Sunday, November 06, 2011


I come from a praying family.  Most of my kin stand firmly grounded on a foundation of faith, unyielding in their belief in a higher power.  For a very long time I struggled with my own faith, unsure of what I believed in, determined to find contradiction in everything I’d been taught and was being told.  When I finally opened myself to what I could not see and began to trust in the power of prayer, life changed drastically for me.  I suddenly found solace when I let go and let God.
Recently, I’ve been challenged and my spirit has been in crisis.  With things I’d been most confident of, I’ve not trusted my intuition.  I have felt my faith wavering and I have not been able to pray.  A few years back, I bumped heads with a woman I admired, respected, and thought of as a dear friend.  With my feelings hurt, believing that no true friend would have done to me as I felt she had done to me, I’d closed that door of friendship, deeming her toxic to my spirit and a detriment to my growth.  We had not spoken since, our only knowledge of each other’s lives coming only from mutual friends.
Two weeks ago I received news that this woman was not well, diagnosed with an exceptionally aggressive carcinoma.  My first instinct was to rush to her bedside to apologize.  I wanted her to know how much I regretted my own actions and that I have thought of her often and with much fondness.  I had hoped to make amends, to be a friend as she endured what she was going through.  And then for no discernible reason, I second guessed myself, deciding that I needed to “think” about my decision before I acted.  And through it all what I could not do, what I did not do, was pray for guidance.
I took two weeks to “think”, where I mostly did nothing at all, and then this past Friday, the option was taken from me, my friend losing her battle with cancer.  After learning of her death, I found my spirit completely battered, crushed beyond recognition.  I will live with many regrets, but this one was of my own making.  Then suddenly all I could do, all I wanted to do, was pray.
To get there though I had to seek out my praying family for support, retreating to my mother, and her church, and a host of friends and family who stand firmly grounded on that foundation of faith.  As I struggled to pray, they all prayed with me, and they prayed for me.
My spiritual journey seems to be unending but I’m determined to make the trek.  I know without any doubt that I need prayer in my life.  I need my faith.  Mostly, I need to let go and let God.
I’m so sorry, my dear sweet friend.  I will miss you dearly.  Rest in peace, Janet Knight Ledbetter (7/23/1945 - 11/4/2011)

1 comment:

JusticeforAll said...

Deborah, thank you for sharing this information. I just found out that Janet had passed and am saddened to hear about it. I knew her through a women's attorney group and owe the success of my law practice to her advice to me almost 7 years ago. She was a kind and dedicated attorney, and it was so sad that her son died before her. May Janet rest in peace.