YOU ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS ... I know I still can't! This is just further proof that God has a purpose in everything that happens in our lives. I was totally blown away today by God's goodness in my life.
The story begins the day, with the help of our family, we cleaned out our house from the flood. Everyone was throwing things away that were soaked by the flood waters or that could not be salvaged. I remember our son Andy looking at me with a metal box and saying "This looks like some keepsakes but all these letters are ruined anyway, you want to keep it?" And I specifically recall saying, "No, throw it out."
Later, as I looked at the huge pile of furniture and household belongings on our front lawn, I remember thinking, I hope that wasn't our love letters from before we married that we threw out in the pile. I could not bear to think of them being so exposed to the world, even if the ink on each page was smeared beyond recognition. Well, as we sorted through the items that were salvaged over the next few months and after finally moving into our new house, I still kept thinking ... "God, you know what happened to those love letters and if you wanted to, you could keep them safe and return them to me one day." I prayed that the "one day" would come but it never did and I eventually lost all hope.
Now, I used to keep lots of prayer journals and Bible study journals and saved everything I had written over the years. Often I wondered what my children would think if I died and they were to read the personal things I had written. But I could never bear to part with them. When the flood came, God took care of most of it for me. Most of what I had written was destroyed. I did keep a journal during Hurricane Rita and took it with me when we evacuated for Hurricane Ike and read it along the way and was reminded of God's goodness in our lives after Rita. I remember thinking, it will never be like that this time. Little did I know that we would end up losing our home, church, everything and have to start all over again.
Then after the fire, I started my blog and started writing again. I found it to be very "theraputic" for me during one of the lowest points in my life. It was as if I thought, this is somewhere safe to put my thoughts where no flood or fire can touch them. I realized over time that losing the things I had recorded and written and the family pictures that meant so much to me, felt like losing a part of myself. I even wrote about this very subject a couple of weeks ago on my blog on March 23 in a post entitled "Accept the Good".
Over the past few months I have been seeking to reconnect with my extended family and you will never believe what happened. I was able to visit by phone with my aunt and one of my cousins this past week. My cousin asked me about a Bible that belonged to our grandmother that she thought that I had. I told her that I did not remember having it but my memory is not that good and with the flood and the fire, I really had no idea if the Bible had been destroyed or not. But I agreed that I would look for it.
So after looking everywhere last night here at the house, I asked Jack to take me over to the storage buildings that are at the old house and we start looking through boxes for the Bible. We didn't find the Bible, but I did find a box full of pictures and said "Let's take that back home with us." When we got home I started rummaging through the pictures, and was SO SURPRISED to find every letter that I had written to Jack before we married !!! I did not find the ones he wrote to me, they must have been in the box that Andy threw away. But, it was very significant to me that the letters God returned to me were the very letters that I (capital I!) had written. For me, it was like finding a piece of myself that had been lost.
Besides the letters, I also found a framed 8x10 of our wedding picture and newspaper clippings from 1945 - 1946 of my parent's wedding announcement and an account of when my dad was wounded in Germany during WWII !!
I cannot begin to tell you how good it felt and the tears came pouring! No one, not even Jack can understand just how much it meant to me. Of course I sat down and read every one. God is so awesome!
And then the way it all happened and God's timing is so perfect too! The letters were there all along, but God knew that I needed to work through some things and He needed to prepare my heart so that He could remind me of just how much He really loves me. He really does want to give us the desires of our heart, but He first wants us to desire Him above all. Psalm 37:4 says "Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Isn't God good !!!
As the song goes ... Lord I'm amazed by You and how you love me.