The Bright Side: Dear God . . .
Published 8:39 am Sunday, February 5, 2023
I remember the first time I wrote a letter to God. I was in fourth grade and we had just put our dog down; she was old and fought health issues most of her life. She was a sweet Shar Pei named Layla. Despite her ongoing health battles, she lived a good life, and watched over my sister and I like any loyal, loving dog would. I was heartbroken when she passed; it was the first time I had experienced a loss. My teacher could see how upset I was the next day at school and encouraged me to write a letter to God, asking Him to look after Layla.
That afternoon, I took out my big pack of colored pencils and folded a white sheet of paper in half twice. The words I wrote were simple, but carried the weight of my heart:
Please take care of Layla. She was my best friend. Please keep her safe. I miss her.
I colored the front page of the little card in all colors of the rainbow, forming a ray of brightly hued lines around three big, bold letters: GOD. I stuffed the card in an envelope, with His name printed on the front and put it in the mailbox. I knew He would receive it, despite the fact the paper itself might not make it all the way to heaven.
When I think about faith, I think about that day. I think about how I took the time to put my prayer, my hope, my wish, onto a piece of paper knowing God would see it. Knowing He would grant my request, simply because I believed He would. That is the faith I seek constantly.
My letters to the Lord Above have gotten much longer, much more detailed, with multiple prayer requests and lots of “filling in,” despite the fact that I know He already sees the full picture. It seems as though as we get older, there are more things that worry us regularly, more people we find to be in need, more illnesses we to hope find a cure for, more road blocks we pray to overcome.
My resolution this year was to write in my journal every day for at least the month of January. I’ve only missed one day so far, and as I go back and read, I realize most of my entries are more like letters than they are thoughts. As if God is my spiritual pen-pal. Something about putting my prayers on paper make them seem more real, more tangible, as if I’m physically giving them to God. And that’s what I challenged myself to do this year: give my worries to God.
That is something I’d love to offer anyone who reads this – whatever is on your heart, give it to Him. He will gladly take it. He will graciously remove our burdens, lighten our load, if only we believe that He can, and that He will. Write it down – everything. All of your hopes, dreams, desires, worries. The things we don’t always (or ever) talk about.
Since I have started doing so, I’ve seen big changes. Is it hard to give it all to God? Absolutely. I never want anyone to feel the weight of what I hold closest to me. I’ve carried some of it for so long, it’s become a part of me. But I’m learning how let go, slowly. I’ve learned it only takes a little faith to move mountains; imagine what full trust would do?
Danielle Puleo is a staff writer for The Coastland Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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