December 21, 2010

The Heart Letter

This post began its life as a Facebook message on the day that it commemorates. I hesitated putting it up on the blog because it is so personal.  It is my story.  I am not ashamed of it. I am overwhelmed by what God has done for me and what He will do for those who throw down their baggage and pack up Truth. Truth is much lighter to carry--really no burden at all. 

Almost 10 years later--once again on the Gulf of Mexico
Everybody remembers the bright clear day that was 9-11, 2001 and they should. I can’t believe it has been nine years since we witnessed those tragic attacks on America. If we have ever appreciated living where God has placed us, surely it was that day. I remember Rhonda calling and telling me we were taking the kids to the fair. I can say that I felt a twinge of guilt thinking about so many others suffering so far away from our little world of peace, but that guilt gave way to thankfulness for the freedom to go. This horrible day would not change that freedom that was ours. Maybe some others of us went too, out to ride the Scrambler and the Tilt-A-Whirl. I can only remember being “bossed” concerning it. (And since I was with Rhonda, I am sure it was armband night.) It was a beautiful evening and most of the county stayed home. We had the fair to ourselves---at least, compared to most armband nights.

Today is 9-22, and today, I am remembering another 9-22 only a little less than a year before the Trade Towers crashed to the ground---September 22, 2000. That day I consider to be the pivot point of my life; a day I would have literally not lived to experience had it not been for seven special friends. My life was a pile of rubble just like those buildings would be a year later. Ten years ago this day, God sent his Word and healed me.

I know our lives run in many directions ten years later. We are watching our girls become brides, and wives. Before we turn around Annie will make me Naomi’s Grandy. For some of us, our nests are emptying. For me, it is much harder than I thought it would be … (that’s another topic for another day).

But I felt it was really important to STOP for a moment TODAY and tell you that I remember what you did for me---each of you in different ways; all of you interceding. I remember and ten years later I am so very grateful. How can I begin to express gratitude to you for your part in saving of my life? 

Because of you, I know Jesus like I would have never known Him had I continued to serve Him on my own terms, unable to believe His love for me. Because of you, I feel. Before, you noticed, I never cried. Nothing moved out of my heart. All my emotions had been bottled up inside me, gnawing away at me, eating me alive. Because of you, I have the opportunity to love people; people like me that don’t have it all together. Because of you, I have had ten years to raise my children, and fix suppers for Jeff. I have had the opportunity to live in victory and defeat, in joy and pain. Because of you and the grace of God, I have lived.

I really don’t believe that the enemy could have taken my breath. God is, I believe, the One who gives and takes away when it comes to breathing. But I do believe my life could have followed a different path with a mind dulled by psychotic meds, isolated in the humiliation of the loss of sanity, unable to mother or love or praise or teach God’s Word. I could have breathed and I would not have lived. I would not be a woman that Jeff would want to lay next to each night. And I believe that could have been the story of my life without the courage of my friends.

You could have walked away from us—both Jeff and me. You did not. I am telling you that I would not have blamed you had that been your decision. How I thank God that He gave you the ability to “deal” with my crazy life spinning out of control and finding the courage to take me to lock down----and Destin.

You could have walked away from Annie and Bear and Luke; you loved them when I could not; you surrounded them with your children; and they found some security there with you and with their “brothers and sisters.” 

I know you have heard me say that I would not change the path I took or maybe, better said, the path God took me on. I say that because only on this side of freedom do I understand what Christ was holding out to me what I would not receive. I only wish that my path had not required so much sacrifice on your part. My prayer is that somehow when you see my life today, you realize that God used you to let me live, really live, that your interrupted lives saved mine.

So today, ten years after God loosed my chains and hid me in the shadow of his wings, I express to you my friends, my sisters my love and appreciation to each of you. Thank you for not giving up on me, for taking me to those hospitals and crying in the parking lot, for taking me to the beach (what were you thinking!), but mostly for staying in my life when the storm calmed and I had to put the pieces back together. 

I will never say I have made it---that I could never fall again. I don’t believe it will happen. As some of you may know, the motto of my life is “I am saved and being saved. I am healed and being healed.” I pray by the grace of God I live in that truth.

God has sure used up a lot of grace on me, so much grace.

So from your melodramatic mushy friend, I pray the fullness of GRACE will fill your lives to overflowing this day. Never is life perfect, nor are relationships. I am still learning how to do them. How I wish I knew how to be a better friend to each of you. Please accept my thank you for taking me like I am, for thinking I was worth keeping around, and celebrating with me today, a decade of redemption.

2 comments:

  1. What a beautiful story of redemption. I'm so glad you shared this with me. God has taken those broken pieces, and is putting you back together. Aren't mosaics the most beautiful of all? In a mosaic, all of those broken bits are fashioned into a singular work of art.

    You are a mosaic, a masterpiece. And Christ's Light is shining through the whole of you. (((HUGS))))

    ReplyDelete
  2. You bless me Jennifer.

    I needed that (HUG).

    ReplyDelete