Courage is not the absence of fear - it is the knowledge that something is more important than fear. ~ Ambrose Redmoon
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; - 2 Corinthians 4:17 (KJV)
May 18, 2012
Amanda went down the steps of hers and Olivia's trailer. They had just gotten home from the high school and daycare, and Amanda found herself looking forward to a long weekend of staying at home. Doing housework, sure, but it was still at home.
She opened the mailbox and pulled out a stack of envelopes. Bill, bill, bi – Amanda froze. She stared at the name above the return address, hands shaking. A letter from him. From David.
What on earth?
She walked into the house, pulled out a chair at the Formica table in the kitchen, and sat, slowly opening the letter, as though she were afraid it would react.
God, what is this? she prayed, unfolding the letter.
A check fluttered onto the floor at her feet. She picked it up, unsure of what to make of this entire thing. Then her eyes registered the triple digit number staring up at her. 500 dollars!
Her thoughts mingled with her prayers. There has got to be some mistake. Lord, this cannot be from the David that I know.
She began to read the letter, and within the second paragraph, it was like God was contradicting her.
Recently I had a life changing experience. I began a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I've still got a lot to work on, but He's helping me to make sense of my life and take more responsibility for who I am as a man.
She heard within herself that still, small voice saying, "I can do it. I can change him."
She kept on reading.
For years, I've been afraid to admit that I have a daughter and I'm doing nothing to take care of her.
I see now that every child is a gift from God. I now know how wrong I've been and have asked God to forgive me for what I've done to you and Olivia. I'm writing this letter to tell you that I've decided to stop running.
If you're willing, I'd like to meet with you and begin the process of rebuilding your trust. In time, and with your permission, I hope to meet Olivia personally and let her know that she has a father who cares about her.
I have no other expectations. I'm only asking for a chance to be a part of Olivia's life. I'll wait for your response.
Until then, I have begun to pray for you and Olivia. I have enclosed a symbol of my commitment to begin doing my part to help with her care.
Amanda stared at the letter, than the check; and reread the letter a couple of times. She looked up, looking at, and then staring through, Olivia as the young girl colored at the old coffee table in the living room.
Lord, if this is Your will, show me.
May 20, 2012
Amanda knew that Olivia had developed a routine of sorts for Sunday nights, starting back in early March. After Amanda had tucked her in, turned off the light, and shut the door, Olivia would crawl out of bed and climb up to sit on the top of her toy box, staring out the window at the stars.
And she would say, "Starlight, star bright/ first star I see tonight/ I wish I may/ I wish I might/ have the wish/ I wish tonight. I wish that I might have my daddy."
Tonight was no exception as Amanda stood outside of her daughter's bedroom door and listened. Tonight, though, the childish words took on a new meaning, and Amanda realized something. As close as Olivia knew how, the four year old was praying. She was asking the sky – God – to give her daddy to her.
Amanda went into her bedroom and took the letter from David from the top drawer of her dresser. She sat on her bed, unfolding it, and reading it once again. What right did she have, honestly, to deprive Olivia of her father? None.
Olivia, in truth, was a gift that had been entrusted to her by the Lord, and Amanda knew, she just knew, that this was the will of the Lord. Olivia deserved to have David in her life. Simple.
Amanda bowed her head and prayed aloud. "God, I know now that this is what you want me to do. Help me. And help Olivia. And… and help David."
Amanda lifted her head, sighed, and got ready for bed. In her pajamas, she retrieved the laptop and sat cross-legged on her bed, back against the headboard, staring at the blinking cursor on the word document.
"God, give me the words I need." She prayed.
Then she put her hands to the keyboard and began to write her reply.
I was glad to hear that you had been saved. I, too, claim Jesus Christ as my Savior.
As for the rest of your letter,
Amanda took a deep breath.
Both of us know that it came as a surprise, but I am glad that you wrote me. I am willing to meet with you. I'd be okay with meeting at the Elements Coffee Company here in town on the twenty-fifth.
Olivia wants you in her life, but, honestly, I do not trust you. You're right in that, if you intend to regain my trust, it will be a process. But you know that.
As for our lives, we are doing well. I recently started a job as the librarian at Westover High School. Olivia, she prays for you. I am trying to do the same thing.
I am grateful for your prayers and the check, but I am confused. These aren't from the David that I knew. I am aware that that is what God is capable of, but I am hoping that you will be able and willing to explain yourself further when we meet.
I don't know what else I'm supposed to say, so I guess I'll leave it at that.
P.S. In case you were wondering, she has your name.
This is the second installment in my "Star" series. Please R&R! Thanks!:)