(I must preface this post by telling you that Jeff Goins of “You are a Writer” said in his ebook, that we should determine our audience, decide who that “ideal reader” is who will stop and read my writing. I mulled that one over and over. I have always written letters, some never sent, some that had to be written, just because. I chose to write a letter to my ideal reader and post it because someone may identify with her a bit. Her name is Miriam, Miriam Loggins, to be precise. If there’s a real Miriam Loggins out there, apologies for stealing your name. For me, she was the name of the main character of a short story I wrote so very long ago.)
Your name has been in my head and heart for a Long Time. When you were young, so was I. Now we are older. Do you still wonder and wander? I do. The places I’ve been in my head and in reality! The things I’ve experienced, the people I’ve known, they all have had a hand in shaping my life. But that one experience as a child, when I was 7 has kept me sane all these years. Remember?
Those two Sundays in a row, I stood there singing with the grandmother/mother “Just as I am”. I think that was the only invitation song I knew there was for a very long time. Nevertheless, that first Sunday, I was listening. I heard HIs Voice. I started to make my move, and she grabbed my arm, held me back. Leaned down and whispered, “You are too young.” The song ended, the service ended, and we went home. Nothing was said. The next Sunday, again with the “Just as I am”, but this time I stood on the outside of the pew next to the aisle. I looked up. She wasn’t watching me. And, I stepped out. I fairly ran down that aisle to the pastor. To the safety of the King of Kings. She called the pastor the next week and asked him to talk to me before a baptism was scheduled. She didn’t believe that I believed and understood the call of the King. I don’t know that she ever did.
He and I talked, Mostly he asked questions and I answered, He gave instruction and I listened. He must have been satisfied with my answers; because she said after she talked with him that he told her to let me be baptized, that I understood what I believed. I remember the next Sunday I was baptized. It was January and I was cold. I think it was in the evening, she drove me to church and left. Something going on with the grandfather/father I think he was drunk again.
So, alone, at the age of 7, I was welcomed into my Forever Family in a little church on the south side of San Antonio. I’d like to say that everything changed in that moment, but it didn’t. On the outside at least. But inside, that is a different story, the Holy Spirit took up residence.
He provided people in the church that loved me just because. He provided protection from those who would grind me down just because. He provided instruction, encouragement, direction and love that I would not even come close to knowing in human form until I met my husband. He prepared me for difficulty for most of my life just because.
Because He knew I was his child and I had no one. No One to prepare me for adulthood; to provide for me spiritually; to protect me from myself and others; to piece together the bits to where they actually looked like a picture and not a complete mess; to pull me toward the man who would be my husband; to place mentors in my life where and when I needed a human hand with God’s Name written on it; to put His song in my heart for me to hear in the midst of the cacophony of noise that was my life before I was an adult; and most importantly, to pierce my heart of hearts with the love of Jesus when there was no one else and comfort me with that love that will never leave.
Remember, Miriam? It was tough getting from child to adult.
PS- He still holds my hand. Does He hold yours?
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you. Isaiah 41:13