Day 1:

  • Joshua 1:9
  • Zephaniah 3:17
  • Romans 8:38-39

My first memory is riding my tricycle when I was a little girl.  We lived in a beautiful and big old house in the country.  Later that year, it would burn to the ground…but that is another story.

I remember that my tricycle was red and the old, cracked sidewalk I was riding on had a circle and I was riding round and round.  I remember my dress was a white dress with red polka dots and it tied in the back but it wasn’t tied and I was scared I was going to run over the ribbon and get it caught in the wheel.  I had on black patent leather shoes but no socks.  The dress was not buttoned in the back and my curls were everywhere.  I had dressed myself.  You see, nobody else was awake and it was late in the morning.  There had been a long night of partying by my parents…and my brothers, who were quite a bit older than me, were sleeping or hiding away because that is what you do in a violent home…you hide from the perpetrator(s) and each other…because if you are found with the next victim, you will also be the next victim.   

I also remember this distinct feeling of sadness, hopelessness, and loneliness.  I was 2 years old. 

I don’t know why I have this particular memory and that is all I see but I can feel that little girl’s heart and I ache for her.  I was a tiny girl…in age and stature…and much had happened in my short life.  My father had died in a car accident on his way home from the military base where he was stationed. He was stationed in Kansas at that time and we lived in Illinois.  He had worked a late night and got in his car tired…he fell asleep at the wheel less than an hour from home. 

My mother suffered from bi-polar disorder and remarried 3 months after the death of my father.  My stepfather was an active alcoholic at that time and he was not really “hip” on inheriting three kids…he had quite a temper, especially when he had been drinking.  I remember living in perpetual fear and always trying to hide and “blend”.  I was always hiding from my mom’s irrational behavior and my step-father’s raging temper. 

It was good to be outside because all the bad stuff happened inside…where people could not see. 

There is someone who saw everything…God.  He was always with me.

You might wonder how I could feel this way?  I could get into all the complexities of free will and God’s omnipresence.  Maybe as we move along I will, but all I can tell you is that my grandmothers had taught me to pray and I always prayed.  I prayed all the time…we were very isolated and Jesus was my only friend.  We did not live close to family and, remember, we lived in the country…no close houses.

Now to the next part of my memory, I knew God was there with me even though I didn’t really understand who He was…because, again, I was two years old.  He was looking fondly at me and I was talking to him as a child talks.  He was listening…I remember knowing he was listening.  I remember talking to him while I was on that tricycle…just chatting away.  As lonely as I was, I felt his presence that day and every day, from then on…I just simply had to start talking to him to know him.

Please know that God is always listening and he is with you…even when you don’t think he is or you feel like you don’t know him.  He knows you very well and he loves you very well. 

You can choose to be mad at God because “he isn’t doing more” or you can accept that he is walking you through your earthly journey.  Allow him to protect your soul when the rest of you is hurting.  Give it over to him at those most painful moments and he will guard it for you.  Do not let the world break the gift God has given you.  Your soul belongs to you and God…do not let man and this world take it over.  No matter what you are going through, nobody can take that part of you…it is a coveted possession that belongs to only you and God.  Guard by praying and learning God’s word…and accepting his love.  Because unlike earthly love, his is absolutely and truly without condition.  It was given to you before you were born, before you even asked for it.  You can’t throw it away…you cant discard it.  You can ignore it…but it will still be there for you.  My suggestion to you, anger is not a fun place to be…so just let God love you and love him right back.  You deserve the purest love that only Christ can give and it is waiting for you…so start talking to him.  He is waiting to hear from you.

You are never helpless and life is never hopeless when God is in your life. 

Say this prayer with me:

Father God,

I thank you for this day.  I thank you for the unconditional love and power you have given me.  God, if I have not accepted your love in my heart, please wash through me right now.  No matter what pain I may be feeling, I ask you to let your love flood me like a river.  I ask you to fill me with your presence…especially during my darkest moments.  God, even with the hurt I have felt in my life, you were always right there with me and holding my hand.  I simply need to seek you and I will see you right there with me, looking forward and backward, you have been there with me protecting the most treasured part of me…my soul. 

Thank you, God, for loving me…

Amen