Once upon a time, a long time ago... there was a very sad, lonely teenage girl who wanted to die. She prayed and wished at night that she would not wake up in the morning. She flirted with thoughts of walking off high places or stealing a prescription. But, she was also afraid. She was afraid of a God who might not forgive her if she died at her own hand. This girl was anorexic for a time, but no one noticed an already thin girl growing thinner.
Her first year of high school she met a girl named Jennie. Jennie was always sweet, very funny and nice to be with. Jennie invited this girl to church. This girl's life changed forever that night because she heard of a God that loved unconditionally, a God that promised to never forsake her-even if her parents did. She asked Jesus into her heart and her future was much different and her story forked in such an unexpected path because Jennie was faithful to be a light in this girl's darkness.
Jennie had a family. Her family was loving and very funny and opened their home and hearts to this girl. Jennie's mother was a Christian "June Cleaver", and for the first time this girl began to see the opportunity and privilege of ministering through mothering.
This girl grew up, still loving her Lord, and married a wonderful strong Christian man. Not the abusive, lying louse that should have been her statistical lot. She found mercy in thousands of ways.
Angel bear is the quiet, fun way that this girl seeks to bless the friend that saved her life. Angel bear sends Jennie notes and cards once in a while. Sometimes just a card with a Bible verse, sometimes a note and a copy of an article that is fun or thoughtful. Sometimes Angel Bear sends postcards from unexpected, far-away places. This is the most fun of all, because Jennie knows that the girl never travels. The best fun of all is getting people to take Angel Bear with them on trips and having a picture of Angel Bear in an exotic place taken, to send to Jennie.
The girl does travel now, something she never expected to do, being the homeschool mom to four children. She travels sometimes, and takes Angel Bear with her.
The picture above is of Angel bear on the great wall of China. I didn't take it, my sister-in-law, who is a very talented photographer was gracious to take the bear with her and snap a picture for me. Just thought I would share.
Where did He go in the middle of her pain?
Ask me how I know there's a God up in the Heavens
She said His mercy is bringing her life again
So ask me how I know...
...Mercy brings life...
-Amy Grant, "Ask me"
There's no one more thankful to sit at the table
than the one who best remembers hunger's pain
and no heart loves greater than the one that is able
to recall the time when all it knew was shame
The wings of forgiveness can take us to heights never seen
but the wisest ones, they will never lose sight of where they were set free
Love set them free
So remember your chains
remember the prison that once held you
before the love of God broke through
Remember the place you were without grace
when you see where you are now
remember your chains
and remember your chains are gone
-Steven Curtis Chapman, "remember you chains"