Counting blessings are most important, I believe, when we are in the midst of a dark time or season. Please don't misunderstand. . .I'm not saying it's easy or always natural but I want it to be. To continue my thankfulness, I'm trying to get 1,000 gifts listed, I will get back on track today.
37. For people who have demonstrated their love to us through this adoption process. It seems like it should be an easy road but it can sometimes feel lonely or like you are on the path but on the path with strangers, who have felt the same calling.
38. For the shelter I have, which is not necessarily the shelter I want, but it does the job!
39. For godly men and women, who walk the walk, who encourage us when we are in the midst of places and people that aren't focused on God's call, and who give us the courage to continue walking the walk as well.
This was true about a dear co-worker and friend that I lost this week. His name was Doug. You know when you meet those rare people who change the face of Christianity, who exemplify how you wish Christians were so that perceptions would change, who are who they are in and out of the church building? That was Doug. Not only was he a pastor, but he was a behavior coach who worked with children, children that sometimes struggled to keep it together, and he did so with the greatest patience I have ever witnessed. You see, I'm not patient, and I deeply admire people who are. He could soothe you with his voice in the midst of any crisis. Don't get me wrong, he wasn't perfect and He's not Jesus, but his voice was always how I "hear" Jesus's voice during the storm when the disciples were panicked. A voice saying, "No worries! The King of the Universe has this one covered! Trust Him!" However, he had reasons to be worried. Even when life was cruel and his family was hurting, his faith did not waiver. He was a testimony to an entire community! In addition, he spoke the truth. He didn't back down on his beliefs just because it might be uncomfortable, but he was strong in his beliefs. However, he expressed his beliefs with deep love and respect for those around him. At the end of the school year, I had announced that I would be leaving this school that I have loved for 13 years in order to be on the same schedule as my children. I hate change!! To say the least, it was hard to keep the tears back in those last few days, but he greeted me with a smile when I entered the building on one particularly hard day and was sorry I was going but with this amazing, encouraging attitude indicated that great things awaited me. There was just joy for what was happening in my life. Thank you, Doug, for being real, for speaking Christ through who you were, for showing us all how to love kids with unconditional love while growing them into stronger people, and for being a "hero" at our school and in the community. I know you wouldn't have wanted to be called a hero (most real ones don't), but you were! And, now you are face to face with your Hero and mine! Can't wait to be there with you! What a joyous day that will be!