While in Quincy for our family reunion,
my sister Margie and I took a little trip back in time.
We first headed for Hannibal, MO... about 16 miles away...
yes the home of Mark Twain... because that's where we were born.
We discovered that many of the houses we had lived in when we were children
were no longer standing. This one is a four-plex and my mom, 2 sisters and I
lived in the upper right apartment.This is where we lived when I bit the end off
of a glass syringe and had to be rushed to the doctor who pulled broken glass
out of my throat. Mother loved telling that story. I was about two years old.
Back to Quincy... two more past homes torn down... until we came to this one.
We lived upstairs. What's funny is that my oldest sister, years later, married
the son of the folks who owned this house. It was sad to hear him say that
his dad would turn over in his grave if he saw how run down this house is now.
A year or so later we moved across the street to above this laundromat. This
is where I start having memories of my own... including when the door blew
off the oil furnace and missed me by only inches! It's a miracle I'm even alive!
The summer between 4th and 5th grade my mom remarried and we moved
across town to this amazing house. I remember they paid $60 a month rent...
is that incredible or what? It had a "For Sale" sign out front so I called, hoping
to take a tour, but they had just accepted an offer so it was a no... bummer.
If you've ever heard my testimony about running away from home... the third
window from the corner is where I piled up the bed sheet that I had torn into
strips and was going to use to lower myself out of my bedroom window in
order to make my great escape... so now you can see why I say it was by the
grace of God that I got caught because I'm sure the knots would not have held
and I would have most likely fallen and made a mess of myself!
I just had to include this church because it's catty-cornered across the street
from the big house and holds my first memories of hearing about Jesus at a
VBS. I can only guess that I asked Him into my heart because my heart was
tender then... but I don't remember... and when life got hard I had no idea
I had a friend in Jesus or a Father God who loved me and would walk through
those hard days with me.
But looking back now... I know He did even if I wasn't aware of His presence.
And today I rejoice that God has healed my heart and given me a new life!
This time it was fun going back... remembering the good... and knowing God
used the "not so good" to bring me into a saving relationship with Himself.
It is so true...
"...all things work together for good to those who love God,
who have been called according to his purpose."
Heavenly Father... thank You for loving us and calling us to be Yours.
Thank You that You do work ALL things together for our good and Your glory
and for knowing that You are with us always even in the moments when we
feel so alone. Father... of all the memories we have stored up... may the
memories of what You've done for us be the ones we hold onto. And may we
always remember that You never leave us or forsake us... no not ever! Amen.