My phone rang as I was driving home last night. I had just finished working a little over 13 hours. The call was from my dad. I answered and he asked me if I had time for him to read something to me. I did, of course. I felt good, but I was weary and in need of some encouragement. His timing was perfect. Below is what he read to me. It's a letter he wrote to me in 1987.
December 5, 1987
I felt like writing you this morning. Right now I don’t even know exactly what I should write about. But I am confident that God will help me write something that will help you.
One thing I already know that I want to tell you is that I love you so very much. In fact I love you so much that sometimes it hurts—especially when I know you are hurting. Right now I know you are hurting deeply, and I want to reach out and help.
The fact that you and I are a lot alike has two opposite effects: negatively, we tend to clash; positively, we are able to sensitively sympathize with each other.
You must resist the urge to pull into a shell. I know by experience that that is what you feel like doing right now. You have a beautiful personality and you need to unwrap it and let it glow. Oh, I know that pulling into a shell is the safe thing to do. That will insure that you are not hurt again. But it will also rob you of a beautiful life.
Life is not always (or even often) safe. Sometimes it even gets scary. Remember the two-page Phillips Petroleum ad I showed you the other night?: TRUE CHARACTER IS REVEALED WHEN YOU COME FACE TO FACE WITH ADVERSITY. The ad goes on to say: “Sometimes you’re confronted with a situation that can seem overwhelming at first. How it turns out is solely determined by how you respond. And how you respond is a reflection of how you believe in yourself.”
There is so much life to be lived that you cannot afford to squander it on useless regrets and hatred. God has a splendid future for you. At this moment He has that special someone in His mind. Don’t allow anything or anyone cheat you out of that.
At times life does not even seem worth living. Many of us have had that fleeting thought. But we must always instantly reject such a notion. Life IS worth living. Life is so valuable that we must take it by the lapels and live abundantly and joyously.
More than anything else you probably feel like you want someone to hold you and caress you and make you feel safe and loved. Maybe you feel that you are too grown-up for Mother and Daddy to do that. Well, you’re not.
Be patient and prayerful. God will give you a husband who will love you and make you feel like he’s the luckiest man in the world to be married to you.
What you are experiencing must not be wasted in merely feeling sorry for yourself. Ring out of what is happening to you all that’s in it. Someday you will be able to comfort others with the comfort wherewith you have been comforted.
The memories will brood over your mind for a while. But eventually, with prayer and the support that you have from a family that loves you and believes in you, you will triumph.
So many thoughts ran through my mind as I listened to my dad read. I remember receiving this letter from him. I was 19 years old and a year and a half out of high school. I remember the deep hurt I felt and how I was trying to work my way through it. I remember feeling encouraged then when I read his letter. The letter with my memories attached encouraged me again last night. Maybe you're hurting. If you are, maybe this letter from my daddy will encourage you as it did me. I'm sharing it with you because I hope it will.