We say them. Or sometimes they get caught in our throat.
Maybe we type them. Or maybe we change our minds and hit backspace until they all go away.
A few years ago, after working my way through a lot of loss, I decided that I would write a letter to each of my parents for Christmas. You see, they have all the material possessions they could ever want or need. But as parents, the one thing you always want is to know that your kids are okay, and that as much as you may feel like it, they want to know they didn't mess you up too badly.
I didn't have a perfect childhood. None of us did. But I had something so precious that it took me no longer being a child to figure it out. I had unconditional love. And that's as close to perfect as I think any of us can get.
Sure, I frustrated my parents. And I know that I disappointed them on more than one occasion. But the power in knowing that no matter what, I would always have their love is beyond measure.
I thanked them for doing their best as parents, husband and wife, and friends. I let them know that I know it was hard at times, and that I appreciated that they never let up, they kept pushing through whatever struggle it was that they were facing. How brave they were to always choose love, no matter how vulnerable it might make them. I really wanted to say these things to them, not to those who came to hear the eulogy.
There is such power in your words, whether spoken or written. And those who have been there should hear them.
This year has already been a year of loss and struggle for many of those around me. And I know that some of them feel as though they are walking alone. Maybe you feel like you're in this battle alone.
I promise you, you are not. There is someone who wants so badly to walk this with you. Jesus. There is such power in His name alone. And even more power in a relationship with the only one who can truly offer the world.
Friends, I pray that you would stand in His strength. He is ready and waiting to do great things for you. Things you can't even imagine. You just have to let Him.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for my parents. And I thank you for waiting by my side for so long, waiting for me to turn to you. I know that I've made the wrong choices time and again. Just like I know that you love me in a way that no one else can ever compare to. I pray that anyone who is feeling alone today would turn to you. That they would have the chance to feel your beautiful arms surround them with a peace and a strength beyond their wildest dreams. I pray that we would all turn to you for wisdom in these trying times, and that you would open our eyes to those around us. Let us use our words to build people up, rather than tear them down. And above all, let us walk in love, no matter how challenging that may be.