Letters to My Friend

 

1 John 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

Dear Friend,

One of my earliest childhood memories was sitting beside my mother at our picnic table in Ethiopia "writing" a letter to my Gramma Hoover. My mom was writing to her mother and I wanted to write my own letter. When I was finished I handed my mom my letter and wanted her to send it along with hers. My mom looked at the little slip of paper I had filled with organized scribbling and asked me what it said. I told her what I had "written" because I knew in my mind what it all "said." She couldn't include my letter because she was using a form letter and was not allowed to enclose anything in it because it would go air mail at a special rate. She said she would save it for Gramma for another time. That day my love of writing letters was born and there was no looking back.

I loved writing and receiving letters from my pre-teens through my twenties. Sadly, with the birth and growth of the internet and electronic communications, letter writing largely fell by the wayside. For some time email was a part of my life. I wrote family newsletters for some years in email, and it played an important part when my husband and I were getting to know each other and build a relationship. Eventually, though, even email became a struggle. I suspect this is partly because of all the electronic junk mail and business mail that comes in droves, along with the fact that I often find it difficult to just keep up with all the internet stuff.

Still, writing letters is a first love of my life, and after reading a couple books in the epistolary (letters) format, I was inspired. I had thought a little about writing in a letter format already, but the most recent book made me think about it more seriously. I think that I might feel more comfortable writing about some subjects in this way so, it seemed worth trying.

The Lord chose to use letters to individuals and specific groups to teach us in scripture. In fact, He even gave those letters under inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Of course, my letters are not inspired! But, I know that it can be a useful means of teaching for His glory and I hope this effort may serve Him in some way.

Because Jesus loves you,
Mary E. Stephens

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graphics and backgrounds by Mary Stephens
vintage graphic - unknown