Did I Say Thank You

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good: his love endures forever.” 

1 Chronicles 16:34

An open letter to God.

Dear God,

I was just wondering…..Did I say thank you?  If not, please, please forgive me.  I know I can be a little self centered sometimes.   I’m quite sure I’ve found the time to complain about the least of things. I may have even complained more that 10 times in this past hour.  God, I may have even gone out of my way to start my day. There’s no doubt in my mind that I have spoken to everyone in my household, responded to text messages, and gone to the grocery store.  I’ve had conversations with people I barely know and some whom I rarely see.  I have even completed some tasks on my to do list.  But, Father, the one thing I cannot remember is…..Did I Say Thank You? Did I thank YOU, GOD??

Well if not, let me first start off by saying, Thank You for protecting us all as we slept last night.  Thank You for allowing us to wake up and see another morning. A new morning with new opportunities. Thank You for my senses which allowed me to feel the stiffness in my back from those little feet from a little person who has not started sleeping in her bed yet.  And God, while I’m on the subject, thank you for that little person and her older sister too, my children.  Thank you for the love,  joy, laughter, ups, and uh oh’s, “Oh No she didn’t (s)” of being a mother. They are my reminder to never give up.  Father, thank you for my husband, for whom you’ve made just for me.  Thank you for our friendship, our partnership, relationship, our marital bond of almost twenty years. Thank you for our parents, our siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Thank you for our health and strength. Thank you for our home.  Thank you for  your provision. Thank you for guiding us in the way to love one another and others. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for our Pastor, his family,  his vision which comes from you, and our church family.  Thank you for our place of worship. Thank You for forgiveness. Thank you for the beauty of this earth that you created.  Thank you for your Majesty. Thank you for never leaving me alone. Thank you for the ability to see the beauty in life even in the low moments.  Most importantly God, Thank you for your son, Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

There are so many more things that I can thank you for.  I honestly don’t understand how I could ever forget. To say thank you is IMPORTANT. Just as I’m upset or frustrated with my children for not saying thank you sometimes, I’m sure you feel the same way.  I hope I never forget again.  But thank you for being understanding, all knowing, wise, and compassionate.  

 

 Love,

Your Grateful Daughter 

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In This Skin

 

 

June is Vitiligo  Awareness Month.  For the 1% of people who are affected by this disease, June 25th is recognized as World Vitiligo Day.  Vitiligo is a hereditary condition in which you lose the pigment of your skin. Pigment causes skin color and is produced by cells called “melanocytes.” Another word for pigment is “melanin.”  There is no cure.

As I celebrated with others I could not help but reflect on my journey.  I was born with it.  No one knew I had vitiligo except my immediate family.  By the age of 4, my pigment resurfaced in the affected areas.  So throughout my childhood,  I was a beautiful brown skin tone.  Rich in melanin.  By the age of 22 I began to lose pigment in the corners of my eyes as well as my scalp.  Not remembering much about it I began to do research.

I can remember having a conversation with my fiance’ about what I would look like in the years to come.  I showed him pictures and gave him the option to move on without me.  His exact words were, “I love you beyond your skin.”  When I look at you I will always see the love of my life.”  At the age of 24 it began to spread rapidly.  I was pregnant with our first child.  By the age of 30, both eyes were white and my hands had large patches.

One day while grocery shopping a child looked at me and began to cry with fear.  Another instance, a little girl pointed at me and told her mother, “Mommy look! She’s a monster!”  Her mother began to laugh.  While I was working one day,   a customer refused to touch anything that I touched because he felt I may be contagious.

Moments like these would send me into depression.  I would feel ashamed and hurt. Some days I didn’t want to leave the house.    I used make-up as  a false sense of confidence.  Without it, I felt like those children saw me, a monster.

In the darkest moments, God always sent an angel.  A perfect stranger that would tell me I was beautiful.  A child that would tap me from behind and say, “HI” and hug me.  Or, someone who had a message for me from God.  The most profound and obvious angel stopped me one day and said, ”  God says the reason He made you this way was because He wanted everyone to see your light.  Your beautiful pure spirit He placed within you.  The only thing that matters to Him.  Your light could guide a ship through the darkest of water.  Never be ashamed of the way you look.  Everything I created on this earth is beautiful. He has shown me your spirit and it is amazing. “  She began to cry and hug me.   From that moment on I refused to be ashamed.

I walk with my head held high.  I still wear make-up because I like to.  Not because I feel I have to.  When I don’t wear makeup and people stare and point fingers I smile. They have the problem I don’t .  Children still stare and are afraid at times.  But I ease their fears with a smile and a kind “Hello how are you”.  My faith has brought me so far.  I hope this will help someone who felt the same way I did.  After all, we are God’s artwork on our skin.