Monday, January 13, 2014

Anonymous, Take 2

Dear Anonymous,

I got your last response from my note to you.  You give me great things to ponder.  While you were crying, I was smiling.  Not because I'm some sort of weird mean girl, but because I like you.  I'm smiling because I read through your list of troubles and it sounds like you are simply human.  Like the rest of the 7 billion of us, you aren't perfect.  You've made mistakes.  Life is full of trials.  It kinda sucks down here on this planet a lot of the time.

Some of my favorite people and best of friends are people that have had HUGE trials in their lives.  HUGE.  Sorrows.  Like sea billows....rolling.  Sometimes they have had a whole life full of sadness, failures, fears, mistakes, disappointments....the list goes on.  These people aren't shriveled up and bitter.  They are happy and thankful.  They are helpful and kind.  And most of all, they are real.  They are willing to share their struggles and their faith that sustained them.  They have a testimony. 

Anonymous, you are like everyone else.  You have struggles, fears, and sadness.  You feel like they are thrown back in your face and you are drowning in them.  Throw them back.  Don't forget you have been redeemed....and it was a costly redemption.  It's time for you to give thanks.  Give thanks for whatever you can.  It sounds like God has blessed you with some precious relationships in your life.  Be thankful!  Don't look at what they aren't.  Praise God for what they are. 

My one piece of hard earned advice is don't cling too tight to those earthly loves.  Let those loves go and cling tighter to the Father's hand.  I had to learn that the hard way.  I watched Marc slip from my grasp.  It didn't matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't keep from losing him.  I learned, though, at one point to pray for that "peace that surpasses all understanding."  God answered that prayer.  I learned to be be thankful for "This Day."  He made it and I'm to be glad in it.  It sounds trite, but it worked.  I learned to think that whatever bad was coming and I couldn't stop it.  The freight train was coming and it didn't matter how steadfast I stood in its was going to crush me.  But, what I learned to tell myself was that "it's not today."  Today is a good day.  I'm going to savor every moment of the time I have with those I love.  I didn't know about tomorrow and, quite frankly, my emotional bandwidth at that time was so narrow I couldn't cope with thoughts of the next hours, much less the next day.  That daily bread mentality has seen me through so much.  I pray that for you, Dear Anonymous.

Just don't forget that redemption is a beautiful thing.  Let people see that in you.  If you have a past, share it.  I never want to hear advice or encouragement from people that have had perfectly sugar coated lives.  People that project having perfectly wonderful lives are usually lying.  Or, at the very least, they are REALLY annoying.  No, give me the person that is humble enough to share their mess and give God the credit for cleaning it up.  I want to hear their story.  That's something I can relate to.  So, Anonymous, it's okay to not have it all together and to have made....gasp...mistakes.  It's your story.  Go out and share it.  You have a lot to offer.  You've already helped me. 

With love and gratitude....

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
With love and gratitude.....
Brian, Jane, Adam, Ben, Julia & Sophia
May God bless you and keep you all in the coming year....