(Before you read this post, I wanted to point your attention to the special note on the side of this webpage. If you’re reading this in your email, then you’ll need to click the link to go to the webpage. It’s just a quick note explaining my absence. I’ve missed you all! Thank you for making a difference to me!)
I got the best birthday present ever—a book of letters telling me how wonderful I am. Most people never get to hear this stuff because it’s only said at their funerals and by then they’re off getting a harp or … not.
My sweet husband sent out a plea to friends of mine he found on Facebook asking them if they’d write me a note for my birthday, and they responded. On the night of my birthday, he presented me with the book. Tears streamed down my face as I read the letter he wrote me and then each of my daughter’s, my dad’s, my sister-in-law’s, and then I turned the page and saw my Bible professor’s name and realized this wasn’t going to be just an immediate family thing.
By then, I was a blubbering mess. So, my dear hubbie took the book and read each letter to me. I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
Midway through his reading, I started to realize something. The things mentioned about me that touched people the most occurred inadvertantly. They were things that just happened—a question asked, a knock on a door, a cup of coffee—and something special occurred. In every case, I thought I was the one being blessed, not the other way around.
I’m kind of baffled by it. And scared. It’s not really something you can replicate. To me, each fond remembrance was a miracle. Seriously. All I did was show up, and sometimes I didn’t even want to. But somehow, through the sweet presence of God, another person was blessed. I’m not even sure how it happened.
My word for 2018 has been community, and God has impressed upon me my need for community over and over this year. We really can’t do life all hidden away, hermit-style, with no one to help with the load. Sure, there are seasons of aloneness when it feels like there’s no one, but that’s not the end of the story. There’s more.
There’s a smile of a stranger, a song on the radio, a verse—snippets in our journey that point us to others and help us grow. God designed us that way—to need others. We need others and others need us.
I wish you all could have a book like this because I’m sure there are people in your life and stories to be told that you don’t even have a clue about. Stories that would let you know how much of a difference you’ve made. I bet there would be stories that would surprise you and humble you and leave you feeling noticed and loved and used by God. And when you hear those stories, like me, you will be struck by the fact that all you did was show up. You were just being you, and that is all you needed to be. God did the rest.