I am often amazed how the Lord allows certain lives to cross paths. Even through painful experiences I can see His hand. Because of the lives that have come across my life, I have learned about hope, trust, doubt, fear, integrity, giving, generosity, purpose, love, emotional support, relationships, FORGIVENESS, that there is someone always worse off than yourself, that blessings come in many forms, and that God truly can use anyone to make a difference in one’s life. 

Today I am the recipient of an incredible gift. This is the second incredible gift I have received in recent days. The first one was a rememberance necklace of my dad. It got me good. Took my breath away. Made me ugly cry. It is very special and will be treasured forever. 

And then there’s today’s gift. A gift of love from someone I would have likely never met had she not had her son (who has Aspergers) attending speech at a local elementary school the same day my son (who also has Aspergers) was attending PATS. We started conversing and realized we had a lot in common . . . Including our belief in Jesus Christ. Talk about a divine appointment! 

Beth and her family recently returned back home to America from a mission trip to Africa. It was their first time returning to Africa in many, many years. (If my memory is correct she was there on a mission trip when she met her now husband, which was a very long time ago.) She found something she thought I’d like and boy was she spot on! I can’t imagine the hours that it took to make this beautiful gift of love that was made in Zimbabwe. I am so thankful. My youngest daughter has already tried to confiscate it. It will have to be secured and protected from her hands. 

My heart is full and I am so thankful for God’s unending love. He uses His children in so many ways to encourage one another. As I loaded the kids in my dad’s Yukon this morning I smelled him. I was reminded that I can’t send him pictures of the kid’s first day of school. I can’t tell him about the photography class Kaitlyn is taking or that Christopher will eventually be taking some general education classes this year instead of all ESE classes . . . 

And I cried. 

In the passing of a loved one, I have learned there are many phases of mourning. I have had moments of rage and anger over some of his choices, as well as moments of heartbreak over not having him here anymore, and then there have been moments of numbness and an autopilot mind set. What has been REALLY crazy is when I have experienced all the above within seconds of one another! Yikes! That’s been pretty scary! And as silly as it seems to some, I am crying again as I proof because in the anger and sadness I am also so thankful for him. He taught me so much . . . Some things I wish I hadn’t learned but those things have also made me who I am today and that is a God-fearing, faith growing child of the one true King that has been forgiven for oh so much. Who still blows it daily, but sees grace in an entirely new light with each mess up. Boy it makes me thankful I don’t have to rely on myself anymore. 

What I know to be true is that regardless of the emotional state, the timing of two ladies that God has brought into my life by “flukes” has me in awe today. Oh there are many others as well I haven’t mentioned who were the hands and feet of Jesus to my family and extended family .  . .  The friend that took my daughter school supply shopping for me, the friends that made meals for my family that I was able to share with my mom, as well as my sister’s family, and there’s my Sunday School class . . . Good gravy y’all! They fed fourty people after dad’s funeral, sent food home with us for dinner that night, and then had enough for my sister’s family the next night! Oh it was incredible AND such a relief to not have to worry about feeding my family. It was huge. 

Today, more than ever I am in awe of my Lord. Who loves me so much He orchestrates the paths of Godly women and arranges for friendships to develop for times such as these. 

I am truly blessed. 

Please don’t ever think your life isn’t important or that you are not valuable. Please don’t ever think someone won’t notice a kind gesture or card. I never understood what they meant until I needed it most. I have become more sensitive to the heart of the hurting and my hope and my prayer is that God will use me to minister life to another, just as He used others to minister life to me.