Thursday, April 3, 2014

So Blessed...

There was a little old lady at one of the churches I served who would often stop by my office to say hello on weekday mornings. We would exchange pleasantries and when I (or anyone else) would ask her how she was doing she would always respond, "So blessed I can hardly stand it!" What a great approach to life! I freely confess there have been days where I couldn't offer up praise to God with such enthusiasm. But the past few days have been filled with so many blessings that I am left weak-kneed and tongue tied as I try to thank my God, my family and my friends for all the blessings in my life. But I do want to attempt to recognize a few of those blessings this morning, because I am indeed so blessed I can hardly stand it!

  • Yesterday Judge DeVane in Waycross, GA terminated my 7 year old probation, thus eliminating the final 3 years of restrictions, curfews and supervision. This was done with the help of many people and many prayers. It hasn't quite sunk in yet what this means, except knowing that I have a lot of catching up to do on visiting people and taking road trips!
  • My attorney, Jim McGee, was a man I had never met until I walked into court yesterday. But he fought for me, and I would have not have been able to share that first blessing without his work.
  • It was suggested that I take a witness with me to testify if needed as to my character and my rehabilitation, and as he always does Jerry Hanbery stepped up and went with Marilyn, Will and I to Waycross. I can't tell you all the ways Jerry was a blessing to us on the trip- they are too numerous and occasionally inappropriate! He sacrificed much and wound up not be called upon to testify. All I can say is everyone needs a friend like Jerry. Love ya, Sundance! And Melissa- thanks again for loaning him out to us. Remember. there is Ghirardelli's in your future!
  • Marilyn was called upon to testify, and was a rock despite being a little unnerved. Plus she and the judge got to talk shop for a moment when he asked her what sort of law office she works in. She and Will have been and will continue to be constant blessings in my life.
  • Our old buddy UBD (David White) and his wife Tina from Trinity UMC in Waycross took us to dinner on Tuesday night and then David sat with us at the courthouse all Wednesday morning. I can't express how much it meant to us to have him there.
  • I asked for letters of support and reference to share with the Judge, and my extended family came through in bigger ways than I could have ever imagined! So many amazing friends- people like Steve Semmler, Denise May, Tammy Doggett Foster, Susan McBane Tuggle, Marie Allen Duke,  Millie Simmons, Jamie Robinson, Ashley Goad, Ann Saunders Hale, Wayne & Jane Gless, Patsy Hill, Karen Chester, Ashley Miller, Jill Painter Watson, Todd & Kristin Willis, Lauren Carr Cacciatore, Cindy Martin, Jennifer Minnigan Kuramochi, Jacob Lupfer, Lisa Kraus Spires, Teresa Reep Tysinger, Lisa Jewett, Joanne Gastler, Jim & Linda Swenson and Ron & Kristy Starcevic and no doubt a few I have missed- sent letters, texts, notes and offers to write letters. It was so touching. And many of the I firmly believe they helped turn the decision in my favor. Let's just say that even if the petition to terminate had been denied, I would still be feeling incredibly blessed today!
  • In addition to those mentioned above, countless others let us know they were praying for us through Facebook and Twitter. We coveted those prayers and could feel the support, and what's more I think the Judge felt it too. He's a part-time pastor. Praise be to God!
In May of 2007 I entered a wilderness from which I was sure there would be no return. I knew God would offer grace and forgiveness; Jesus had already taken care of that. But I never expected to feel the kind of grace, forgiveness, support and love I have had from family and friends over these past 5 years since I came out of hiding and told my story. I can never really repay the blessings I have been given. But I wrote a song once for a stewardship campaign at FUMC-Kissimmee called Blessed To Be a Blessing, and I firmly believe that is true. With my new freedom comes new opportunity to serve the family of God in new ways. I continue to ask for your prayers as I try to find where God wants to use me. And now, more than ever my dear friends, I am here for you. Call on me anytime. I am bursting with joy this morning. That's what happens when you're so blessed you can hardly stand it!

Because of Jesus,


  1. Anonymous4/03/2014


    I couln't be happier for you! As I read your post, I had a smile on my face the whole time. Love ya, my friend.


    1. Appreciate you and Kristin so much, Todd. Can't wait to see you soon!

  2. You already know how I feel. So I'll just leave it at YEA!!!!! :) Love you, friend.

    1. Yes, Teresa, I know. And I love you too. How far is the drive from Tampa to Ft. Worth? LOL

  3. Just looked it up....16.5 hours!!!!!!!! EEK! Haha.

  4. So flying it is!!! :)

  5. Carl,

    You are right you could never repay the blessings. You don't repay them you receive them as so many of us have received them from you over the years. We need to have a long talk about life someday soon. I love you brother.


    1. Thanks so much for the kind words, Wayne. And I'm ready to have that long talk anytime!


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