Monday, September 29, 2008

Dear Lord,

I sat and read parts of your Letter again today. I just wanted to thank you for always being there whenever I need you. I need you right now Lord as I struggle with a difficult task. My friend J Grockle recently encouraged me to write a “thank you” letter to someone who has come across my path and changed my life. Well, for the past couple of weeks I have been jogging my memory daily to find the very someone that deserves this honor. As I reminisce, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, and I’ve breathed a contented sigh of relief that so many have crossed my path at just the exact moment I needed them and changed my life forever. But here’s the problem Lord . . . there are just so many that I need to thank!

Do I thank my precious and loving husband for taking a chance on me, even though a day or two before our wedding I panicked and confessed to having rotten DNA flowing through my veins and begged him to choose another? (Incidentally, he laughed out loud and married me without batting an eyelash – but then you knew that Lord, because you heard me cry out in fear over this whole situation.) Or maybe I should thank my wonderful children who have shown me that I have risen far above the bar that my heritage so painfully held down on me. Every day that I rise and greet the day as their mother I rejoice that I took the risk and had children despite my overwhelming fear of failure.

Maybe I should go back to my early years and thank the teachers who stepped in when my world fell apart (over and over again) – like the Spanish teacher in high school who caught me cutting class and refused to be brushed aside with a shrugged answer. Her piercing eyes and firm hand on my shoulder told me in no uncertain terms that I could trust her; so I did, breaking down and confessing the shame of having a mother who had suffered a nervous breakdown that very week. I’ll never forget the look in her eyes – not pity, not horror, but rather the look that I’d always sought in my mother’s eyes. “Why, Miss ---, that’s certainly not your fault nor is it an excuse for you to destroy your own life. Now get back to class and don’t let me catch you cutting again. You need this class for college.” With that she turned on her heel and marched off. I stood with mouth agape and heart pounding. “She still believes I can make it in college!” I cried out in my head. She was right. I did. And I finished well.

Oh, Lord, help me. I can’t forget those women through the years who taught me to cook, write poetry, change a diaper, and even drive a car. How thankful I remain to those long-suffering homemakers that allowed me to park on their barstool and “visit” rather than go home to loneliness and silence or worse . . . strife. How do I overlook all these regular ol’ mom-types that hired me to babysit or tutor or tidy up; who in the process of offering me a few precious dollars that I would turn into books, shaped my character for the better? Even more importantly, how can I decide which proved the most valuable?

Tears stream down my face as I recall the most precious woman I have ever met . . . my mentor. She loved me with a deep love that I longed for forever, but found less than 13 years ago. Lord, this woman taught me to go beyond “knowing You” and begin “abiding in You” every moment of my day and all through the night, as well. She changed my life by showing me how to take all those miscellaneous pieces of "me" and make them an offering to You, rather than suffer to hide them in shame. Oh Lord, you took my precious mentor home to be with you just a few short months ago, and yet the pain I feel makes it seem like yesterday. (*sob*sniffle*)

So, you see my dilemma, Lord? I can’t write just one “thank you.” In fact, I don’t think I can even print any of this for others to read. What would they think of me . . . a child scorned by her own parents -- left lonely and alone? How can I . . .

* * * * *

The wind picks up and rustles the pages of “The Letter” lying open-faced on my lap. I look down and read:
“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” (Psalm 27:10)

A stronger breeze turns over more pages and reveals:
“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.” (Psalm 139:13)

The pages continue fluttering until they lay to rest at:
' “For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” ' (Jeremiah 29:11)

I bow my head, the tears fall freely, and I whisper, “Thank you, Lord . . . for everything.”


Becky said...

THANK YOU!!! For passing along so many of these gifts, so freely given to you, on to others in your life who need them. Thank you dear friend. No fact about your past could change the way I see you now.

With Love and Admiration, Becky

Britt-Arnhilf said...

Debbie, your posts always hit something in me, something deep, something raw. You are so honest and so brave, and always love streams from every word of what you are writing.

I feel blessed to know you, and I hope our "knowing each other" can eventually turn into a Friendship.

imbeingheldhostage said...

ahhh, the release is tangible... A beautiful, beautiful post Debbie, but I never doubted you would come through on this way above the bar. As a person that notices the beauty around her like you do, I was sure you had gratitude for many people along your path.
Your Hubby was right-- this needed to be posted. You will have touched and inspired people and won't ever know it. You have readers that don't comment (put a stat counter on here and you'll be surprised how many read without commenting) I'm betting some of them will de-lurk with this post...

Laura ~Peach~ said...

*tears* what a beautiful wonderful perfect post! thank you.
love n hugs Laura

Naturegirl said...

This is a most heartfelt and moving post..thank you for posting!Thank you for posting the memory of what your wise Spanish teacher said to you...a message I shall remember as I struggle with caring for a mother with Dimentia.I shall remember NOT to allow this disease to detroy
MY LIFE.hugs

Violet said...

Hi Debbie, Your words in this letter are so beautiful. I can relate to what you said. My mother also had these problems, later to be diagnosed as manic depressive. My father was an alchoholic, and home life was quite an unhappy affair most of the time. God was my refuge, and He alone can turn our ashes into beauty. I hope you will stop by my "Create Beauty" blog ... Violet

Flea said...

What a beautiful to tribute to so many who showed grace and mercy at times when it was needed the most. God is truly gracious above and beyond what we comprehend at the time, isn't He? Thank you for touching so many lives with your own, Debbie. :)

farmlady said...

You have overcome a lot in your life, Debbie. Now that you have given thanks, accept the grace that your life has become. We thank you for who you are and how you see the world.
Be happy and let go of all the old things that you had no control over. Now you can be happy and rejoice in the mercy of God.

CIELO said...

I walked with God in my garden the other day, and for some unexplained reason I thought about you.... maybe we're both so conected with our Father, that is just natural to walk side by side as sister do.... :)



Kathryn said...

The tears are falling freely here too.
I truly do believe that there are angels all around us. It sounds like your angels came at the exact moment you needed them most. And I also believe that in this post you are being an angel for so many other out there.

What a beautiful thankful prayer.

Julie said...

Thank you, Debbie, for being you. You are a wellspring of wisdom and grace. Keep writing!

david mcmahon said...

What a wonderful acknowledgement.

Mim said...

Thanks for those words, and verses...beautiful.
So your building project is finished on your deck?
And I am just beginning mine... messes everywhere.
Yes apple crisp heralds in fall.

Virginia said...

What a beautiful post and beautiful tribute
to so many that help you and show loved at those time in your life when you needed it the most.
Know that everything in this life has purpose.
There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all
events are blessings given to us to learn and
grow from them.
Blessings, Virginia

Karen Deborah said...

just a hug, a smile, a reminder that you my dear are loved and very very special. thank you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Your story is so similar to mine. Thanks for sharing.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for sharing this letter. I've never thought of doing this before but it would be a wonderful thing to do. When I am down and low and feeling ungrateful, I could pull it out and I'm sure it would help bring me back to thankfulness!

Your story is beautiful, and I gobble up your words everytime I visit- Thank You Debbie for opening your heart for us to come in!

Sandi McBride said...

I come by way of David. The greatest thing you've learned and now pass to others is charity (Love). What a beautiful letter you've written. I'm sure God will pass it along to all who need to benefit from your words.

Ruth MacC said...

Sister, don't you know that we are all in the same boat and that we are all fallen?

EVERYBODY has a life like that... unless the Lord saved them and changes them and gives them a new life!

Praise the Lord!