Today I want to share a little bit about why we do what we do. A couple of years ago, I was asked to write a very short article for a magazine about the quilt ministry. They asked if there was anyone who could do a companion piece about how the ministry had affected them, and I knew the perfect person. The following are the two articles that were published….
My grandmother taught me how to sew when I was a little girl. She gee me a love for the texture, color and feel of fabric, which started a collection that in 45 years threatened to take over my house.
But two years ago, God gave my fabric stash a purpose by urging me to gather my friends and make a quilt for a woman battling cancer. Since then, our quilt ministry has donated more than 160 quilts (almost 750 now) to people going through medical, spiritual, or emotional hard times. The quilts serve as a physical reminder of God's love for each recipient. We also partner with quilt bloggers around the world who donate fabric and quilts-in-progress to the ministry.
Who doesn't love the feel of a freshly washed quilt, bringing comfort and warmth on a less-than-perfect day?
It warms my heart to see how God took a group of women who really didn't know how to quilt and used them to create a vital, growing ministry that touches lives around the world. Because of my grandmother's legacy and the promptings of the Holy Spirit, I've discovered my More!
One week after my cancer surgery, I received an amazing quilt from my church. It's the 47th one made by Gladeville Baptist's Piece*Love*Quilt ministry. The quilt is a beautiful illustration of God's perfect timing. Just 24 hours earlier, I'd learned that my cancer had spread. But the expression of love and the prayers sewn into every stitch of my quilt gave me sweet peace. I knew Sarah and her team of quilters were lifting me up.
My quilt and I were inseparable throughout visits for radiation, chemo treatments, and countless trips to the doctor's office. My fear was real and cold - - not of physical death, but rather the side effects of cancer treatment: weakness, pain, brain fog, and nausea. But God continually showed me His peace is far greater than my fear. As I continually wrapped myself in my quilt, I claimed Psalm 23.
At times, I wondered if the hospital visits would ever end. But God used those visits for His glory. Other patients, doctors, and nurses often commented on my quilt, opening the door for me to witness to people I would not have otherwise known. My life has been enriched and God has been glorified through the Piece*Love*Quilt ministry.
I am now cancer free. Still, my quilt is always close by. A simple look or touch reminds me of God's love, the power of prayer, and the love God's people have for one another. I truly am a living example of the power of More.
As many times as I've read this story, it still amazes me at how God uses a simple quilt for so many purposes. It makes me appreciate what we get to do so much more, knowing that it has a purpose so far beyond what we can imagine!