Sunday, October 17, 2010

Letter from my Grandmother

This is a letter from my Nana, sent to my mother after my mother had a miscarriage and was despairing of ever having children. I often think of the generations of praying women from whom I came, and what an impact that had on me--the firstborn who, after four miscarriages (one, my twin), finally arrived.

February 16, 1960

Darling daughter—

Your precious personal letter is here and I appreciate your confidence in me. Right now I feel like I’m more in a position than ever to offer you encouragement drawn from vital experience. Coping with near-tragedy and the incidental problems—plus anxiety over you, Tom, Dave and Dad nearly “got me down.” But once more, and more truly than ever before, having obeyed the Lord (as hard for me) and having “cast my burdens” upon Him—help and restoration has been coming in from every hand.

I was shown, in a most emphatic way (in the night-watches) that there is no substitute for plain, old-fashioned courage and that if we have little of that by nature, we may have all we need by simply asking for it and believing it will be given…..

I read, somewhere, such a good slant on the verse “ask and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” The writer said that asking is primary, simple, effective only so far; seeking is asking plus effort; knocking is asking plus effort plus persistence. “Pay without ceasing,” St. Paul said. And I like to remember that he, too, had to be literally thrown, prostrated, knocked down before he could say “Lord, what wilt Thou have me do” and later that wonderful “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content”…..

Dear one, do not despair of receiving answers to your problems. The answers are all there, just tune in on them. This is not Pollyanna stuff. It is tried and true. Remember we are not promised “joy without sorrow, peace without pain.” Even our Lord Himself was not given that. Be we are promised comfort, sympathy, courage, and the “peace which passeth understanding”—if we believe and obey.

Never be ashamed of your tears and tensions, dear—only if you hang on to them as I’ve seen many do. Even our Lord was “agitated” (Moffat…) at Gethsemane, and in anguish. But after the cross, the resurrection!

I couldn’t offer a person like you pious platitudes. These are truths—the “word made flesh”…

P.S. Do not worry about the $500. Don’t need it now, anyway. The “way did not open” (Quaker) for the apt…..Glad you are going to get part-time job. You need to get out of house and be active.

PSS I’m so proud of you how you have taken your “low blow” and anxiety. It pears you have already “tuned in” or whatever analogy you like!

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