Friday, August 12, 2011

Showers

At times I am overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude of such magnitude
that I am unable to express it even in writing. Tonight is one of
those nights. I do not know why, I only know it is so. I also know
that I must try.

As I dressed after my shower, the thought came to my mind that I have
always felt as if God had favored me in some way. I don't have any
idea how or why that would be so. Part of me said that it was arrogant
to think that way. I'm not special! But with that thought came
another. I understood that this is why, when things go so very wrong,
that I feel abandoned and rudderless. Where did God go? Why would he
suddenly turn away when I need him most? No answer came but what did
come was an awareness of how very blessed I have been, that, despite
my feeling of abandonment I was not alone.

I went outside to sit on the porch and watched the darkening sky. I
thought of all that I have been blessed with and found that for once,
I was unable to think of how to write what I was feeling.

From the moment of my birth there is a path of blessings so great that
it astounds me. I looked back over a life of so much turmoil that I'd
never want to live that life again. I was not a wanted child. I was an
"accident" conceived by a young woman who never thought such a thing
could happen to her and would not be inconvenienced by it. I came home
from the hospital to her parents home and never left. I lived with a
Godly grandmother and a backslidden grandfather who drank every
paycheck. They struggled to support two illegitimate children, giving
up any thought of retirement and a life of their own. There are
virtually no happy memories of Christmas or birthdays or any holiday.
Still we were loved. And there was a constant presence.

Never did I want for the necessities. I had food, shelter, and
clothing. I also had this huge family of aunts, uncles, and cousins
that loved me. I was not popular in school. I did not earn high honors
until my 30's. I was quiet among strangers and spoke only when spoken
to. But there always seemed to be people who loved me everywhere I
went. I was liked by most who met me and it was obvious. I never
understood it. It still baffles me. And those who disliked me gave
insane reasons... my hair, my clothes, my accent, my color, my
birthplace.

I practically stumbled across a husband weeks before Mama died. And he
was totally smitten with me until the moment of his death. For 35
years I had, for the most part, the life I'd prayed for. But there are
dark days throughout all those years. All the while blessings poured
in from unexpected directions, in surprising ways-odd events that
should not have happened but did, children who should not have been
born but were, places I traveled I never dreamed of, and people I met
that I can't imagine not knowing.

I had clothing, food, and shelter and knew a circle of people who
spanned the globe. And still blessings came. An income that would
help me live and even help people I loved when they needed it.

Even so, over the course of my life I have lost more than you would
guess, parents, a child, a spouse, the huge family has all but
disappeared. There have been times that I was in such a dark place
that I could not find my way and despaired of any help. But always, a
door opened and light poured in and a hand was extended. It should not
have been so but it was.

Tonight, sitting on my porch, with darkness around me I was faced with
the stunning realization that I could not even begin to count it all.
The scope of my life and the sheer volume of blessing overwhelmed me.
I could not speak words that would adequately express how very
thankful I am for all that I have been blessed with. It simply baffles
me.

I am not sorry for all that I have lived through. I've always
accepted, at times angrily, that life was not predictable and that
some times it would be hard. I am only sorry I did not live with
greater vision. That I did not see, when I was young, the magnitude
and quantity of blessings falling at my feet. I am sorry that I was
not more grateful for what I had before I lost it. Perhaps the path I
walked through the dark places would not have been so miserable had I
looked in a different direction.

I have not done great things. There are things of which I am ashamed,
things I don't even want to remember but can't forget. I have not
changed nations. I have not lead a million souls to God, maybe not
even one. I do not believe I have influenced anyone. I do not possess
great wealth, intellect, or talents but still a voice tells me I am
favored by God. I do know why I feel this. It is not something I have
always been aware of. I only know there is no reasonable explanation
for all that I have seen, for all that I have been given, for all I
have survived.

There are no words to express my gratitude. Were the world to end
tomorrow I would be able to say God has been beyond good to me. I am
so very blessed. And perhaps the very nature of God is best described
when I say that I don't know why.

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