I walk down the aisle of the darkened room to the same spot as always—front pew, just left of the platform. This place has been my heart’s home since I was 9. I breathe the air in deep as I wonder aloud, “How did you ever keep me here, Father? How you have kept me!”
My times alone in our church sanctuary are few. It’s a home to many. And there are many in my own home. To be anywhere, by myself, is rare. To find this place empty of others is also. But, oh . . . how grateful I am when He plans these rendezvous’!
Before I talk and listen, I look—with physical eyes at now; memory’s eyes on then. I see the pastor of my childhood fall off the platform’s edge in his excitement sharing the Scriptures. I sing the songs and speak the lines from our musicals, this time without the butterflies! I witness my own baptism. Going under the waters understanding more fully than I could at the time what it means to “die with Christ so that I can be raised with Him.” My peach and teal wedding colors—how horribly they clashed with the red carpet and gold pews. And yet, never has this room looked more beautiful. Our children’s dedications, musicals and baptisms. Brianne playing her harp in the orchestra, Jesse on drums for worship, Jacob’s group sharing their interpretive dance, Faith singing and motioning her heart out for Jesus, while Nate and Jelena play on the risers with friends.
This place is my history. This place is my present.
This place holds my story!
My eyes close as I picture the old church kitchen—left of the sanctuary, next to the choir room. Churches are always short a classroom or two, aren’t they? This kitchen was my classroom as I transitioned out of childhood. A classroom my innocence was not prepared for as a young, naïve, hurting 13. He stands in front, fresh in my mind, yet elusive—like memories are. Always to be part of my story. As inescapable as the pit he threw me in.
I think of Joseph and his pit. His first thoughts were not of forgiveness. They were not of God being good. I am sure they were much like my own; desperation to be saved, to be free again—unscathed and unaltered for having been selfishly and carelessly trampled down low and deep.
Joseph’s pit-pushers were his own brothers, living with him and knowing him, looking for revenge. Mine was my Sunday School teacher, living with us and manipulating kindness, looking for opportunity. For both of us, the master-mind was our enemy, Satan—out to destroy his own enemy’s plans.
I think of all my pit friend became. How he trusted . . . believing God’s good intent towards him. How the glory of God was revealed through his life. My pit experience created overwhelming confusion in Who the I AM truly was. Was He love? Was He for me? Or was He the One responsible for the twisted shards of innocence and trust lay entangled with anger, fear and shame within me. So long I lay wrecked.
This place may hold my story, but it is the Story Maker who holds me!
The aisle I have walked to this day has been painfully freeing. The Savior’s pit removal process also came from this place, from within this Body. The place undeniably bound to my wounds now comes alongside as the healing balm in restoration. Healing has happened.
As I sit in my spot with joy-filled tears flowing free, I ask the I AM for a word—a word to linger on as I focus my thoughts on Easter and all that is the Messiah, my Jesus.
I admit I am not impressed. J
Is that it? Are You sure? Did I hear You right?
Is that it? Are You sure? Did I hear You right?
Three times I asked. Three times I heard.
I let it rest until dark morning hours come offering time to look this over deep. My given word comes from the same root word as “salvation” . . . meaning safe, healthy. My heart races as I dive in deeper.
Salvage is . . .
- the rescue of a vessel
- to make fit for use
- the act of saving that which is saved
- something saved from destruction or waste & put to further use
- to save from loss or destruction
That’s when I hear the Shepherds Voice I’ve learned to know so well...
“I AM salvaging you!”
I want to share more with you about this, so please come back tomorrow! Many of us are wrecks! We are damaged vessels. By our own doing and by the acts of others, but ALL is salvageable by the loving hands of I AM!
All is redeemable!
One of the most powerful thoughts He left with me, I leave with you today—
Part of being salvaged is being safe in the being saved.
Take that to heart and believe it for yourself . . .
You are safe as you are being saved!
Click here, for Part 2 ~ Safe While Being Saved
Gracious Ann along with She Speaks offers the opportunity for one shy writer to learn from others how to better minister, lead, write, and speak for God’s glory. The She Speaks Conference is about women connecting the hearts of women to the heart of our Father God. My heart truly is to serve Him as He leads. How I would love to learn to serve you better here in this place!