Monday, April 30, 2012

A Framed Masterpiece ~ Father's Design!

 You are a stunning masterpiece! 

When I was young growing up here in Florida, I was the youngest of four children. Throughout the years, I really never thought much, about what that might mean; it was experiential! My brother was the oldest and I had two older sisters; I was the baby!
 Over the years, I did get a lot of teasing as well as blame from my older siblings. I think all of this is pretty normal; at least from what I’ve observed in most families.
 There were several titles that were bestowed on me by my siblings, and one most appropriate for sharing now was, ‘Goodie, Two Shoes!’  I have no idea where that expression came from; I just know I heard it often, and even into my adult years. My sisters particularly liked to think that I got everything that I wanted; of course, I didn’t and I never saw it that way. I do remember thinking that they were getting into trouble a lot and I’d try to prevent it somehow! As the youngest, I was often the only one of the children at home, hearing many of the discussions between my parents and my siblings.  Also, I witnessed many goings on, including things my parents never knew, like wild parties. Some stories are not too pleasant and will go untold.
 With many stories to share, only one involves the photos that Mom and Dad took of us kids. There were so many photos that Mom decided to organize them. She got a scrapbook to put them into and I offered to help by writing the captions after the photos were secured. I like to do crafts and I had pretty good penmanship too. Mom selected an album/scrapbook with black paper and she bought a pen with white ink; which I thought was pretty neat looking. I began to fill the album up for her with captions on each one. I did notice that there weren’t any photos of me, but I had not gone through the stacks of photos yet. Time passed and I never did get that scrapbook completely finished, but I put a good dent in the stacks of photos; and never discovering photos of me.
 There sure were lots of my brother and my oldest sister and less and less of us younger ones.  Over the years that followed, the photos were strangely missing, a few at a time. Mom would complain about it and say something to them and that was futile. When visiting the home of my sisters, I saw different photos, framed in a variety of ways, with groupings sitting around, quite nicely too.
 The only one of me that I remember, I was in my pajamas and robe, sitting on the floor at Christmas time, playing a game. I really don’t know where that one ended up. The only photo that I do have, was one taken by a professional photographer, but it was of the four of us, shown here.  Aren't we a bunch of cuties and truly lovable too! 

The Cooper Siblings:
Glen Jr., Pamela, Jacqueline, and Deborah 'Me'
Still, I do not have any of me alone or playing with my siblings or sitting with my dad or mom.
 Everyone else had photos, with different poses, like described here, but not me. When I reached my teenage years, I thought it was because of my looks. My oldest sister particularly was always feminine, kind of prissy and had the tiniest waste and the kind of shape that the modeling companies look for. And she often had boyfriends. I was a little more big boned and I never felt like I belonged.
 When Mom passed away, some 26 years after Dad, everyone began going through the drawer full of photos, once again. Well this time, Mom was not there and I had full rein to go searching along with everyone else! I was so excited when I discovered one that must be me! Nope! Time and time again, my sisters gently removed and sometimes snatched the photo from my hand, and they’d say, “That’s not you, that’s…..! 
 Like many of us, the effect of rejection was one of my deep wounds at that time of my life and this was not helping! Years have passed since this and other incidents in my life. I have forgiven and been forgiven and enjoyed the transformation of a renewed life; His grace is sufficient through the process! Father is always a loving Father to us and being His little girl comes with much delight!
 So last year at a Father Heart gathering that I attended, Father spoke to my heart and said, “It’s not that they didn’t want you, Deborah, you were another girl!” He is so very tender and sweet with us. The way in which He spoke that to me was exactly that! I love the way He loves us and so gentle with us!  I was not even thinking about this whole matter with my sisters and my parents; and as far as I know, I was not hurt any longer. He is so personal with us and continues to heal places that we are not aware exists and makes all things new; completing what He starts!
 Just recently, which happened to be about a year later, I was at another Father Heart gathering, this time a week long school. Some friends, along with my husband and I had been to the church service that preceded the school and joined others at a picnic. Then we decided we would go to a park, along the river. There were swing sets, monkey bars, and other fun things that are found at a playground. 
 I spoke with some of the children, as they played and I got on some of the equipment myself, I spoke to some parents and gave them Father’s Love Letters.  Then Bill took a picture of us at the swing set. Later, when viewing the picture that we posted on Facebook, we noticed a little blonde headed girl, off to the side; she was staring at us on the swing.  We pondered what she might have been thinking as well as where she came from; not one of us remember seeing her and I had spoken to all the children there at the park.

Later that week, as one of the team was sharing, at the school, that picture appeared in my mind, the one that Bill had taken of us at the swing; but this time, it was as if the little girl was the only one in the picture.  As I seemed to be zooming in on this little blonde, I heard, “Do you see her? There you are Deborah, there you are.” There was a pause and then I heard, “I have many pictures framed of you!”
   It was as if no one was present, though the room was filled with people, listening to the one sharing at that session.  For me, it was just me and my dad, an incredibly wonderful moment…I giggled like a little girl, and tears began to pour down my cheeks.  Tears of joy and the laughter continued. In fact, for over an hour, I giggled all the more as tears flowed! I went outside to turn on my phone, as I continued to giggle and cry.  Bill went looking for me, as it was lunch time and he and others were asking where I was. As I stood outside, in the courtyard, I pulled up Facebook, where I had shared the picture and this time I looked only at the little girl!

 One of my friends had made a comment, below the picture, for which I had replied earlier in the day; but this time I shared my experience, as best I could. I continued to giggle like a little girl and when I was able to do so, I went back inside, pondering what had taken place.
 Several more days passed, the Father Heart School ended and we were now packing up to load our truck with all the throws and pillows we had brought for the soaking sessions. One of the young women, who we have gotten to know through our Father Heart Classes, came to help us and as we were doing so, she asked me about the picture that I had posted.  She told me that the little girl in the picture, who she thought was our granddaughter, had some remarkably, powerful genes because we looked so much alike!  Wow! She was not aware of the encounter I had, previously in the week.

 So what do you think? I'm thinking Father placed this little girl in this picture, just because He loves me and He is healing the deepest part of me. Since He is the Master Gardener, I think I will just enJOY the journey even more. Father loves surprises. 
 And, I am looking more like Him every day. He simply wants us to receive the love we were meant to enJOY and grow as sons and daughters in Him, being little to a great big God!

 Father loves me and He loves you and He is fulfilling every precious promise! He longs for us all to come home, to be intimate with Him and receive even more outrageous love, become love and share love with the world around us!
 Our loving Father is interested in every detail of our lives and He is faithful to complete the good work He began in us. Oh how precious is the love Father lavishes upon us every day, through Holy Spirit!  Father never leaves us nor forsakes us…He is forever faithful and loves us with an everlasting love! 

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