For a little over two years now I have been writing a series of posts on my Facebook page entitled ‘Dear Christy.’ They usually include a personal message that coincides with a scripture, sometimes coupled with a picture or quote I come across that speaks to me. Many times I have had people express thanks for these little tidbits of inspirations and several have asked what exactly is the ‘Dear Christy’ series about. Well, here is the best explanation I can give you of what provoked the first post and why they come on a continual, random basis.
(Warning: this may be a little lengthy so grab a cup of coffee, a glass of sweet tea, a shot of tequila – whatever suits your fancy – and get comfortable….;-) )
Very early in life I had felt the sting of rejection. While I was an infant being formed in my mother’s womb, my father rejected me. As a little girl there were countless times he verbally voiced his hatred and anguish over the fact that I belonged to him; words of scorn, disapproval, even demands of me to not use his last name. The physical pain he inflicted at times from alcohol induced rages was tough but it scarcely compared to the deeply imbedded wounds his words left on my innocent heart. I grew up feeling ugly, unwanted, ashamed of who I was and unworthy of love. Those feelings followed me on into my teenage and young adult years, leaving me with an intense yearning to find acceptance and affirmation in the eyes of a man. Relationships came and went and the failure of a 12 year marriage left me devastated. It seemed no matter what relationship I found myself in, eventually it would fall apart and I would find myself alone, again.
It was Fall of 2012 and life was wearing me out. I was at a place where I felt emotionally and spiritually spent. Being the only parent to 4 children, filling the shoes of both mother and father left me overwhelmed (my children lost their dad in June of 2011 after a 3 year battle with colon cancer). I was longing for someone to fill the need that ached so deeply in my soul. Countless mornings I would wake before the sun arose feeling destitute and alone, an emptiness that at some moments felt as vast as the Grand Canyon. I would cry out to God in desperation, wondering what was so wrong with me. I spent every hour of every day tending to someone else’s needs. Whether it was my children (and other people’s children that I loved like my own), my employer, my friends or my significant other – my days were literally spent at the service of others. I wasn’t bitter, just broken and lonely and I struggled to understand why someone couldn’t be there for me when I needed it? I crawled into bed on a lonely Wednesday night questioning God like a ferocious investigator. Why couldn’t someone hold me and let me know everything would be ok? Why couldn’t someone just love me back and make an extra effort to show it. A text? A call? A card? Anything that showed I was worth the effort, that proved to me that I was loved.
Thursday, November 29, 2012 was as normal as any other day. The usual 6 AM alarm was set, but some time way before then I felt a nudge to wake up. At first I thought one of my children had come into my room to wake me but when I opened my eyes, there was no one there. Ugh! I wanted to squeeze in every moment of sleep that I could before I had to get up, so I closed my eyes, breathed a heavy sigh, and then I heard as clear as anything I had ever heard in my life. “Dear Christy, I love you tremendously and don’t ever forget it!” Holy snap! My eyes flung open knowing I would see someone standing over my bed, but again there wasn’t anyone. I sat up looking around and heard Him speak again. “Dear Christy, I love you tremendously and don’t ever forget it!” Oh mercy! The words resonated in my spirit! My heart was overwhelmed and my soul rejoiced.
The magnificent God of Heaven, Creator of all things, Master of the universe and the Redeemer of my soul flooded my room with His presence! He had heard my desperate pleas and answered them in a way that I never imagined. A love note straight from His lips penetrated the depths of my being. He hadn’t sent another person to relay His message, no, instead He had showed up in person! He had traveled from the portals of eternity, penetrated time and space, and came to my bedside to speak the words my soul so yearned to hear. As I sat there weeping in awe and wonder something inside of my lonely heart broke and I knew that as the sun came up over the horizon, my life was going to be forever changed. For 17 years, from the moment God had answered my bodacious challenge to prove to me He was real I clinged to the crazy notion that Jesus was not only my savior, but that God the Father was my friend. Over the years I have been blessed to experience many facets of who He is. I can share countless occasions that I’ve worshipped and fellowshipped with Him as the Almighty God who sits high and lofty on his throne. Times that He sat with me as my teacher and opened His word up to my heart. Times I’ve heard His voice and felt His guidance as my Shepherd; times I’ve witnessed as He worked miracles right before my eyes as the all-powerful One (I even saw Him take the stars out of the sky and put them back into place three times! True story!). But on this crispy autumn morning He became someone brand new to me. He became my companion, the One who would fill my lonely heart and proclaim my worth to me. The One who made the most extreme effort over two thousand years ago to show me how much I meant to Him and who would daily reaffirm I was worthy, I was valuable, I was beautiful and I was loved. I knew this experience wasn’t just for me alone and had to be shared with others, thus began the ‘Dear Christy’ love letter series from God to me.
It wasn’t long after this moment that I found myself, by God’s guidance, walking as a single woman for the first time in many, many years. The thought of not being in a relationship of some sorts had always terrified me but I can say now that the reality of it was overwhelmingly refreshing and revealing. I have always been a person that has been driven by emotion. I feel everything! Most folks can walk outside and see a full moon and appreciate the beauty in it – me on the other hand can walk outside and be captivated as I feel the awesomeness of it run through every fiber of my being. I embrace the ocean’s waves as he dances precariously over my bare feet. I shed a tear at the sight of a magnificent mushroom growing gracefully along the forest floor. I fall in love with a stranger who shares their story with me. I cry at sad movies, happy movies, dumb movies. I remember once my pastor told me that I was the “most emotionally expressive and needy person he had ever met!” I wasn’t sure at the time if that was a compliment or an insult but regardless I knew it was the truth. Although I don’t need a man to mow my yard or wash my car, the insatiable desire I had to have one look at me with admiration and approval was ridiculous. This need to fill my emotional tank had driven me into several wrong relationships and honestly there isn’t a man this side of Mars that can keep my tank full! However, there IS a God who holds the universe in place that became my partner and my closest friend. Isaiah 54:5 even goes as far as to say “For your Maker is your husband, the Lord Almighty is his name, the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.” I had trusted Him for years for healing, for provision, for strength, for guidance but to trust Him enough to fully surrender and walk alone with Him as my mate…cough cough….really? Yet I took the plunge, the ‘omg I can’t believe I am going to do this but I am’ leap of faith and I can testify that God has never failed me. When I turned to Him and Him alone for comfort, He not only filled the abyss that loneliness had taken abode in for so many years, He also mended my broken heart and filled the cracks and crevices with a peace and trust in Him that is immeasurable! I would call out to Him and he was quick to answer. (He has even fixed my gas grill, unstopped my toilet and fixed my brakes – more true stories! I swear!) He has changed me from being that girl who would feel alone in a crowd to the one who loves to venture out alone with only Him and His creation.
Two years later the ‘Dear Christy’ series still comes on a perpetual basis. There are some days the revelation in His simple letter is just for my heart, and there are other days when there is someone within my social network connections who needs a comforting reminder – I never know, I just post!. I do know though that with each moment when He speaks those two little words – Dear Christy – my heart leaps within me and I know He is getting ready to say something to me that will change me. It has been an amazing (and ongoing – He isn’t finished with me yet!) transformation! For the first time in 40+ years I not only love God, but I love myself and I love the life He blesses me with. There is a passion in my heart that cannot be tamed and I want others to know just how very much God loves them and values them too!
(insert note: In June of 2011 my dad accepted Jesus as his personal savior! There is never anyone that is without hope! ‘Hurt people hurt people’ but God forgives us all and there is no condemnation in the chains that used to bind him.)