During my four years of undergrad, without fail, my mom would send at least one card a month, and when I was deep in the middle of finals, a box filled to the rim with some of my favorite snacks just seemed to appear. Every time I received a card or package it was a reminder that someone loved me, was thinking about me, and that small comforts and deep breaths could get me through some of the most stressful times.
If I am completely honest, each time I received mail it was unexpected. I should have gotten used to cards for Arbor Day and Flag Day, but it was always a surprise to see an envelope with familiar writing and a silly saying that made me smile. And while it had nothing to do with academics, I truly believe that will be one of my favorite memories of college.
I think about some of my favorite memories, and most of them are events or time with people that I could categorize as unexpected blessings when I needed them the most. Its in those times where I know only God could have known what I needed, and he provided. A queso date with a friend that was consumed with pure joy. A moment to pause and take a much needed breath. Opening a cardboard box filled with homemade M&M chocolate chip cookies. But all of these moments were unexpected and never asked for.
So as we start our “Support Our Troops” drive at the church, I think about the items that we are collecting. Things that we may think are simple snacks or essential daily-use items. I think about how the USO collects these items for service men and women who have chosen to be completely selfless for their country – and for people they don’t even know. We are collecting these items to potentially be little unexpected blessings for those who may not know us but love us enough to put their lives on the line each and every day.
Our collection is three weeks long, and I hope and pray that in those three weeks we can collect items that will be comforts and true tokens of our love and support for those that we do not know but we want to hopefully experience God’s unexpected blessings.