John P Sininger Jo Ann Hayslip Harvey U Schrock Eunice G. Burgess Senior Profile: Kaulen St Michael Cox Racing returns to Brushcreek on April 2 Southern Hills Athletic Conference holds Winter Sports Awards ceremony Adams County provides multiple walking venues Adams County parks are tobacco-free Rhoads Memorial 5K Run/Walk is April 9 Peebles Elem. Staff of the Month Floyd E Maddy Raymond A Holt Derrick Poe Spencer E McFarland Mintie F Rogers Roberta Eylar Big Time Wrestling coming to NAHS Carl Tomlin CTC students help with storm clean-up Opening the door for high-tech jobs Jack R Slyger Thomas Stratton Jr Eastern Lady Warriors headed to Final Four Senior Profile: Logan Rogers Southern Hills Athletic Conference names 2016-17 All-Conference Basketball Teams Winchester PD continues assault on drugs Alonso joins Defender staff Sheriff to set up outpost in Manchester Johnson named OEDA Membership Chairperson Sherman E Young Ruth Jackman ‘Kitten Season’ comes to Ohio Manchester Council votes to disband PD Olde Wayside Inn under new management Two overdose on heroin Senior Profile: Ethan Parrett Adams/Brown Youth League holds postseason tourney Three nights of pain Furious rally falls short, Lady Devils again eliminated in Div. III district finals, 45-42 Oscar Moore Barbara J Finnegan Ohio Senate and House honor Miss Ohio USA Michael Eldridge Frances Towner Thelma R Williamson BREAKING NEWS: Manchester council votes to eliminate police department Before all dogs go to heaven Adaptive Bikes delivered in Adams County Adams County Junior Fair Market Hog Identification plans announced for 2017 Local couple takes ownership of two local businesses Jo Hanson to retire after nearly 50 years in banking Sierra Club, hero or villain? Greyhounds, Devils are runners-up in SHAC Tournaments Harold L Purdin Senior Profile: Jacob Wickerham 98-year old author publishes first book Early March storm packs destructive punch Jeeps rally in second half to end the Peebles season How about some post season awards? Thanks for all the great sports coverage PHS Principal hopes to expand students’ world view When spring becomes a promise Greg Lorenz Clay shoots the lights out, shoots down Greyhounds’ season Senior Profile: Savannah McFarland Devils put up a good fight, but fall to Portsmouth in sectional final, 50-43 Second half comeback sends Lady Devils to district finals for third straight year Butts honored by Southeast District Athletic Board North Adams Elementary holds Random Acts of Kindness Week Chester W Eyre BREAKING NEWS: March makes its entrance with force WUES kicks off Right to Read Week with guest readers WUHS students see Aronoff show on the life of Edgar Allan Poe Local high school seniors winners of Wendy’s Heisman Awards The emotions of a senior year Market Hog Clinic scheduled for March 4 Venture Hawks fall to Scioto County Senior Profile : Colton Thornburg Lady Dragons’ season ends with sectional loss to Lynchburg Devils advance in tourney with convincing win over West Union, will face Portsmouth for sectional title Wenstrup selected as Vice Chairman of House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee Adams County 4-H Shooting Sports to hold fund raiser Linda M Howland Nellie B Hayslip Russell E Bailey Gladys M Perdue Commissioners meet in Columbus with DP&L CEO Tom Raga Missing the Dirtrollers The farms that aren’t forgotten Flora Hilderbran Commissioners to meet with DP&L officials New state graduation requirements called a ‘train wreck’ Catching up with Keller Senior Profile: Justin Knechtly Piketon size is too much for Lady Indians, Peebles falls in sectional finals Greyhounds grab Senior Night win Indians finish regular season riding six-game winning streak Harper, Hupp, Defense lead Lady Devils to fourth consecutive sectional championship West Union Elementary recognizes Students of the Month for January

You’ll always be my horse

I believe Dee was in her mid 50’s when she was admitted to hospice, a prominent beautician who owned and managed a local salon. You have to love the name of her salon, “Dee’s Wigwam.” It’s been years since Dee died, so some of the details have faded. I can’t even recollect her illness, but I’ll never forget her elegance and grace. There was just something about her.

I was fortunate to have a one time brief encounter with Dee’s daughter Debi, who was in her mid 20’s and appeared mature and confident beyond her years. Dee had been admitted to the hospital and Debi and I sat in the lobby getting acquainted. Debi reflected on what a “wonderful mother” Dee had been. “Mom always told me, You’ll always be my horse even if you never win a race.”

What unconditional love and acceptance. No wonder Debi exuded such maturity and confidence beyond her years. This is the kind of unconditional love and acceptance that extinguishes the fear of failure and rejection and that frees a person to step out from behind their pretenses and defenses and risk becoming who and what they are designed to be. But stepping out from behind our pretenses and defenses takes more than courage, it requires trust. And the world doesn’t condition us to trust does it? Therefore, most of us have “trust issues,” especially me.

I am here to tell you that you can dare to trust God even when you don’t trust anyone else. I dared to trust Him over 40 years ago. I was disillusioned with myself and with life and I was desperately searching for God knows what to fill the void inside me. I thought, “I’ll read the Bible”, so I read from midnight to five o’clock in the morning, but no change. I asked, “God what do you expect from me? I give up. I can’t do it. If I’m going to be saved you’re gonna have to do it for me.” But still no epiphany.

I sighed and decided to open the Bible and give God “one more chance.” I flipped the Bible open to Matthew Chapter 7 and read, “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you. If you are being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.” I thought, “Surely it can’t be as simple as just asking. Surely God expects me to clean my life up first. But even if I could, how could I undo the things I’d already done?” So I decided to take God at His word, “God, either you’re a liar or you’re telling the truth. And if it’s true for other people, then it’s true for me too. So I’m asking.”

There’s no way I can communicate the love and grace that filled my heart that morning. I couldn’t believe that anyone would accept and love me just the way I was. I didn’t even love or accept myself. That day I became his horse even if I never win a race. This is the kind of love we all long for. This is the kind of love a person will live and die for.

How about you? Do you long to be accepted just the way you are? Then dare to step out from behind your pretenses and defenses and stand naked before God, your Father, your Creator. But be forewarned, “God loves you just the way you are, but he loves you too much to let you stay that way.” (Author unknown)

“For he Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Loren Hardin is a social worker with Southern Ohio Medical Center – Hospice and can be reached by email at hardinl@somc.org or by phone at 740-356-2525.

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Loren Hardin

Straight Paths

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