Friday, 24 January 2014

Gifts by Susan L.

   A friend blessed me with a daily devotional, A Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Another blessed me with the loan of the book by the same name. Hmmm. I think the Lord is saying something here...I'm not normally one to peruse a devotional but they have played a part in my life.
  I have an old one, picked up at a church sale: Streams in the Desert Vol. 1. It was last published in the 1960's. I rarely crack the cover but it holds another story of God's provision.
  In 2007, I was terribly ill. My mind had disappeared into the mists of sleeplessness, constant panic attacks, and thoughts of suicide. In a frenzy, but with the help of a friend who had "coincidentally" stopped by, we called a crisis line. That person suggested she take me to the hospital. I frantically threw some clothes and a few other personal items into a bag not really knowing what would happen.  
  I picked up Streams before discarding the notion of taking it with me and setting it back on the shelf. My mind was not functioning very well. Reading, I knew, was beyond me at that point. Although my Bible went with me as a talisman of faith. So did my teddy bear. Just having those two things with me brought comfort.
  I ended up being admitted into our local hospital, waiting for a bed to become available at a psychiatric facility. I know people visited. Who they all were, I don't remember. I have very little recollection of what was said, if anything. I was pretty sick.
  There are only a few memories that stick out about that time. A woman from my writer's group came in. In her hand she held a photocopy of that day's devotional from her copy of Streams. I remember clearly her saying that the Lord wanted me to have that page. She was right. I don't remember what the devotional was about, I only remember that it filled me with peace. It was exactly what I needed to hear: I was just where the Lord wanted me to be.
  It's also where I discovered that my art could be my voice.
  It's clearer than yesterday.
  As for A Thousand Gifts, I am taking it with me. I fancy sitting on the beach in the morning and reading a chapter before I start my walk.
  Thank You, Lord, that You are a God of second chances. Thank You for helping us learn obedience and the skills to listen for Your will in our lives. Thank You for Your willingness to lovingly tap me with a baseball bat on the head every once in a while. I know I need it! Amen
  "And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." Jn 20:30-31

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