Happy New Year! 2024! I hope this message finds you well.
A singular puzzle piece. This has been on my mind since the last time I shared my heart with you.
Or perhaps, a grouping of pieces arranged in different, colorful configurations. I'm sure you are familiar with the symbolism of the puzzle piece within many different autism communities or amongst individuals who belong on the Autism Spectrum. It's recognizable.
Two decades have come and gone as I've searched for the missing piece (or pieces) to help Olivia. It's been a lonely journey, never really feeling like we both have had much significance in our hopes and (unrealistic?) expectations.
During this hospital stay, that word, "significance" has dominated my thinking. What is true significance? What is it that we all truly want (need?)? I realized that the lack I'm feeling is wondering if we are significant to God, that He sees us.....cares for us in our suffering. If I base it on my feelings, it certainly hasn't felt like He has. Listening for a Voice that has been silent for years. Or, so I thought.
Hearing His voice has to be a choice.
I've been reclusive lately, both physically and spiritually. Running from any or all "assignments" I partly hear because my heart can't bare further failure. Going deep is amazing unless you aren't prepared for the possible detours...or further detours. Finding missing puzzle pieces require the search. You know, like when you are searching for your child's favorite puzzle piece lost in your house somewhere.
What tends to happen? You give up. Even though you try and try to visualize where you last saw it, only to realize that it is certainly a lost cause. Years go by, your child has grown up and that old puzzle with the missing piece, you donate it, mentioning on the box - "just one missing piece, please still enjoy". You move on. You forget about how much it bothered you to actually visualize where that missing piece only to never find it. But then it happens. You clean out closets, like a deep clean, and there it is.
What helped me visualize my rededication to Olivia's missing pieces and God's job for me? In 2022, during the Covid situation, a sweet lady at the local Nothing Bundt Cake, with her cute little black mask with painted on red lips and pearly white teeth. She looked up at me and said, "You are just beautiful today. Are you Irish?" Shocked by how adorable she was, I laughed for the first time in a while. She looked down at my online order and looked up with what I could only imagine a big smile behind the oversized mask and started singing to me.
She sang, "Kelly Kelly Kelly, K-E-L-L-Y". You know, the song from the hit TV show Cheers. The song from Woody to Kelly, the love of his life.
Unexpectately, my eyes filled with tears, knowing deep down that she was prompted by my patient Lord to sing a song of acknowledgment, if not significance to my musically castrated heart. Who would have guessed that?
Back in the 90's people would sing that section of the "Kelly Song" to me all the time, I haven't heard it for years.
When I walked out of the store, I wiped my tears and instantly felt the need to google this infamous song. To hear the rest of HIS message to me, the God who has been waiting. Waiting for me to finally let go, to finally let Him back in, to pick up my cross and assignment, regardless of the outcome. I found myself remembering and appreciating those bible stories of people and their faith waxing and waning through years of their individual trials as they attempted to walk by faith when the "sight" was looking dim. Abraham, Sarah, David, Moses, Hannah, Joseph, Gideon & Job to name a few.
Here it is, if you haven't heard it before:
As I listened, I knew immediately this was a love song to me .....and not from Woody, but from my Father in heaven, you know, the one I've been running from like a spoiled brat.
"Kelly, my darling, you are my sunshine. When we are together, I feel fine."
"Your smile is so lovely, your hair is so clean (ha), you make me feel like the whole world is mine." (understatement)!!!!
"Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly Kelly K-E-L-L-Y. Why because you're Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly of MINE."
"Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine Mine Mine Mine Mine Mine....MINE."
If you watched the short video, you probably heard the response from the actress Kelly:
"Woody, that was beautiful." "You really liked it?" said Woody.
"I liked it more than anything", said Kelly.
"Thanks", replied Woody.
"SO.........where's my gift"? Kelly said while looking around the room, looking like a spoiled brat.
I can't help to think there was a message here for me.
That message can only be that He is my gift. His love, His patience, Him not giving up on me, Him showering my soul with the only gift that matters. That I am His and He misses me. He misses our time. He misses me crying out to Him for strength, for guidance, for healing for my girl.
He wanted to guide me to the ragged pieces that were stolen, not lost, from the puzzle box. Only He can make them suddenly appear in that deep cleaned closet of my soul, after the giving up was given up. Only He can lead me to the treasure trove of knowledge that for some reason was only destined to appear 24 years later.
So, here's to the New Year, to New Beginnings, to New Wisdom, to New Knowledge & finally New Possibilites for Olivia and her one and only life here on earth. How could I ever give up when I have the Almighty leading me on and calling me His sunshine!