Transformed by Giving: Rebecca's story
Welcome to week three of my mini-series about transformation –- some of my dear friends are sharing their stories with us about God’s unique ways of making us more like Him.
This week I’m happy to introduce you to Rebecca Meadows, a wife, mother, business owner and friend to many. Rebecca is one who both lingers and then takes action. It’s been my privilege to watch her do both and to be the recipient of both her prayers and her gifts.
One of her greatest joys in life is making others smile, and I think you’ll see that as she talks about turning her pain into action during this difficult season.
Here’s Rebecca’s story about being transformed by giving
It was Thursday night, March 21, that I heard the Governor of Oregon say she’d be closing the state down that weekend. I went to work the next day with a very heavy heart wondering: if this really happens, how I am going to keep my business going?
I prayed many times for God to show me what the right decision would be. That afternoon I felt a peace over me and knew it was time to tell my employees that we were going to be laying everyone off.
We spent the next three hours filling out unemployment claims together to get a jump-start just in case a shut down happened.
I went home that night depressed and lost, and the weekend was a blur to me. I felt defeated, alone, anguished. I couldn't wrap my head around this. I’d survived the economic down turn a few years ago, and now I had to do it all over again. I felt like I let my employees down.
At night over the next couple weeks I would sit on the couch, curled up in a blanket, crying and praying. My depression kicked in, and I wasn't me anymore. I stopped exercising, stopped eating, and sleep was just a dream.
Finally, I sensed God’s whisper to do something for others. I spent the next few days trying to figure out what I could do. Then I heard about a woman seeking help in finding a mask for her disabled son. A local site offered to make them for $8 each, but the lady was unable to afford that.
That’s when I felt the Lord’s nudge. I emailed her saying I’d be happy to make them for free. At the time I didn’t have my sewing machine out or fabric or a pattern. But the Lord made a way with donated fabric and a YouTube video for instructions.
I made two masks for her and two for her son. And then I made more for others. Months later, I have made over 500 masks for people and organizations, all free, including shipping.
It is my joy to make masks for those who need to protect themselves, and to do so in a way that makes them feel attractive and stylish.
I have made and sent masks to:
New York for residents who just graduated from medical school
Virginia for a dietician who works closely with the legislature working to implement nutritional changes
Arizona DHS for 100 children so they can visit their parents
A small church group in Oregon wanting to gather together
People all across Oregon, Wisconsin, Montana, and California
Providing masks for others has brought smiles to strangers’ faces, taken away my depression and given me a sense of community. I have loved doing them and will continue until there is no longer a need.
It has been a blessing to help others by using the gifts Jesus has given me.
Sitting Still: Pull Up a Chair
PHOTO: ivabalk from Pixabay
“Make a careful exploration of who you are
and the work you’ve been given, and then sink yourself into that.”
Rebecca lives out Galatians 6:4, taking time to both explore and sink herself into a work of love for others.
Could this season be a time to both explore who you are and then sink yourself into something new and worthwhile –- something that blesses another?