Every once in a while someone will give advice, or I will stumble upon a passage and it really, really speaks to me in a very profound manner. It literally changes my life.
My friend Barbara Browder (from Florida) sent the above quote to me yesterday and I have to thank her because it enabled me to put various phases of my life into perspective.
Of course I could name many people who have contributed to my successes, either by encouraging me or discouraging me, which usually only makes me try harder. But for the sake of expedience, I'll only mention the few with the most signicant impact.
I thank God for those he sent to:
HELP: David and Sue Myers were a couple who already had 7 foster children and 2 of their own when they brought a 15-year-old girl and her 1-year-old baby into their home, enabling the girl to finish her education and keep her baby. For the first time in her life the girl was introduced to church, eventually gave her life to Christ and a few years later married a good Christian man. The baby grew up in a story book household with two parents that loved her more than life itself. Although David died a young man, Sue, now a woman in her 70's, still lives in Springfield, Missouri. That 'baby' is now a Christian wife with children of her own, to this day affectionately refers to Sue as "Omah" and has a blog called "hillbilly debutante.'' Yes, I am the baby of that 15-year-old girl.
HURT: Deb - a woman who went out of her way to befriend me when I moved to DC. Never in a million years did I dream that she'd end up stalking and terrorizing our family to the point that the Magistrate Judge, the Chief of Police, and two attorneys advised us to not only move - but to get out of the county. For the last month that we lived in the house, my son (who was 10 at the time) and myself had to have round the clock supervision and couldn't even be alone in our own home. Neighbors were scared to death to come forward to help for fear she'd be their next victim (we found out she had terrorized the woman who lived in the house before us). It was the most stressful time of my life (I'm about to finish the book about it) The good reputation I had worked to cultivate and was so proud of my whole life was being ruined. Worse - she was trying to take my child from me.
Being a prisoner in your own home - and not even being able to walk around in your own neighborhood makes you view life completely different. Now that I'm 'free' I live every single day to its fullest - I take NOTHING for granted and appreciate everything, especially being able to live in peace.
LEAVE: Sue. We were very close. We did everything together and she was witness to 100% of what was going on. Her testimony was imperative. At the last minute she refused to come forward and testify because she was afraid she'd be the next victim. My husband told me to forget about her - she'd told him point blank that she just couldn't do it. No way, I argued. Sue loves me - we're always there for each other. She won't let this happen to me. I sat in court and watched the door, knowing that she would walk in and save the day. It wasn't until the courtroom doors closed one by one, that I realized I was really and truly alone. I had never known such betrayal. Someone I loved and trusted was willing to let me burn because they were afraid to take a stand. Afraid to tell the truth. Thankfully, there was a man (whom I barely knew) who had also, without my knowledge witnessed Deb's stalking and was willing to come forward and testify.
This may sound strange but I am thankful for the ones He sent to hurt me and leave me. Without that experience I would not be the strong, faithful servant I am right now. I KNOW firsthand that God is in control. I am not afraid to love or to open my heart and let others in. I have a husband that I am closer to today than at any point in our marriage. I have children that love and cherish me. Nothing fazes me because I know that He is there and He is in control. I am too good to seek revenge. God says vengeance is His, but I don't waste time hoping or wishing that He will seek vengeance on my enemies. Instead, I pray for them. I pray that He will soften their hearts and they will seek Jesus and turn their lives over to Him. He has blessed me beyond measure - more than I ever could have known - all because of Deb and Sue. I am 100% sure that neither knew what a blessing they would be in my life!! Especially not Deb!
More than anything, when things go awry, this has taught me to just be patient, be still and have the confidence that He will work it out.
And last, but certainly not least:
LOVE - These people are many, many, many! I am so blessed in this regard! I have so many good friends. A wonderful family. But, mostly I feel truly blessed to have found my one true love early in life. Jay and I were 18 and 19 when we got married. My love for him is even stronger than when we were young. I'm 46 years old now and my dreams for my life and the things I've wanted for myself have changed through the years. But my love for this man has never wavered. I wish every woman could have this kind of love in her life.
I'd like to end with one of my favorite sayings. It was from Mother Teresa. It's humorous, but also rings true for most of us, I'm sure.
"I know God won't give me more than I can handle, but sometimes I wish he didn't trust me so much!"