To think about one’s own challenges and the misery that comes from those obstacles is what each of us does especially when it surrounds us. When the emotions engulf us to the point that we cannot see the blessings and only the sadness it’s very difficult to allow ourselves the luxury of our experience; which is to know that this moment whatever that situation is; really doesn’t last that long. It’s a little blimp in the big scope of the grander scale. God’s timing.
When I was younger I saw a lot of horrible things. I lived through losing people I loved and when I got older it stopped for a while, but now I am at that age where my friends get sick, some die early, and others lose their zest for life all-together. I’ve been at that place where it’s easier to give up than it is to push forward moving ever slowly to a more peaceful life. Eventually we all end up peacefully, at rest.
This next year will mark a half of a century for me. I wonder if my contribution to this world and to all those whom I have loved dearly along my journey is enough to sustain their joy when they think about the time they’ve spent with me. Is what I have said enough? Have my actions shown how much I love them for exactly who they are? How has my behavior impacted their life? Will they know that our relationship has meant an untellable fortune to me? I can only pray it is so.
I went through one of the hardest times of my life with a woman who is very special to me. We were in a seminar and I was profoundly wounded unjustly by someone I’d known almost a decade. This woman sat by my side while I cried my tears. She encouraged me to move through the grief and pain and into a solid state of acceptance. She held me in her arms as I sobbed through my heartache. She took me to dinners afterwards, and talked for hours on the phone. She was my rock, my mountain and certainly God’s grace in carrying me through my journey. I will forever be more than grateful because she taught me what true love really is. What a treasured friendship is really all about. What grace someone can show you even when they don’t truly know you all that well. I love you, Leanna…my sister, my friend, my confidant, my teacher and with my whole heart pray that you know this.
During that time there were several women who formed my newest belief’s and helped me become responsible for my behavior and for my actions. Some helped me through identifying that which I did not want for my life and others for an attitude that I wanted. Of all the women I have met in my lifetime there has been no other graceful mentor like Mary. Not only are you my greatest confidant as well, and one of the greatest loves of my life, but someone I admire tremendously. You make me want to get closer to God, because your example is powerful. You make me want to be a better person, to be involved, to emulate a finer attitude and your force me to see my own immaturity and be responsible for that. It’s an effortless teaching not through condemnation or verbal affirmation but my example, and to me; there is no better teacher. You are truly loved and monumentally appreciated.
Taryn, Nancy, Misty, Donna, and the Road’s gang. When I think of you, I do so fondly. There’s been moments we disagreed and when we butted heads on our opposing views. Maybe there’s been talk or clarifications or even suppositions. I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re all strong Christian sisters with our own beliefs and standards and how awesome is it that we can share a space in time when it’s just about the love we have and the appreciation for all the differences that set us apart. God, I know truly works in us all and have showed me each of your strengths, and gifts. I truly feel blessed to know you, and I am profoundly blessed that we’re still connected.
Dawn was there for me, and mentored my marriage. I cannot tell you how broken I was from the hateful and hurtful lies I’d been fed all those years. The affirmations from people who I thought were above reproach only to learn that Satan had a hold on those who I treasured and used them to create more doubt and fear in me. Once I chose a different path Dawn picked me back up. Dawn’s approach wasn’t easy. She wasn’t nice or even soft about putting me in my place. Her words of truth were like a burning sword through my flesh. She poked and prodded until I withdrew in so much pain it hurt just to breathe. She called me on my lies time and time again until I had nowhere to hide. At that point I knew that God had sent her to me. He needed me to see the real truth and not some fairytale perception I had created to make myself feel better. I’ve been living that truth since. Sometimes it offends people…sometimes people perceive that I am sad because I see so much truth, but the reality of it is that I’m still innocent. I still laugh, and I still know how to have a great time, and I still say and do stupid immature silly things because to me; keeping my childhood innocence is the second greatest gift God gave me. The first, of course, is my children.
We all came to forgiveness in roughly one day after suffering through ripping the strategically placed Band-Aids over the worst moments of our lives. We danced and I can remember going to the quiet place under the benches and looking at the rest of them laughing. Free to feel joy and laugh and each of us not only knowing but having a profound presence of God in our hearts. We became sisters. We became life-long friends. We became part of each other. That kind of understanding only comes from sharing that experience…and I am absolutely profoundly blessed to have gone through that with these amazing people. I remember all of them…the ones in my group and those who touched my life and didn’t even know it. I will always remember you.
God is always in my life… he never leaves. He is ever present, waiting for me to bring my gifts so that he can use them to meet the goals of every man. To see us all in heaven with him, beside our father and Jesus and to journey through eternity in a peaceful loving embrace. Why I don’t look up first bothers me often, but the worldly injustice bothers me so much more. I hate that my friends suffer, and that there is little that I can do to carry those burdens. Moreover I fail at letting the world know that my questions and my expectations do not arise from a self-motivated course, but merely a devoted love of my fellow man and the disappointment that I feel from others and even my own selfish actions.
I could cry today because my journey is for another to lean. I am strong, and courageous, and forthright, and tenacious and I do not need. I pray this day for you, and for those who you love that you might find joy today. That you might find happiness, and that those people whom you adore will in turn let you know how very loved that you are. I miss my friendships, I miss my loving caring sisters. I can only hope that I remember that while I cannot be with you, I can pray that He is…
To that end…I leave you with one of my favorite songs from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Disney take it away…..
I don’t know if You can hear me
Or if You’re even there
I don’t know if You would listen
To a gypsy’s prayer
Yes, I know I’m just an outcast
I shouldn’t speak to you
Still I see Your face and wonder
Were You once an outcast too?
God help the outcasts
Hungry from birth
Show them the mercy
They don’t find on earth
God help my people
We look to You still
God help the outcasts
Or nobody will
I ask for wealth
I ask for fame
I ask for glory to shine on my name
I ask for love I can possess
I ask for God and His angels to bless me
I ask for nothing
I can get by
But I know so many
Less lucky than I
Please help my people
The poor and downtrodden
I thought we all were
The children of God
God help the outcasts
Children of God