over me. “I have a heart for people and have so much more to give,” I felt. I could see the people I’d helped over the years and the positive responses from them.
When I retired from the Academy of Medicine, they renamed the Consumer Health Library for me. I was almost speechless, and my husband wept.

Soon after that, I suffered a severe stroke and could not speak. It was like every wire in my brain had short-circuited. One evening a man from church delivered supper to us. That’s when I knew that after all the people I had helped, God was now taking care of me. On my recent trip to the midwest for a family reunion, my sister reaffirmed God’s love and caring for me. When I got off of the airplane she said, “You always do for others. It’s your time for others to do for you.”

What a joy and a blessing that was.

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