During the past few days, I have been especially thankful for people who believed in me long before I believed in myself. Why I have drifted back to the events, people, and time in my life, I do not know. It is puzzling experience. There are no obvious triggers. Yes, fashions of that day have come back in a limited way here in London, however, I am confident that that this has nothing to do with my reflection and thanks.
The seventies were, for me, a time of growing, change, and uncertainty. New vistas came every few months. Friends varied, with an inner core that crossed all of my boundaries numbering very few. I faced what every person does when they grow up and begin to accept the mantle of accountability and responsibility. I wondered about my abilities, I doubted my strength, and I could not understand why I was worth anything to anybody. In other words, I was normal.
There are kids in the neighborhood and colleagues at work that remind me of those days. If you could change their face and hair color — it could be my younger twin walking the streets. Paul met someone similar. He remembered her in his letter. “Hello to Mary. What a worker she has turned out to be!” (Romans 16.6)
Penny and Betty knew me when I did not have ten cents to my name and not much more consistency. I was a gangly kid who talked too much and never completely finished much. Most of the time I was respectful, however, there was an independent and stubborn streak that always got me into trouble with authority. Penny and Betty never met each other, yet there was one thing they shared in common. Penny and Betty believed in me and told me so. It made the critical difference at a pivotal time in my life. Penny and Betty verbalized God's words to me as no one else could.
Their words are for you too, especially now. “God loves you very much. You will make it with Him.”