Please don't watch me and wait for me to fall. I will.
Don't listen to every word I say, trying to determine if I am trusting God. I may be or I might not be. It isn't about my faithfulness. It's about His. Thank goodness.
Don't assume my smile means I'm having a good day, and that my tears mean I'm not.
Don't judge God's power in me on how well I am doing today. I figure if I'm not dead, His power is still working quite well.
Please don't tell me your problems and think I can fix them. I can't. I will be glad to listen, as long as you understand that I am as messed up as you are.
If you ask me to pray for you, I will. Just don't think my prayers for you are going to pretty or eloquent. Or that they will be said while I am on my knees during a quiet time. I will pray for you, but it might be while I am in the shower or at the sink doing dishes. Maybe while I am pulling clothes out of the washer and sticking them in the dryer. I might be at the gym exercising when I think of you. Hey, it might be during a commercial. Trust me. He knows my voice. It won't matter to Him.
And please don't decide to skip a prayer for us because you don't know what we need. Chances are, you could pick something random and we could use it. It's fine with me if you just want to say our names. Cheri. Jim. Ethan. Seth. That would be great.
I'd rather you not look at my life and wonder why I haven't changed more. Why I am still dealing with the same old bad habits and temptations. I wonder, too. All I know is, that I really am different. Some days more than others. And if you don't think the change is enough, I'm sorry. But, it really isn't my responsibility. It's His. The transformation, along with the salvation, is His.
And as much as I would like for you to feel sorry for me, don't. I have done that enough for everyone. However, a hug or a pat on the back, will never be turned down.
Don't be disappointed if I don't live up to your expectations. Don't be hurt if I don't call or if I miss a special event. Right now, you would be better off just to get rid of all expectations when it comes to me. Outside of trusting God, I'm trying to do the same.
Please don't think I am strong. That I am noble. I'm not. Please don't think I am unselfish. That would be hilarious. Don't think I go around all day praising God for my circumstances and that I am rejoicing in all things. That would be great if I did. I have my moments and they feel great. I wished I lived there. But I don't. Not yet.
But please don't think that my life is terrible. That we don't laugh as much as we use to. Don't think that I am less proud that Ethan is my son today than I was when he was strong and independent. Don't make the same mistake I've made in thinking that my life is boring and uneventful. Yes, it isn't easy. There's not a lot of freedom or opportunities for spontaneity. But, it is not boring. Each day is filled with so much human drama, I can hardly stand it. Extremes of every emotion, good or bad, remind you that you are alive. Living this thing called life.
Don't be afraid to share your pain with me because you think it doesn't measure up to mine. Pain is pain. Don't expect me to share my problems and weaknesses with you and that you get to keep yours private. That isn't fair.
And remember when you don't forgive me...well, you know what He said. And remember, when you judge me...well, you know. And remember, when you do it unto me and my child, you have done it unto the least and you have done it unto Jesus Himself.
Now, take all this and pretend you are sending it back to me. Making all of the same requests of me. And that I am writing you back saying, "I promise I will try. With God's grace, I will do my best."