Pat D

That’s easy – because He loves me!

I would have to say that ever since I was a child Jesus has always been part of my life. I may not have been as aware of his presence as I am now, but I know he has been with me.

The knowledge that he accepts me the way I am is a blessing. He does not pass judgment nor criticize me. However, I know he is there for me because I am sure that he causes me to stop and think about what I am going to say or do. There are times that I have obviously made wrong choices. I have not listened. Yet I know that he is there to help me pick up the pieces and put me back on track.

There was a very large, beautiful picture of angels that hung in the bedroom where I slept at my Grandmother’s home. It was where I would say my prayers. Many, many years ago my Aunt embroidered the illustrations and cross-stitched the verses to “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee Lord, my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray thee Lord, my soul to take. If I should live for other days, I pray thee Lord, to guide my ways.” I feel this last verse has always been part of my life. These verses hung in my bedroom for years and still hangs in one of our bedrooms today. I was taught also to thank the Lord for all the good things that had happened to me that day. I still often wake up during the night and thank him for all the good things I can think of or question why certain things happened. If I am quiet enough, often a calmness comes over me and I will fall back to sleep.

Ever since I was a child Jesus has been part of my life. I may not have been as aware of his presence as I am now, but I know he has been with me.

This is not to say that I do not tell him off. There are times that I really get mad or perhaps frustrated with me, others, or situations. Once I have unloaded my feelings, it often is like a heavy load has been lifted. Someone has listened! Many times, I have to say I’m sorry for blowing off steam, but thanks for listening.

One time I went to California with my Aunt to visit my Great Uncle. While we were there, we went to Knox Berry Farm, and while there we went to a Chapel. At the front of the Chapel were two big doors. When the lights went down, the doors began to open slowly and there appeared a life-sized Jesus. He talked to us, but the thing I remember the most was that he never took his eyes off of me. No matter how or where I looked, he was looking at me. For me as an eleven-year-old, it was eerie. Mainly because I had always been told that God knows everything. He watches over you and now, my, did I believe it.

I remember going to church with my Grandfather and Uncle one Sunday. After the service we all went outside to visit. After a while I realized that Grandfather was nowhere to be seen. I do not know why I decided to go back into the church, but I did. There he sat. When I got to him, he looked at me and said he was praying that someone would come and help him get up. He was sitting on the front pew and had nothing to help him get up except for his cane. I was able to give him a hand, and we walked out of the church together. I always wondered how I knew to back into the building. It was the intervening presence of the unknown.

Over the years since I was born, there have been many instances that I feel Jesus has been there for me. I am sure that he has intervened and saved my life.

There was a time when I turned away from anything religious. I was so angry at God for making me a widow at age 30. My friend and neighbor would say just talk to him. He will listen and it is okay to be angry. You have had a strong faith for many years, don’t give it up. After what seemed to be an eternity, I began to take her advice, one step at a time. I began to realize that God was still in my life and guiding me.

There was the time that both girls were home from college for the Christmas holiday. I was in the kitchen making preparations for the next day. The tears were rolling down my cheeks as I was thinking of my father who would not be with us that year. I surely missed him! Jim came in and said the girls were waiting for me. When was I coming in? It was a ritual that ever since becoming a member of their family, I read the Christmas Story from the Bible. Then they lit candles and put Jesus in the manger. Then they read “The Night Before Christmas.” By the time we were finished, I experienced a calmness and peace that came over me and enveloped me like a warm blanket. It was such a blessing when we visited our younger in her home for Christmas, not that many years ago, that she too was passing on this same ritual with her family.

Over the years since I was born, there have been many instances that I feel Jesus has been there for me. I am sure that he has intervened and saved my life. Because of this I often have felt that I was put here for a reason. I am not sure that I have finished the job that he has in mind for me. There always seem to be another opportunity for me to get involved in.

I have been truly blessed!

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