Preparing to leave for Korea, I was given two very special gifts that have been extremely important to my emotional well being. The first was a stack of letters my stepmother wrote for me. She took the time to sit down and thoughtfully pray through every letter she wrote. She spoke to the Lord and asked him to give her things to pray about each month. In each letter, she has written telling me exactly what she is praying for each month. In January, I received a letter telling me she would be praying for safety and discernment. In February, I opened a letter telling me she would be praying for the man who would one day hold my heart, and in March I read that she would be praying for my testimony. I anxiously await the first day of each month knowing I will soon be able to open her next letter. Each month, the words she has written have pulled on my heart and spoken to me in such a special way.
It has been such an encouragement to know she is praying for me each day that I am here. The second gift I have cherished, is similar to the one I just described. My former roommate, and beautiful friend Vanessa took the time to write out notes for me to open on certain occasions. I got a card to open on the airplane, a card to open on Christmas, one for my birthday and two that I didn’t realize would be so important. The first was a card to open when I was feeling sad, depressed or alone and the second to open when I was feeling angry, frustrated or annoyed. Everyone warned me I would hit a bump in the road when I felt overwhelmed with homesickness. That moment came sooner than I expected and in one of my moments of feeling completely alone and abandoned by so many people I thought were my friends, I opened the card indented for moments of feeling sad, alone or depressed. When I opened her card she had included a silly joke about an Elephant stepping on grapes that literally made me laugh out loud and was just what I needed.
For months, I have been staring at the angry, frustrated and annoyed card wondering when I would reach a point when I needed to open it and today was that day. Today, I experienced every emotion possible. The chain of emotions I was feeling ended in frustration and anger as I was ripping up the very sacred words I had taken the time to write for someone very special to me. I realized today the words I had written and cherished would never be read and I was overwhelmed with hurt and pain. As I was leaving to go back to school I saw the words “Do not open unless feeling: angry, frustrated or annoyed.” I hoped there would never be another moment when I felt this mad, so I opened Vanessa’s card to find exactly the words I needed to hear.
Her words reminded me of how blessed I am to have people in my life who know my heart and know me enough to speak to my emotional needs. Vanessa and I haven’t spoken every day, not even every month since I’ve been here, but her discernment when writing this letter to me was spot on and it really helped put things in perspective.
I once watched a movie called “The Letter Writer,” about an old man who randomly picked names from the phone book and wrote encouraging words as they came to his mind. Ever since I saw that movie, I have been inspired an encouraged to write to people as they are laid on my heart. I hope by writing this blog, it will encourage more people to be like the Letter Writer’s I have mentioned in my blog, and the man in the movie. There is power in the words of others. Your words can move someone, they can help lift them up, they can put a smile on their angry face and they can bring tears of joy as their face floods with tears from hurt and pain. If as you read this, you are thinking of someone who could use some encouragement in their life, take the time to write them a note and help make their day a little brighter.