“My Coach”
May 6, 1998
(written to Joyce, a former therapist of mine)

In October of 1996, God used a tragic, fatal car accident that killed our cross-country coach to get me to go to you The Lord entrusted to you a valuable possession of His, a tender bruised reed, for you to be the husbandman to carefully tend and nourish back to health. You are like an emotional gardener. Your office is a safe place, conducive for emotional growth. You help remove emotional rocks and weeds (my “stinkin thinkin,” my false believes, my areas of denial). Your tender care and compassion plows up the hardened external and internal surfaces (breaks through my layers), so the life within me can break forth and begin to bloom. He knew I needed you and you needed me so we could learn and grow together. The fruit of our labor together is becoming the person God created us to be.

He hand picked you for this leg of my race knowing exactly where I was and where I needed to go. Like a baton race, He carefully placed me into your hands. Thanks for running this stretch of my life with me. I realize it's time for you now to pass the baton on to Sylvia. Although the exchange is scary and timing crucial, I realize the Author and Finisher of my race has kept me in good hands and will continue to do so even amidst all my fears.

I want to take this time to thank you for the many ways you've touched my life, leaving God's imprint. Thanks for carrying and holding me through the dark, scary places; for encouraging me when I couldn't see beyond my pain or circumstances; for helping me to see options and choices; for standing with me as I started standing up for myself especially against authority figures; for being a safe refuge to express my feelings and learn to validate them rather than ignoring, suppressing, or repressing them; for having a listening ear to hear beyond my spoken words to hear my heart; for helping me expose lies and uncover truth which is breaking areas of bondage; for helping me to discover who I am in my uniqueness and specialness, learning to accept all of me. You have helped me to believe in myself. Thanks for the wonderful gift of life!

The race has been challenging at times and you've stuck with me through the thick and thin. A part of you will always be with me and a part of me will always be with you. Joyce, you will always have a special place in my heart and I'm going to miss you as my therapist!

I wish I could reward you more for a job well done. When you cross that final finish line in glory, I'll be standing in the front of the crowd applauding as the Master Coach places a medal around “my coach's” neck for a race well run. For God has said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto on of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

I look forward to knowing and experiencing you through out life on earth and in heaven for all eternity!