A prayer of hope, for Stephanie
I am going to do a little scattershooting this week, and I want to start off by asking every one of you to pray for one of our own.
A car wreck a few days ago left a local teenager in a hospital, clinging to life. A lot of you know this young lady, Stephanie Studdard, or maybe you know her mom Candice, or her dad Steven from out at the Depot, or perhaps her aunt, Kim Barnes.
Stephanie is a top-class athlete. She is a lot of other things too, but most of all, she is somebody’s little girl. I want you to think how you would be feeling today if it was your little girl that was in a bed at the local ICU, fighting for life, undergoing multiple surgeries, and simply, not her usual, normal happy self.
It is a harrowing thought is it not?
So, before you do anything else today, say a prayer for Stephanie and her family, and the family will much appreciate it.
The world we are living in is challenging enough without tragedies like Stephanie’s coming along. It seems that everyone is dealing with something extra because of the virus. Life is hard enough without quarantines, sick children and job losses.
Usually, this is where I would come in with some word of hope, but this week, I am just not feeling it very much.
Next Thursday will be my 32nd anniversary, and I will spend it with my memories. Memories are a funny thing to me these days. Some of the best ones make me cry, and that seems a little weird. Looking back over the 30 years I had with my PJ, there were a lot of great memories, and some not so great.
I imagine all of you are tired of hearing about my wife’s passing, and I guess if you are, you should probably stop reading about now. The loss of my wife changed me forever. There is a lack of deep faith, there is a tinge of doubt, and there is an anger that I can’t seem to shake.
That was compounded this past week or so with the loss of my mother. Those that know me well will know that my mother and I have had a strained relationship for a long while. What most do not know is that for all of those 20 years, I missed my mom. Not having her as a part of my life left a hole in my heart. She was not there when I made publisher, or when my kids had achievements, or when I needed her most while sitting in an ICU watching Patty breathe her last breath. Those are the kinds of days when a boy really needs his mom, and she wasn’t there, at my own choosing.
We had my mother cremated last week. There was no service to go to, no flowers to be arranged, no graveside words from a preacher. There is only loss, bitterness, and more pain.
Now, I say all of that to say this. Don’t be like me.
If you have family disputes, or you lost your best friend, or maybe you aren’t getting along with someone else that used to be close, fix it. Or at least, make the attempt. I recognize that sometimes the other person makes it impossible. But at least, make the attempt.
It is so easy now to communicate. Send a text, send a Facebook message, make a phone call, or hey, write a letter and send it in the mail, but at least try to mend that fence. Making the attempt will at least let you know in your heart that you tried, even if your attempt was ignored or rebuffed.
Bitterness and hate will eat you up inside. It gnaws at your heart a little at a time until there is a hole that often cannot be repaired. I know because I have mine.
Okay now, here is the hope part. There is hope, and the hope is found in the one that gives the best kind of love. Even in our darkest days, He is there to wrap His arms around us and give us that hug we might need from a brother or a sister, a friend, or even…a mom.
All you have to do is ask Him.