Yesterday she came over to my house for the first time in nine years. She talked about how she had brought me a gift but it had gotten broken on the way here. After we talked and visited, and I showed her the house she laughingly went out to show me her gift. Two mugs one with "Hope" written on it and one with "Believe". The basket had swung and caused the two mugs to clang together and take a chip out of each one. She showed them to me and we both agreed to put them into the garbage- so no one would not get hurt. It was the thought that counted. As we hugged goodbye and she left, I thought about those mugs in the garbage, but did not remove them.
Rachael came home and saw the mugs in the garbage and her eyes lit up..."What are these?!" she said in her cute excited voice. I looked at her and said, "Honey, they are chipped, you could get hurt on them...leave them there!" She did not listen and pulled the two chipped cups out of the garbage. (they were sitting right on top!) "Those are the two best words ever, you cant throw these out!" Then I looked at the words and it sunk in...You are right I could not throw those out. They were special, not because Rachael liked them, but .because they represented something so very special in my life.
From the time I was a little girl I had a faith (or belief) that was so strong. I believed in a father God who loved me so very much. Strong enough that I could sit on my front porch with my best friend and lead her to the Lord, so she could be sure that she was going to Heaven. Strong enough that I could leave my best friend as we headed off to college, and knew that our friendship could last through anything. Belief enough to cry with my best friend as we both at different times in our lives miscarried children, and knew that our children are up in heaven being held my our father God. I also believed enough to know that God would somehow heal our friendship. I had prayed about it for many years. God knew my heart.
When we were young we had such awesome dreams (HOPE) for our lives. We used to sit on our backs in a field and look up at the sky and dream about what our life would be like when we were married! (I can honestly say I did not dream about being a clown when I grew up!) We dreamed about the men we were going to marry and what our children would be like....we shared our hopes and dreams with each other. Did our life turn out the way we hoped as a child? No, but we both married our best friends like we hoped, we both lead happy fulfilled lives like we hoped, and we both have three wonderful children. That is better than anything we could ever hope for or dream up.
The best part about the cups were the chips. Each one of us in these last nine years have endured many hardships...house fire, accidents, surgeries, sickness and death of parents, loss of those we love, and growing pains from our children growing up. We each have cracks in our lives that were not there nine years ago. That does not mean that we are not useful. We have battle scars. We have hurts that will never go away, but we also have a hope and belief that we can get through anything. If we believe...if we hope for the best we will see it happen. My favorite verse in the Bible has those words in it..."For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you "HOPE" and a future..." The next verse is "Then you will call upon me and come an pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart (BELIEVE). I will bring you back from captivity and bring you back to the place you were before.
So now those chipped cups are up in my cupboard for all to use. We need to use them carefully, but I have sanded down the spots so they wont hurt us. But what did I learn about those chipped cups. Each one of us have gone through things in our life that made us who we are today. It may be hard things, it may be hurtful things and it may be things that we don't understand. God is in control and sometimes things need to happen to mold us into the people we should be. I am a different person today because of my accident. I am a different person because of loosing all I had in a house fire. I am better then I could have ever been if those things did not happen. As far as my friendship with my "best friend", I am thrilled that we have come to a place in our life where we can reach out to each other, and be there for each other. Some day soon I will have to invite her for tea...I know just the cups we can drink out of. Like us they are chipped... but they are still useful. The words on them will bring us back to our child hood days...when we hoped for our future to be awesome and we believed that we could accomplish anything...
Are they just two chipped cups that were thrown into the garbage...no... they are so much more than that.