I've been working on a project that involves scanning old pictures that my mom has in an album. They are stuck there now and in order for them to survive the years something needed to be done. A big project!
I came across this picture and thought I'd share it and the story of a brave six year old. This was taken in 1968. One year prior to this my father had been killed in a car accident and my mother had spent quite a bit of time in a hospital. We were farmed out to various family and friends during that time.
I want to remain respectful of my mother here, so I'll just say that she did the best she could under the circumstances during this first year. She was lost and maybe afraid. She was 24 years old and left with three children ages 2, 3 and 5. Uncertain of the future and dealing with a lot of painful stuff in her life, she needed to be taken care of. So being the big girl of five, I tried to help as much as I could, caring for my brother and sister. My mother tells me that I was the "little mommy". Such was my life at 5.
At 6 I began first grade, having already had a very traumatic year. My first day went great according to all that were there. School was over and time to get on the bus, but I missed it. Instead of totally losing it and crying as most 6 yr old would do I decided I could walk home.
Now you need to understand where we lived. For the first ten years of my life I lived in Pendleton Ind., best known for the State Penitentiary. It was located between my house and the school. And in order to get home I'd have to walk right through an area where the work release prisoners were currently working on the road.
But in my six year old mind I'm sure I didn't even think about the dangers that could be out there. I just knew I should get home, and I was confident enough to think I could find my way. We lived in farm country, so walking home meant about 4 miles of long country roads. I had to cross over a railroad track in which my shoe got caught in between the ties. I still remember the panic in my heart as I thought "what if a train would come before I got my shoe loose". Oh the imagination of a six year old.
Well I got about a half mile from home when someone who knew me came driving by and picked me up. He told me that my mother had been franticly looking for me, calling everyone when I didn't get off the bus. I looked at him and said " I missed the bus so I was walking home, she shouldn't have worried". (being a mom now I totally understand that panic!)
You might wonder why tell this story? My favorite words as a toddler were "I can do it!" I had and still have a very independent streak in me. I often find myself thinking I can just do it, then I set out to do whatever it is on my own. But I don't know the dangers that lurk around me.
Yes God kept me safe on those back country roads, walking through dangers I didn't see. And He still keeps me from many danger today. I also think that there are times that my independence gets me into trouble. I think I can handle something apart from God. But I forget, I try to walk out and do it on my own only to have things go wrong, and I fail, falling flat on my face.
For the last 38 years I feel that God has been trying to teach me that apart from Him I can't handle anything. I am often still that little girl who thinks she can find her own way...but I need the hand of God leading me. I need His guidance....Oh Father help me to become ever so dependent on You!
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. Is. 41:13He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber;
...The Lord watches over you-- the Lord is your shade at your right hand; PS 121:3,5You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Ps 32:7But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 2Thess 3:3