Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go"

Friday, May 22, 1980

I was 9.

Dad had been studying the previous week, with a new couple from church. They hadn’t committed to Christ yet. I listened in on the study of the gospel message.
I remember thinking, “Hey! I know all this stuff!” I told Mom and Dad that I wanted to be baptized. Dad and I talked about all that it meant. We went to the church. And I made my confession of faith.

“Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?”

Yes. Yes I do.

There were only about 12 people present. When I came up out of the water, we sang, “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.” I don’t know what in the world would have passed through my young, naïve head that day…if God had revealed to me the path I had begun to walk.
I was all passion and zeal. ☺
Youth group mission trips. Singing at the nursing homes. Bible Bowl. Faithful note taking during sermons…

I was so THERE!

And now….

I’m HERE.

*Experiencing this week, a broken heart… My family will gather in the States to celebrate a milestone…a wedding…and I will not be present…again.
*Facing mad men in town, who seem to be drawn to me lately. Drunk men hovering, begging for a coin.
*Praying for a street kid who has no education, no family, no direction…struggling to find wise words to redirect his lying and manipulating…
*Guiding new Christians as they learn what it means to turn their allegiance fully to Christ…
*Listening to story after story of people wanting money from my pocket…not the treasure of my heart…
*Waking to gun shots and loud shouts at my fence…
*Treating my dear friends for malaria…praying for their healing…
*Listening to young girls who’ve been violated sexually and made to feel it is all their responsibility…
*Trying to comfort those who are burying their family members at an alarming rate…deaths due to AIDS, malaria…poor health in the third world…
*Being laughed at and stared at for my differences…

I’m HERE…often without answers…sometimes without words…

May 22, 2007.

“Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?”

The same question surfaces…

Reminding me…

Yes. I do believe.

And all these years later…and for all the years to come...

Knowing that Truth…

Is Enough.

I am overcome with thankfulness today…for my beloved Father. My dearest Brother. My faithful Lord.

How generous is His Spirit…to enter a 9 year old…and never let her go.


“The Lord God is my strength, my personal bravery and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering or responsibility]!” Habbakkuk 3:19 The Amplified Old Testament


("Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go" Hymn by George Matheson w.1842; Music by Albert L Peace w. 1884)

9 comments:

Lynn said...

I remember that day like it was yesterday. I can't remember who I was studying with the week before. I will probably remember at 2:00 a.m. want me to call you. Of course you'd say yes because it will be 8:00 in the morning there.:-)I do pray for you and am not surprised about where you are. I believe that good confession more today than then, and I believed it "large" then. I love you and really miss you.
Dad

Lynn said...

oops, actually it will be 10:00 a.m. there. But don't expect a call. Just e-mail me and tell me who it was.:-)
Dad

Jen said...

Thank you for sharing your faith and your heart even in the midst of wilderness times. Your words bring me back, remind me, help me to move forward. You are truly a blessing. I will pray for you ... for His peace and rest. Much love ...

Greg said...

Cheryl, I hope you were comforted tonight as you were prayed over by about 20 faithful folk at our house, including your tired, devoted husband. You are loved and admired by so many, including me! Grace and peace to you and yours.....

Tracey Ries said...

This is me this week too! I am praying for you sister!

Lori B. said...

Happy 27th anniversary! What a wonderful anniversary to celebrate, your union with Christ! How amazing it is that God's love, His Spirit and His grace have sustained you through all the life situations you shared with us. Your life is such a strong testimony of God's power & strength being enough. Thank you for choosing to partner with God on His calling on your life, as He chose to partner with you so many years ago. His pursuit of a love relationship with you began so many years ago and still continues to this day! Praise God for life in Him!

Lori :-)

Trisha said...

You have been prayed for a lot this week, friend. As I read and think about your life today, I am thankful for your mighty faith--that hangs on through it all. We love you!

The Gearharts said...

What a beautiful sister you are! I am praying for you today. I am so thankful for this blog stuff and that I am so blessed to have a glimpse into your life. Here we are in the midst of life. By the way your post had me teared up. My heart is rejoicing.

Amy G

Joshua and Julie Marcum said...

I'm so glad you made that decision so long ago - you have been an example and inspiration to me, Cheryl. As a teenager, watching you as a young married woman, and then a mom. Living for Christ, walking the walk every day. And you continue to encourage and inspire me from a far. I thank God for you!
Julie