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written by: faletra5

Lessons from Amber and a Red-headed Angel

Though I have never met her I have learned so much from her. Many of the lessons I have learned will remain with me for the rest of my life. The lessons I have learned have changed me. They have changed the type of daughter I am. They have changed me as a sister. Most importantly what I have learned from Amber has changed me as a wife and mother.

A year and a half ago as a little red head yelled out of the car window and a relationship was formed. God knew that it would be formed that day, and he knew the reason. God had sent this little red head to join two people. This Little Red-headed Angel forever changed two people, and only God knew what was ahead.

"In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
Proverbs 3:6

That relationship between a Principal and Parent began with, "Hello". The relationship began in a car pool line. The relationship began because God put us on this earth in this time and space for a reason. Only our heavenly Father knows the reason, and it is this belief , this faith in a bigger plan that was the foundation of a friendship. I learned that friendships form in unlikely ways. We have to be open to connecting with others. We have to put ourselves out there and say, "Hello, how are you?" We have to take the extra time out of our day to drop a card or note in the mail. Through Amber and the Little Red-headed Angel I have learned that we need friends and relationships with others to hold us up when we can't stand on our own.

"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three is not quickly torn apart."
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

I have learned that not only with the friendship that I made but with all my relationships: mother/daughter, sister/sister, husband/wife, and mother/child I need to communicate clearly. I have learned that I need to listen more and talk less. I have learned that even when there are no words to say what I feel... the love is there. God is love, and God is in every relationship I hold dear to my heart. With the unconditional love of God I have learned to give unconditionally. Friendships are as different as the many stars in the sky. Through Amber and the Little Red-headed Angel I have learned to listen and love my friends and family unconditionally.

"And thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this the first commandment. And the second, Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."
Mark 12:30-31
A very difficult lesson I have learned is that God is in control, like it or not! Our only task is to follow the word of God and to trust Him. We have to trust that even if we are sad, scared, or upset he has a plan for us. We have to trust that he knows what is best for us. I knew this was a lesson from Amber when I sent a card with a verse on it and it brought tears to her mother's eyes. On the phone I heard the teary words of my new friend say, "...that verse you wrote was the verse Amber chose to live by when the Cancer came back the second time..." God is in control, like it or not! "...Thy will be done."

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me."
Psalms 56:3-4

A lesson I re-learned because sometimes in this busy world it is easy to forget is that God does miracles everyday. Once when I was asking about my friend's daughter she said with the most assuring confident voice, "Well, I just pray for healing...God can still do a miracle!" What? Was I hearing her correctly...for a moment I forgot. My friend was right, God can do miracles. A lesson I have re-learned is that sometimes we underestimate the power of God. In my own personal prayer I sometimes settle. I learned from Amber and her mom that God can do miracles so why not ask! If I believe that he can make the blind see and raise the dead...why do I pray for a peaceful death. Am I lacking in faith? Why don't I pray for a cure? A lesson learned...miracles happen everyday.

"For with God nothing shall be impossible."
Luke 1:37

As the relationship between my new friend and I has grown and changed I have learned a great deal about Motherhood. I have learned that as I mother of five beautiful children I am actually only a tiny part of who they are. My five beautiful children ,who I carried in my womb, are not only mine! I realized this after many conversations with my new friend. I realized this, and thought it would weigh heavy on my heart ,when in actuality the realization that God chose me for them was humbling. I realized that God knew I was perfect for them just as they were perfectly formed for me. God knew this before they were born. God knew who he would send them to. Me.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."
Jer 1:10

My job is to teach them to love one another and to love Him. My job, which at times is overwhelming and exhausting, is easier to accomplish with this knowledge. Knowing that teaching them 4x6=24 is a minor part of parenting them. In the end the only lesson they need to know is to love God . This came as quite a relief. This lesson was not a lesson I learned from Parenting Magazine. This was a lesson my new friend and her daughter, Amber, taught me.

"And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Sometime after Easter of 2006, I learned one of the greatest lessons from Amber. Her mother was sharing with me. She was telling me about their family getting together at a lake cabin. She told me that Amber had said, "...that she was o.k. if this was what God had planned for her because she knew she would be with him in heaven..." I remember thinking how amazing Amber must be. Then soon after my Little Red-headed Angel asked me about heaven. He so calmly said, "Mommy, Amber will be happy with God in heaven." That was it ...the greatest lesson I could learn was that we were created by God to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him, but most importantly to share His happy home of heaven with Him. Teaching my children to love God is the main lesson they need to learn, yet I need to learn to have faith. Truly accepting that God has a plan and that He knows what is best for me.

The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness."
Jer 31:3

I am so thankful for the blessing of a new friendship I have made. I am thankful for the blessing of my Red-headed Angel God has given me to raise. Most importantly I am thankful for the blessing of the lessons I have learned from a teacher I have never met, Amber.

"in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1Th 5:18

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23


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