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Good morning friends,

How was your weekend?

I keep throwing this question out every Monday, and of course I never get to hear how what happened for you.

Saturday of this week was 4th of July, a day in America known as Independence Day.

4th July has often been a strange day for me, and this year it marked 40 years since the death of my father.

I can remember quiet clearly the events of that day.

It was the men’s final at Wimbledon between rivals John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg. I had just settled down to watch the game when the phone rang....................and the rest of that day and in fact the next few days passed in a blur.

On the 9th I attended his funeral, and was overwhelmed with grief, not because of a great love for my dad, but because of what had been broken in our relationship over the years, thinking that there was now no chance to “put things” right.

Members of my family wanted me to stay with them that evening for I was heavily pregnant, but I just wanted home to my own house.

This proved to be the right decision, for in the early hours of the 10th July, I went into labour and my youngest daughter was born shortly afterwards.

Sorrow and joy, death and life, endings and beginnings, all encompassed in one short week.

Over the years I have had many different emotions as the 4 July came round, sometimes deeply sad, sometimes very angry, sometimes confused, sometimes full of regret, but always glad when it passed.

This year?

This year I woke up with a real sense of peacefulness, as if something deep had shifted during the night, and some words from Psalm 139 filled my heart.

And as I pondered them throughout the day, any last chains that had bound me from childhood fell off, any lingering hurts were healed, and I knew I was free.

My own wee Independence Day.

And so, I simply offer these words to you at the beginning of this new week.

“You created every part of me;

you put me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart. When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother's womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there— you saw me before I was born. The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began.”

You were known and loved from the beginning of time, you are known and loved today whatever is happening in your life, and you will be loved and known in all the days allotted to you.

Go well into this new week brothers and sisters, God bless you.

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