For the past few weeks I have been looking over letters from my days at The House of Ruth, a recovery home for women addicts. 

I found a copy of a letter I wrote to one of them upon graduation maybe there is something in it that will encourage someone else:
“Dear Diane,
Words escape me.  I am overwhelmed.  I want to cry and I want to shout, “Yes, Lord, send us some more Dianes.
What a long way you have come, Diane.  The road hasn’t been easy but you stuck to it and you have made it.  It only takes determination and God’s help.  Anyone can make it if they are willing to work for it.
See, your going to work at 3:30 in the morning paid off.  It was just a step up the ladder.  The first step.  Today you are near the top.  Your cup is now half full instead of half empty.  Aren’t you glad you didn’t give up?  And I know you wanted to and I was afraid you would.  Discipline is not easy when you have always done as you pleased but without discipline you would have gone off ‘harum-scarum’ and you would not be where you are today.  Remember it all isn’t won in a day, a week or a month.  Life is a journey and you have to be careful to stay on the right road.  You will sometimes come to crossroads with roads leading in all sorts of directions but always remember to take the one that is straight ahead, the one with the bright light at the end of it.
Diane, I thank the Lord every day that I did not listen to people.  I could see what they couldn’t.  One thing I want you to remember ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me;’
Always be kind to your fellow man even if he isn’t kind to you, don’t gossip about your neighbor, ‘love thy neighbor as thy self.’  Don’t carry tales about anyone for it hurts not only them but you also.  Keep your mind on positive things.  Don’t listen when people choose to gossip about someone.  Just get up and move.  And even if you think it don’t say it.  Keep your mind on a higher plane and the Lord will love you for it.  Treat others as I have treated you.  Look beyond what you see and know the goodness inside that person.  We all have goodness.  Look for the goodness in others even if they are mad or hostile because they are hurting so badly they are striking out at others.  If they are angry with you say something nice.  Let them see Jesus in you.
Well, here I go again giving advice but I so want you to continue on the road you are on, one step at a time, dear Lord, one step at a time.  You can do it.  I will help you and God will help you.
I love you and expect a great future for you.  In His Holy Name.”
This was written in 2006.  Diane has a good life today and has since she graduated from The House of Ruth. She is one of my best friends.

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