An unexpected call lead me on a trip high up into the mountains of NC to visit a friend at her family’s cabin. The cabin has been a vacation home since 1968 and she only travels up from Charleston, SC three times a year for a stay. I have known this friend since childhood and have visited her family cabin several times over the years. Her family had lived across the street from my grandparents years ago and I loved to go visit them when my family came for Christmas or a visit in the summer. Now, we are both on the other side of life and I had not seen her in over 12 years. This was truly a treat.
Of course, we did the normal catching up on what our relatives in both families had been up to. I didn’t realize that her brother had died last year. I told her of my brother’s death too. I talked about how I loved her parents home as a child, baking poundcake with her mom and how in my mind’s eye I still occasionally ventured from room to room to reminisce. My grandparents home is like that for me too. The vivid memories are much more precious now that I am older. I have dreamed about the places I have lived and the people I have known and that has brought me so much comfort and joy.
Then my friend said, “Someone has torn down your grandparents house and the lot is vacant.” She didn’t know why, didn’t know who owned it now and didn’t know of any plans for rebuilding. My heart sank low. So much of what I knew as a child has already been demolished because of progress. So many of the relatives I grew up with have gone too. Nothing stays the same and I get that. However, when those things which one uses to remember and reminisce with are lost, it can be disheartening. I couldn’t shake it off my mind.
When I left the mountains, I prayed that God would protect my friend and her family. She is battling cancer so I prayed for her health and healing and time for another visit together. Again, it is true. The realities of aging are not always pleasant.
The following morning, when I had my quiet time with the Lord, I explained how I felt about my grandparents home and that I didn’t want to continue to mourn the pasting of an era. I admitted life must go on and change is apart of that life. However, I would require some help from Him to get me back into the life I now enjoy.
As I finished up my prayer and readings, it happened! First, a friend texted and asked me to have an early lunch with her at her home. She had fixed pigs in a blanket, baked beans, and cantaloupe. Her husband had unexpectedly been invited to go shooting and now she didn’t want to eat all that food alone. Although I didn’t really want to get up and out of my comfortable pajamas at first, I felt a nudge to accept so I did. When God begins to send the answer, I need to be willing to get up and receive it. Then another friend texted. She asked if I would fix supper that night because she had time for a visit. I had asked her to do that whenever she found space in her busy schedule. Perfect! My day was set. Then, it really dawned on me. God WAS answering my request! My heart leaped for joy as I left my room of prayer.
As my day progressed to the end, I realized those feelings of sadness had departed because I had concentrated on being with those I cherish now. God knew exactly what it would take to lift me up. And in the place of sadness came praise, thanksgiving and joy! So many times it seems we have to wait in faith and patience for an answer to our prayers. But today...today was not one of them.