Gifts I Didn’t Ask for in My E-mail
Today in my e-mail, gifts I didn’t ask for arrived just when I felt a less than bright bunch of memories and thoughts sweep in.
This time of year, what I think about isn’t always . . . light and bright: memories overrun.
I needed to corral them; rein them in and sift wisely through what kept popping up.
A daily email from Frederick Buechner — with my emphases — gave me some good guardrails for today.
I didn’t ask for it but I sure am glad they sent it.
I AM INCLINED to believe that God’s chief purpose in giving us memory is to enable us to go back in time so that if we didn’t play those roles right the first time round, we can still have another go at it now. We cannot undo our old mistakes or their consequences any more than we can erase old wounds that we have both suffered and inflicted, but through the power that memory gives us of thinking, feeling, imagining our way back through time we can at long last finally finish with the past in the sense of removing its power to hurt us and other people and to stunt our growth as human beings.
The sad things that happened long ago will always remain part of who we are just as the glad and gracious things will too, but instead of being a burden of guilt, recrimination, and regret that make us constantly stumble as we go, even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with them, a source of wisdom and strength for the journey that still lies ahead.
It is through memory that we are able to reclaim much of our lives that we have long since written off by finding that in everything that has happened to us over the years God was offering us possibilities of new life and healing which, though we may have missed them at the time, we can still choose and be brought to life by and healed by all these years later.
-Originally published in Telling Secrets
Sharing those Gifts
Of everything I have received through the program, a way to handle what I could never control has been the best gift — and if I could offer one gift to all those I know and love is the hope that God is infinite and personal — and persistent. (Matthew 11:28-30)
Program people have told me a lot of things that turned out to be true truths– If you could tell someone something about recovery you have found true, please share.
Happy Christmas, dear Reader!
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful