Really. I am blessed. There is absolutely no way I could have survived the last 9 months without the guiding hand of my God. I am so grateful to Him. And, tonight, I feel compelled to say to Him -- and my faithful friends who have been his hands and feet -- a simple thank you.
Thank You for covering every bill and every need. I worried (I worry), but I never needed (need) to.
Thank You for Stacy, who listened, and encouraged, and pushed and stretched and listened and answered several phone calls a day and listened and listened and listened -- and never judged. Did I mention answering EVERY emotionally exhausting phone call? For being my communicator. For standing in the gap for me, and caring for me like no one else could. I owe you my life. And for Blake and Kaylee who put up with Stacy while she was caring for me.
Thank You for my counselor. I could never have picked anyone so perfect. She was honest and fair. She listened. She NEVER let me wallow in self pity. She NEVER told me what to do. She taught me how to think. She is teaching me how to live. She suffered with me through an anxiety attack, and offered her services gratis when I needed her the most. She is compassionate and unaffected by my crazy stories.
For my parents, who are just grateful to have their daughter back. Who worked tirelessly to help me get my house ready for sale. Who have not let the stigma of a divorced child keep them from loving me. Who have listened and counseled only when I've asked. Who have not pushed me to do anything I am not ready to do. I am grateful for our renewed friendship.
For my sister and her family, who have been a safe haven -- and a source of laughter. And, who now, put up with the reality of Tim living nearby. For Grace and Hannah who ask questions honestly and receive honest answers with the same openness. For being with me during the divorce. I couldn't have gone through it without all of you. For Matt packing the truck.
For Mark, one of the most trustworthy, deeply caring and kind people I know. Who has watched me fall down and offered a hand. Who has tapped a tender place deep within me and refused to let me give into self criticism. Who has helped me understand grace. Who has challenged me to live with honesty. Who has been an incredible friend without judgment or fear. Who unpacked the truck. Who taught me to fire my first gun. Who has watched out for my safety at every turn.
For Valerie who gave me a safe home, food and wine when I literally only had 50 bucks in my pocket. Who has simply loved me before the divorce and after. Who helped me decorate my home to get it ready to sell. For Steve who let me invade his home and be an emotional girl -- and who reminded me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
For Robin and Clark. Who knew you would play the role you have? I guess God did. For talking to Tim. For not taking sides. For hosting me and my friends in Columbus. For filling in the gaps.
For my boss and my job. Neither of which I like. Both of which have allowed me to grieve and heal.
For my Taylor girlfriends. For flowers and e-mails. For compassion. For lack of judgment and open hearts. For listening and crying and just letting me be. God, we had no idea all we would go through together when we met on a warm summer night in 1990. But, I am grateful that You handpicked each one.
For the Keeley/Marshall clan who will always be my second family. For welcoming me right after my separation. For visiting in Minneapolis. For Erin's intentional visit to my new home with my new name in my new life.
For every person who may not have "heard it" directly from me, but didn't get angry -- or feel slighted. Who rose above personal hurt and recognized that I love them -- I just have to take care of myself first.
For every person who heard it and offered grace and compassion. Their judgment was my biggest fear.
Father, You have held my hand through every moment. You know it all -- the good and the bad. Thank You for teaching me more about your grace. Thank You for these angels of mercy who have carried me. I am not worthy of your personal, intentional, spot-on care for me. It is because of who You are that I am becoming really Yours. I do not deserve You, but I need You.