I grew up as a “military brat”, my Dad was in the USAF. We moved around a lot, I can’t even tell you how many different schools I attended. I would make new friends then have to move and make new ones again. When I was eleven my parents divorced, my Dad moved away and I stayed with my mom in the town we lived in at the time. My home was very unstable, my mom shipped me off to live with different family members off and on for the next three years. I was confused, lonely, depressed, insecure, shy, bitter, resentful, hurt, rejected, neglected and desperate for love! There were a couple of times I attempted to end my life, the darkness and pain was unbearable! Thankfully, I was unsuccessful.
About a year later I had this amazing peace-encounter while living in the country in Cedar Grove Tennessee with my Aunt Ros and Uncle Harold. They gave me a horse named Buddy, he was a big beautiful gentle horse (Jesus must have disguised himself as this horse!) Buddy knew how desperately I needed peace and love. He would be way out in the pasture, but when he heard me, he always came running. He only did this with me. He was the most gracious, kind, loving and generous thing I’d ever experienced. He would let me get on him bareback and we would ride out into the field. I would lay on his back for hours looking up at the beautiful blue sky, watching the clouds take different shapes. For the first time in my life I felt peace! It was amazing! I wish I could have stayed there forever!
Fast forward a couple of years, I was living with my mom in California, a new man came into our lives. At fifteen I was so excited about getting my license to have some more independence. My mom arranged for this new man to drive me a few hours away to go stay with another Aunt and Uncle for a while. I liked this new man, he was very kind and he let me drive part of the way! I was so excited to get my license! I went on my sixteenth birthday to take my drivers test and passed! Yay! The new man named Jim married my mom. My little sister was only one at this time, we now were a family. Jim’s son who lived in another state had an old blue Camaro that I was allowed to use. I thought I was so cool driving that loud muscle car! I loved it! I was soon racing some new friends that also had muscle cars and I lost my license for a whole month, right after I got it!
My little 16-year-old self was so mad! That old blue Camaro gave me a sense of power. That was something I hadn’t felt before! For a time it was mine and I loved it. It took me to school, to beauty school and parties. Some days it wouldn’t start so I had to crawl under and hit the tranny or starter. But it always started up for me, until one day Jim’s son was back in town and driving it, it started overheating and he poured water on the engine. “NO!” I said, “Don’t do that!” He didn’t listen and that was the end of my adventures in the Camaro. (Sigh) All good things always came to an end.
I never knew Jesus as a child, I did have a stranger tell me a bit about Him, which sparked my curiosity. Now looking back I see He was always there! In Buddy the horse, allowing me to see, feel, and smell real peace, through fun and protection with the old blue Camaro. Through my step-dad Jim’s love, encouragement, affirmation and the way he helped everyone around him (that will be another blog).
Through good and bad times Jesus is always there waiting patiently for us to surrender, for us to listen to his voice and to experience his fullness, grace, mercy and love. I’ve been in the pit a few times in my life, I understand the depths of pain and hopelessness. If you are there right now rise up, rise up! The only way to go when you hit bottom is up! Look up, HE is waiting for you, HE never leaves us. You are a child of GOD! Feed your soul with his words! Press on! Look for Him in everything.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Full of HOPE,