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My blessings

Psalm 23:1-6
1The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou annointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

My blessings have come in the form of small trials.

Last July, one of my teenage daughter's schoolmates lost control of her car in a light misty rain and slammed into my car. Neither of us suffered anything more than a few cuts, bruises and cracked bones. Our cars were total losses, but what is a car when our lives had been spared.

In September, our land contract holder became angry with my husband and I because I had missed a homeowner's insurance payment (which was reinstated immediately upon my learning I had missed the payment) and his belief that my teenage children and I had purposely neglected to pass along his phone messages to my husband (this hadn't happened). His concern about the insurance is understandable. I had caused strife and because of this strife, he had reason to reconsider his agreement to sell us the house. He hasn't taken any action toward that end, so far.

When I find myself worrying about this mortal man's "power" to end our dream of home ownership, I am lovingly reminded that it is only God's authority and power that I should be concerned with. This man can take our home from us, but we will always be able to lean on our provider, the LORD.

Also in September, my 15 year old daughter came to me and told me about something odd that had occured when she spent the night with one of her friends. Her friend's father had told my daughter that his wife had talked to me earlier in the week (this wasn't true). I had, supposedly, told her to "watch out for my daughter because she's a hotpants". ??? I didn't understand why this mother would tell her husband a lie like that, but both my daughter and I knew something just wasn't right. She knew I would never say anything like that. I told my daughter that she could visit this friend on occasion, but would not be allowed to spend the night with her anymore.

From that point on, every time I allowed her to visit this friend, I would remind her to pay attention to things that were said or done. Each time she came home, she would tell me the innocent details of her visit.

In November, while cleaning house, I found a letter from this man addressed to my daughter. Usually I respect my daughter's privacy, but she had given me reason not to this time, so I decided to search her room where I found six more letters from this man. There was nothing suggestive written in the letters, but they were inappropriate. They were very complimentary toward her while, at the same time, harshly critical of his wife and his life. Each letter progressively and subtly manipulated her trust and self-esteem.

I asked my daughter why she had come to me with her concerns before, but hadn't mentioned the letters. She said she was afraid that I would not allow her to visit her friend anymore and didn't want to hurt her friend's feelings. She and her friend believed he was just trying to be friendly with his daughter's friends and there was nothing wrong with it.

I learned that he was also writing letters to several other girls. (Each of these girls, including my daughter, has some sort of weakness such as poor self-esteem, poor self-image, poor relationship with her family, etc.) He would include himself in all of his daughter's relationships and their activities.

Because he was having his daughter give my daughter his letters at school, I went to the school principal. I allowed him to read the letters and decide for himself whether or not my concerns were valid. After reading them, he didn't even ask, he immediately picked the phone up and called children's services. He scheduled an immediate appointment for me to speak with an investigator.

It took CS only two days to interview four of five girls and their families, including me and my daughter. After they interviewed my daughter, they spoke with me again. They told me that she had given them no reason to believe anything physical had occurred between this 40 (?) year old man and my daughter.

Last Friday, the CS investigator called me at home. He said he had interviewed all parties involved and still found no reason to believe he had had physical contact with any of the girls, but they were ordering him and his daughter to get counseling. He said the courts would be issuing a protective order for each of the girls. He is not to be in contact with any of these girls or their families, especially through his daughter.

On Sunday morning, my daughter asked me to ask our pastor to ask the congregation to pray for her friend's family. They did.

Today, Monday, my daughter came home from school and told me that none of these girls have displayed any anger towards her, not even this man's daughter. She asked me if she could invite her friend to come over for a visit or a sleepover. I told her that her friend is welcome at our house anytime she wants.

See how blessed I am? Praise God!!!

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