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Words of Gratitude

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I wanted to express my most heartfelt appreciation for all of your love and support during these past few weeks. As some of you have probably been able to infer from the prayer requests in the bulletin, 2013 has had somewhat of a rough start for me. In quick succession I lost my last living biological grandparent (two weeks after she was diagnosed with a tumor in her lung) and landed in the hospital for a small bowel obstruction. While the emotional and physical impact has definitely worn me down, your love, prayers, and support have been a rock upon which I have drawn much strength. If any of you have ever wondered if such small things as a text message, Facebook wall posts, and sending a card make a difference; or, if such bigger things as physically visiting someone in the hospital, offering meals, and providing solace and support to the spouse of someone struggling make a difference, let me assure you they do. Here is how I know:

In 2003, I experienced what I would later refer to as “The Worst Year of My Life”. January of that year, a beautiful but headstrong young girl named Kara decided that we should see other people. In February, I received an activation order notifying me I would be deploying to Iraq. While on the phone receiving my deployment order, my dad called me to leave me a message that my grandmother, who had been in the hospital, passed away. Then in March, the day before I deployed for training, I landed myself in the hospital after falling asleep at the wheel and flipping my car. While I have noticed an unsettling similarity to 2003 and 2013 (and have started to develop a phobia of years ending in three), what I have noticed even more is how less overwhelmed and despondent I am in 2013. I attribute this solely to my amazing family, friends, and church family, as I just did not have the same support system, nor received the same level of ministering, as I have from all of you. Without your love, support, and prayers, I would be in a much darker place. Thank you all, so very much.

Ginter Park Presbyterian Church is an amazing community, and I am so proud to call you my family. I am so very blessed, and you all have reminded me of that fact in a challenging time.

Most Sincerely and Appreciatively Yours,

Mike Landefeld

Writer Anne Lamott says that the three most essentials prayers are help, thanks and wow!  With his permission,  we are happy to share Mike’s gratitude for God’s love shared in this church community.  And we’re grateful Kara changed her mind.

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