Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane

I found this last week, and thought that today I would participate. But I was quite busy and never thought up a blog.

Yet now I don't even have to think about what memories I shall write about. It came to me...there is someone I am thinking of and all the pieces fell into place drawing me to write about her.

Some of my readers have heard this story, but for the many that have not, here I go.

My walk down memory lane began when I was driving down the road today. I passed schoolbus after schoolbus and every single time I saw one, with it I saw a beautiful woman smiling at me. Her name was Gail. She was my highschool bus driver. She was my second mother. My spiritual mother.

Now she is home with her God, tenderly in His care.

But I miss her.

Tonight we stopped at Taco Bell for dinner and as I sat there eating, I again thought of Gail. My mind went back to a conversation I had with her about those tacos and memories of her stopping by Taco Bell when I was working there flooded my mind.

Well, when I went on the computer this evening and noticed that my friend, Brian (Gail's son), had uploaded photos of his wedding, and that Gail was sitting there in the first heart just sighed.

So that did it. I knew I had to write about her for "Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane."

I met Gail when I began a new school year with her as my bus driver. At some point, she invited me to her home for a Thanksgiving open house. That night I happened to meet my husband there. At some point I realized that Gail went to the same church that my family was attending (it was a BIG one, so I guess I never noticed before...). I began going to her youth group, which she held inside her home. That led to being discipled by her, along with a few other teenage girls. The friendship grew into one in which I stayed over her house for hours on end and even traveled with her. She truly became a mother figure to me. Don't get me wrong, I love my mother and would come home telling her all the stories about my friends. But Gail offered me something that no one else did.

Much of my teenage life was spent depressed and with low self-confidence. Then, when I was 16, I gave my heart to Jesus and my life truly changed. It was amazing. Well, let me correct heart changed. You know, God changes your heart and then as your mind is transformed so is your life. Well, God used Gail more than anyone to change my life.

There was so much love and affirmation coming from her toward me. She really cared about me and showed that care in her words, touches and time given. My senoir year of high school, I had a crush on one of her sons (not the one I mentioned above). Well, one day Gail actually told me that she cannot think of anyone she would rather like for her son. I was blown away. I still am. I mean, to accept me is one thing. But she was basically saying she would choose me if the choice was up to her. Wow. Can you imagine how loved I felt by her? Yes, Gail loved me...and I loved her.

This photo was taken inside her house, and it perfectly illustrates the confidence her love instilled in my thirsty heart. She really took time to recognize the beauty in me and draw it out of me. She told me that I am a beautiful woman of God and that God had given me the perfect name. She told me that I am like a rose blossoming and my gentleness shines upon all. She said that I may be small, but God can use me mightily.

One day Gail spoke the following word over me: "Your heart shall be a resting place for many that I shall send your way, for your heart has come into My peace and knows the way for others searching to find the way to that that peaceful way station for them along their arduous way, for they shall find rest and peace for their souls...Be, and I shall do...step forth with vastitude, for My hand is upon you to bring your success and to lead you with sureness and wisdom." She would pray for me, gently caressing my hair as she spoke. She gave me hugs often, and no one on earth has EVER given me a hug like hers. They were so warm and inviting, but also full of substance. Her eyes sparkled with the joy of the Lord continually.

On my wedding day, she styled my hair and worked her makeup magic on my face.

She also made me look so beautiful the night my hubby and I (before we married) celebrated New Years together.

Through Gail, I realized both some of my inner and some of my outer beauty.

Tonight I met with a friend who is teaching me skills in ballet technique. This is yet another connection to Gail. One day all of us youth were leaving a service in her church van together, when my dear husband (we were only friends then though:) had to use the gentleman's room. I went back into the church with him, and waited for him outside the bathroom door. I was overcome with joy and just started dancing in the foyer.

Upon coming back into Gail's van, she quietly spoke something to me which gave me a new hope and resolve to dance. She shared how, from where she was sitting in the van, she had seen me dance inside the church. No one else saw, she assured me, but she did and had thought it was beautiful and that I should further pursue dancing. She said that my dance was one of beauty, joy and freedom and encouraged me that God can heal people and minister to them through my dancing. I was slightly embarrassed to hear that I had been seen, for my dance was in pure abandonment to my Heavenly Father. Yet, at the same time, I was encouraged and inspired!
Now here I am years later, and I am still slowly taking steps to further pursue my passion that, before I shared the video here on my blog, Gail was one of the only people to ever see me dance. I believe God ordained her to see me and draw me out in yet another way.

Thank you for reading and sharing in my memories of this beautiful woman of God whose legacy lives on in the hearts of so many that she touched. I know that I am only one of them, but I also know that she and I shared a relationship based on mutual love and that I will always hold her memory as sacred in my heart- a memory of the woman who mothered me.


Amy said...

mmmmm... loved reading about such an amazing woman, Esther... what beauty and life Gail poured into you! Such a heart after Jesus' heart.

Loved reading this today!


Lynnette Kraft said...

What an amazing woman and friend. I want to be just like that to others - someone to encourage and lift up. Sometimes all it takes is a person like that in our lives to change them forever.

Thank you for sharing about Gail - and for sharing the pictures. You were a beautiful bride.

It was very nice to meet you today.
Have a beautiful Thursday.

Sally-Ann said...

What a wonderful woman to have in your life, thank you for sharing your memories of her. If only everyone was so blessed!


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