This morning I was able to get out of the house long enough to attend church services. It took a little pre-arranging, making sure our emergency signals were straight, and a little faith, but it all worked out so that I could leave for a short time.
I chose a church very near my son's home, so that if he needed me during service, I could be back in five minutes - literally. I felt uncomfortable leaving my cell on during service, especially since they flashed signs asking everyone to please turn them off; but I could not figure out how to put it on vibrate, for the life of me, so I turned the volume down low and kept it close so that I could turn it off as soon as it rang, if need be.
It felt very odd to be there in that particular building, again, as it held poignant memories for me that no one there could have guessed. The property had changed owners, now affiliated with a different denomination, and thus, a completely different congregation than the one I once knew.
However, many years ago as a young teenager, I had competed in Bible "Jeopardy" type contests there from time to time. Innocent times, good fun. Churches from all over the district would send their representative to compete at the monthly youth rallies.
Then a few years after that, I had sat there with my spouse and our spiritual advisor, discussing our plans to go work as missionaries in Guadalajara, Mexico. Our boys were one and three years old, and I was trepidatious about their health if we lived in a foreign country.
As it turned out, we did not go after all, but it was strange, and a little sad, to sit there this morning and look around remembering life-changing decisions from decades ago; plans which did not come to fruition, some goals which were achieved, regrets which we all live with, and the hindsight assurance of God's faithfulness through it all.
I could not see what my life would become when I last sat in those pews. I did not know I would have one more child, and she would become one of the greatest blessings in my life. I could not know that I would not become a missionary, but that I would become what I called a "country Christian in corporate America" as a business executive traveling all over the country (something I simply could not have imagined back then.)
Life does not always, or even very often, turn out quite the way we planned. The old axiom goes, "Man proposes, but God disposes." Um-humm.
Nevertheless, I am thankful. Thankful for a chance to attend service. Thankful that K. seems to be making some progress toward recovery (sometimes two steps forward and one step back, but we take as it comes.) Thankful that today, those memories no longer haunted me, as they once might have; but rather they served as gentle reminders that God always has a plan, and even when we fail, His plans still succeed.
God bless you today. Enjoy your day of rest. ...Marsha