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Monday, November 21, 2016

A Thank-You Least Expected

 I never thought I'd ever say thank you in this way...never thought I'd one day be grateful for the things that were meant to hold back, to discourage, to wound. But here I sit...typing these words to all those who said that His direction for my life was wrong...
This is my open letter to all the nay-sayers and the doubters...not to prove them wrong but to prove Him faithful...

Dear You...

All of you who said that I would never "be something" in life because I wasn't led to go to college. I can recall your words as you pressured, attempted to convince...to sway, because you thought you knew the plan. I was as clueless to His plan as you...but all I did know was that His plan was different from yours. The fact I couldn't convince you bothered me...but then I realized years later that nothing I did could convince you if you couldn't see through to God. It was then that I decided to trust Him to lead...even if you never understood why...

All of you who thought I should've chosen love differently...yeah...those of you who think I've been single for too long, who wanted to set me up and rush me into the second biggest decision of my life...
When I was a teen, I gave God the rights to my life-story. I told Him to write it the way He wanted to. Granted, I thought He would've sent Prince Charming sometime ago...but who am I to question the ways of the God of the Universe?! If He can hold the world together, He is more than capable of uniting two lives for the purpose of His will. I continue to choose contentment and trust over fear...even in the face of your own doubting.

All of you who said that I wasn't working hard enough...when I knew that His ways couldn't be traced in the seen and I saw that the unseen mattered more...when I chose to look at my work through the eyes of faith, when I made the dare to step out and trust His guidance...as hard as it was to press into faith when fear pushed hard into your heart and mine...His way won...it always does. 

All of you who wondered if the dare to "be" rather than to "do" would pay off...I've often questioned it too...but I don't anymore. Because He's too good and I am too loved to doubt His gracious leading...to resist the blessings because the road doesn't make sense...
I have seen Him part the waters of fear on too many occasions to think that He would lead into paths that aren't laden with peace. Yes...maybe I could've chosen the path more lucrative, more famous, more luring...but what would it have been worth if He hadn't gone before? How could I have walked in blessing if He had desired something else? I would rather choose His way than anyone else's...including my own. 

To all of you...and many others who told me these things over the years...

Thank you. 

Thank you for expressing your fears because in your doubt, I came to face my own and learn the art of living by faith. 
Thank you for being my critics...because without you, I would've continued to think that life is all about people always being for you...never learning that to persevere in the face of pressure brings character. 
Thank you for testing my choices by your harsh words. By wrestling with the sometimes painful responses you gave, I learned to ask God for miracles in impossibilities. I learned to pray through...I learned to give Him everything and trust Him to come through big...even when things stood in the way. 
Thank you for pushing me to the brink of dire frustration...because I gained much more than I lost because of it. I won't deny that wounds were acquired...but the scars now and the lessons that came with them are precious to me. They have become marks of God's love.  
Thank you to the people who left along the way...those who I thought were my friends but who proved to not be fellow travelers on the way to Grace...because of you, I learned to lean on God fully...and I came to appreciate those few intimate, kindred souls that have come along the way and to cherish them deeply as His gifts.
I am who I am today because God allowed you all to pass my way for a reason. As difficult as it was to hear your fears, your doubts...to field your questions and to struggle with your harsh comments...He redeemed it all in due time, and removed the sting of all the wounding so that I can now say to you all confidently: 
Thank you for your part in making this girl who she is...