There's a peace I've come to know.. though my heart and flesh may fail... there's an anchor for my soul. I can say, "It is well". Jesus has overcome and the grave is overwhelmed. The victory is won. He is risen from the dead and I will rise... when He calls my name... no more sorrow, no more pain. I will rise on eagles wings, before my God fall on my knees and rise... I will rise.
That was three years ago. Obviously... I survived... there was more for me... so much more. I may not have the life I thought I wanted but I have the life that God has gifted me. His message to me and through me is clear and I have had many opportunities to share it since then... in long version and short version... to say to friends and strangers alike, "don't give up". What seems to be your worst moment may be the start of your greatest blessing.
If you don't believe in God, at least believe in a force greater than yourself. Believe in the resilience of the human spirit. Believe that there are people who are beseeching their Greater Power on your behalf. Raise your hands to receive a blessing... open your heart to allow yourself to be loved, maybe not in the passionate, romantic, fairy tale kind of love you thought you wanted... but in a greater, more excellent way. Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you've done... you are loved and there is nothing you can do to stop that love. It is there. If you're alone on a deserted island (and at times I felt like I was) you are still loved. If you can read this... even if you're not reading it the day it was written... you are loved.
More than being loved... believe that your life has value. You make a difference to someone, somewhere. You are worth fighting for. Even if you seem to be alone on that island, you are not really alone. Your life has value to someone. You might be the very person that God - the Universe, whatever - has designed and designated to stop traffic to prevent a dog from being hit. You may be the one who was meant to hold the door for the young mother with her arms full. You may be the one who will be the first on the scene of an accident. You may be the one who smiles at someone on the street... when that person needed to catch a glimpse of human kindness. YOU NEVER KNOW what your purpose on this planet is.
Even if you've lost your independence. Even if you've missed the mark you set for yourself. Even if you feel like a failure... in your failure, you may be showing those around you how to withstand disappointment.
When I woke up on September 20, 2008, my family had gathered in my hospital room - both my birth family and my in-laws. I have some memory of people coming and going but the most vivid memory I have carried with me from that moment was my brother in law, Tim - the only brother in law I have ever had, mind you, because my first husband was an only child and I am the only girl in my family - Tim, my rough, redneck, country boy, NASCAR watching brother in law - the brother in law who tried to convince me to smoke pot with him - the brother in law who was raising a child he had with a stripper- sat at the end of my bed holding a bible. He never had time to share with me what he obviously came to share. I saw him once more at the funeral for my (then) step-son's mother and talked to him about life insurance but he said that the Lord would return before he died. It didn't happen that way. Tim passed away in May. I never found out what he was going to tell me that day and maybe, that was God's plan all along. Sometimes it's enough to just show up and be prepared to share your faith. Sometimes just being there is the difference you're supposed to make.
It's Monday and instead of having a dozen different silly reasons to "love" Monday... I'm going to give you just one: YOU make a difference. I make a difference. Spend your day today appreciating the opportunity you have been given, the way that you are uniquely gifted to make a difference to someone. And I pray that in some way, I make a difference for you.
Love and hugs.