More treasures from our journey through Mom’s belongings. Notice that two of the above are romance novels. The paper is yellowed and the print is small, and I didn’t try to read each of them. A brief flipping through of pages revealed that fiction does indeed follow life. The struggles of women are not new. The battle to hold marriages together is not new. And hopefully the patriotism expressed in the middle book is not new, nor is it dead.
We learned a lot about Mom’s life as a teen and young adult as we struggled to sort what to keep, what to send to the historical museum, and what to discard. We learned that writing materials were scarce and treasured. She had a bit of a diary recorded in a tiny little notebook advertising Federal Fertilizer.
She and my aunt were beauties and had a multitude of suitors, evidenced by the letters from servicemen, the dates at the “Cotton Club,” and the difficulties of making and keeping dates with no telephones and no automobiles. We read of her first encounter with my dad. She sounded young and under impressed. He “stood her up several times” and she was pretty irritated. She then mentioned that his dad was in the hospital. I suspect that was when my grandpa had the stroke that left him paralyzed and aphasic (unable to speak).
You wonder where I am going with this. I guess we all have memories of those early romances, misunderstandings, and broken hearts. We have the excuse of youth and the resistance to all advice offered by the older generation. But I want to redirect to a different romance–God’s wooing of us. Because isn’t that the greatest, most perfect romance of all?
I wouldn’t sacrifice one of my children for anyone or any cause. Would you? But He gave his only and perfect Son so that I might have a relationship with him. He loved me (and you) so much that He devised this perfect plan to woo us into a personal relationship with our Creator, Savior, and the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.
And here’s what I came to say–I watched a Charles Stanley re-run this morning. He was my mother’s “pastor” when she became physically unable to attend live church (years before her death). And he was teaching about seeking God. And seeking God diligently. And it hit me–I don’t think I’m seeking anything diligently right now. Not a closer relationship with God. Not a true understanding of what he wants me to do with the remainder of my life. Not the writing which had been such a part of me.
I’ve been so distracted. Some physical ailments (hopefully, prayerfully partially “fixed” by recent surgery). But also work to be done and bills to be paid and worry and depression and anxiety and, of course, COVID. But now I see, Lord, that it’s You missing in my life. And it’s my fault. You haven’t deserted me, I have retreated into too much of this world and failed to seek your face–in a diligent, devoted and disciplined fashion.
Forgive me. And help me. I have this little prayer I often pray:
Soften my heart. Sharpen my mind. Strengthen my body.
But I want to add, “Speak to me Lord.” Tell me, show me, that marvelous plan you have in mind, for everything good comes from You and I know You love me and I love You. And give me the diligence, devotion, and discipline to persevere.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJV)