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Saturday, September 22, 2012

A letter to my family -a confession and apology : The One Shot

The other day we were having a family dinner and my feelings got hurt. A few words were spoken and I took offense. Truthfully, there was really nothing harsh about the words, simply the way in which they were spoken that rubbed me the wrong way. The truth is that I was having a really bad week. Horrible, actually. I could go into the details of it, but I'll spare you.....

I got up and I left..hurt and wounded..dismayed, feeling rejected and angry. The truth is that I am a very very sensitive person. Many people have told me that over the years. In some ways, it is a character flaw. In other ways, it is a blessing. One thing I have learned about very sensitive people is that they wear their hearts on the sleeve, but will quickly give the shirt off their back... Sensitive people feel a lot of pain over things that some don't even consider hurtful...but, with that great capacity to feel pain, comes a deep well and great capacity to love.  Sensitive people are easily hurt but they also reach out readily to others. Sensitive people are passionate people..people that love truth and justice..but more than anything..sensitive people cry out for mercy.

The truth is that I have probably one of the best families that a girl can ask for. I have families that have sacrificed for me..that have helped me in numerous ways. I have family members that have bent over backward to help me in times of trouble and times of need. I love my family. I love my mom who faithfully cooks breakfast for my sons and helps Cade with his work and essentially cares for him while I am working. That is no small task..and mom, I want to say, "Thank you." I love you so much. You are a strong and brave woman. You are a caregiver. You are the hands of Christ to your family in the work that you do...

I love my dad who has worked his entire life to take care of his family. He is quiet and shy, but he is good and moral. He is loving. He spends his spare time building things for his family in his backyard. He,too has the loving, working hands of Christ.

I love my sister who is the meekest, the gentlest, one of the most loving and quiet souls that I have ever found. She raises three girls with patience and such an awe inspiring love that it is a blessing to simply watch her. I love my brother in law who sings and speaks with wisdom and inspiration and seeks God with his whole heart, mind, and soul.

I love my brother who works diligently to provide for his family. Last week, I watched him with my son. We were at the bowling alley and I saw this immense love eminating from my brother as he sat and patiently won my 3 year old a toy from one of those little claw machines. He sat there until he won him a prize. He didn't care about how much money he lost, he wanted my boy to smile.

I love my sister in law who is an amazing example of strength and fortitude. She presses on in her darkest hour to be a light to those who need it. Mel, I know that even in your time of weakness, you have been a Godsend to those around you simply in the way that love is a natural part of who you are.

I love my Aunt Cheryl who drove all the way to Baton Rouge for me when I needed a friend and a prayer. You have been there for me through many rough times. God sees your heart and He loves  your compassion.

I love my Uncle Ray who shows grace to the children in our family. Every year he does Christmas in July and he handpicks special gifts each and every child. Your kindness doesn't go unnoticed and I appreciate what you have done and what you do for my children.

I love my Aunt Donna who has a heart the size of Texas. She lovingly raises her three daughters. She is an example of goodness, wholesomeness, and strength. 

I love my Uncle Toby who is the joker of the family. He picks and teases, but he does it in a loving way. Not in a mean way, but he does it because he appreciates the beauty of two upturned lips.. a smile. He loves to see everyone smile.

I love my inlaws who take care of my Brendan while I work. Mrs. Anita is one of the gentlest and kindest people that I have ever met. Mr. Mitch is sturdy, strong, and loving. He donates his time to visiting others in prison. Mrs. Anita lovingly cares for her family faithfully every single day.

I love my children, my cousins, my grandfather who cooks for us every Sunday..even through his grief and pain..He still finds a way to love on each of us in his own special way. I love my husband who has been a really good friend to me lately.

I love my family.

I know that our family isn't perfect. I know that sometimes we say things that hurt one another. I know that sometimes that kind of pain runs deep in a life. But the truth is that we are given this one tiny little space in light of all eternity to get it right... We have this one shot.

The truth is that there have been times when I have taken my family for granted. There have been times when I have failed to show kindness and there have been times when my words may have hurt. And, tonight if that has been the case, then I apologize... you see, we only have this one shot at this life...and I aim to get it right.

God gave us this little window of a life to give love. He said that this path was narrow because it is easy to be selfish. It is easy to hold onto hurt and anger and disdain. It is easy to judge. It is easy to criticize... .. But you see, we have this one shot at this life...and I aim to get it right.

Today I was thinking about God and how, even though I don't understand a lot of rituals and practices at some churches, the one thing I do understand is the language of love. I get that. God spoke the language of love to us when He sent us His only son to die a gruesome death upon a cross...and then He tells us to simply believe and to back with fury, with passion, and with sacrifice and humility.
You see, we only have this one shot and I aim to get it right.

I know that I am not perfect..But God says in His Word that we should strive to be perfect as Our father in Heaven is perfect..So even though all of my flaws and oversensitivity, I aim to get this right..
You see, we have this one shot...
Not only to love our families, but to love our neighbors..our friends, our coworkers, the crazy cat lady down the road.. the Muslim shop owner on the corner, the enemy who hurt us in the deepest of ways..
We have this one shot at this this narrow little space in time to get it right....and I aim to get this thing right.

God says in His word that if we call our brother a fool, we are danger of hellfire. At first, I thought this was a little harsh, but calling our brother, our family, the people around us not the language of love...and somehow, I think God only relates and responds to the language that He created.
So, I will try to hold my tongue. You see, we only have this one shot in this narrow, tiny little space in time..and we never know when it will end...and eternity will begin..and I aim to get this right.

We have life and death in our our mouth..God tells us that our words reveal our hearts..He gives us a mirror into our very souls. I don't speak God all of the time.. I don't always speak the language of love...and for that, I am sorry... You see, I aim to get this right..

Today, I saw a girl from high school walking thru Target. I tried to be friendly, but she pretended not to see me. AS I was walking out of the store, she put her nose in the air as I walked on by... It hurt my feelings. As I was passing her by, I muttered the word, "Snob" It was barely perceptible but she still may have heard me. I failed to show grace to a woman that may have truly needed it. For that, I am saddened... because , you see, we only have  this one little space in time to get this walk right..and if we aren't walking the narrow path to the sound of the language of love, then we are walking something altogether differnet and a whole lot more dangerous.

and you see, I aim to get this right.

It doesn't matter how hurt we are, we forgive, we press on, we move forward because we aren't called to speak an ordinary language..we are called to live the language of love...

People without ears to hear should be able to read it and hear it with their eyes.
People without eyes shoud be able to feel it in our embrace..
We are called to be Christ to the dying and lost world..and we only have this one shot.

Sometimes, I can't help but notice how cruel the world is...
are they hearing and seeing our language?
Because in it's truest form, it is beauty, it is wonder, it is the healing, awesome hand of Christ..
changing a life...purifying a heart...beckoning the lost to see..

You see, we only have this one shot...and Jesus, I pray to get it right...

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