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My God Hug (Don't miss the good photos in this!)

I got a God hug today. My mom left me a note on my counter from an old family friend of ours. During one of the gaps in my schedule, I opened it and found 2 pictures. The first is of her friend, Kathy Merritt, and me with some other kids. (That would be me in the pink with the Dorothy Hammel hair cut and glasses.)

“Kimi, they are more afraid of you than you are of them.” Kathy Merritt imparted this nugget wisdom on me one day as she was encouraging me to meet new children. “They are more afraid of you than you are of them.” I found courage in those words and have shared them with friends and clients for 40 years.

The second picture shows me standing next to my mom. I have a smile on my face. I felt a wave come over me as I looked at it more closely. A school bus, kids running around, sleeping bags… The camp.

And it hit me like a ton of bricks. This picture was taken the day I went to the camp where my life path changed directions. It was where I accepted Jesus into my heart. Summer, 1980, Bible camp.

Sobs rumble in my chest as I recalled that camp.

As an adult, I never knew the date I was "saved” but I remember the experience. I was lying in my bunk at bedtime. I could hear girls trying to suppress giggles so they wouldn't get in trouble after the "lights out order." I know the talk around the camp fire that night was about asking Jesus to come into our hearts. The pastor invited us to raise our hands if we wanted God in our hearts. I was too self conscious to ask God if it meant I had to raise my hand letting everyone know. I felt shame. But when I was safely snuggled in my sleeping bag, it occurred to me, I could ask God on my own. So I did. 6 words changed the course of my life. “Will you come into my heart?” And He did. I felt a gentle electric current assuring me that He was now camped out in my heart.

Kathy Merritt was the first person I told.

This week has been unbelievably hard.

I cried myself to sleep overwhelmed with regret of how long my children were hurting during my marriage.

I screamed at God begging to be released from the constant financial strain I am under.

I hid behind hours of clients hoping to provide them with the strength I never had.

Shame sucked at my soul again.

And then I got this simple, unassuming letter. God saw my anguish. God sees yours too.

I’m grateful He gave me the date. 1980 and I have a permanent record of that event along with the women that have led me to Him.

Sending hugs to those who need it today.

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lisa patterson
lisa patterson

I understand the feelings of regret because I have them too. Thanks for sharing.

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