If you read my one of my previous posts Setting our hearts on pilgrimage you will know that my husband and I took a trip to England in September. And if you read the post then you will know the significance of this trip for me, it was a journey to discover more of my roots.
My dad was a Canadian soldier in World War 2, and while there he met a young English woman. They got married while he was stationed there, and after a few months he was sent home, my mom followed shortly after.
Little did anyone know that she would die at the young age of 34, leaving behind a husband and 4 children. I was the youngest, just 6 months old, and for reasons I’ve never fully understood I was taken from my father and raised by my aunt and uncle.
I grew up not knowing my dad but I did know most of the relatives on his side of the family. But it was my mom’s side of the family that I never knew.
You know how we have the habit of saying, or at least I have said it to my husband, “you sound just like your mom” (which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong)….or you look in the mirror one morning and say, “I am my mother” (at least my daughters have told me they’ve said that!!)…..well, I could never say that because I never knew my parents.
As a little girl I would often cry myself to sleep longing for my mom….even as a young girl I knew that someday I was going to go to England, the country of her birth. And so this past September my dream came true.
I knew my uncle, my mom’s brother, through letters, emails and phone calls….he did come to Canada 16 years ago for a short visit….but I still had lots of questions, as well as relatives there that I’d never met. I went not knowing if they would be like the Waltons or the Adams family…thankfully they were not like the latter!
I spent many hours with my uncle pouring over photos, asking questions and learning more about my mother and my heritage. I learned what kind of woman she had been, and I knew that even though I didn’t know her, I carried some of her traits. One afternoon while going through photos my uncle stopped and looked at me and said: “do you know that today would have been your mom’s birthday” coincidence? I don’t think so….
During our time in England we took a tour to the southern part known as the English Riviera, while there we took a boat across the bay to Dartmouth. While on the boat I looked back at the shore line and thought about my mom…how she must have felt leaving on a ship with other war brides headed for Canada. Looking back at her country did she wonder if she would ever see her homeland or her family again. Did she have any idea what the Canadian prairies during the harsh winter months were going to be like?
That day on the boat, lost in my thoughts, what I sensed in my spirit was that my mom was a woman of courage and strength. And this is the common thread that I have seen handed down through the generations, in the lives of my daughters and just like it took God’s courage and strength for me to face my painful and abusive childhood and find healing.
I don’t know why my mom had to die at such a young age, I have learned not to question my heavenly Father but to trust Him….and I have learned that it is all about the journey-and His presence can be found in every step.
As God writes the stories of our lives he uses our past to open up our future. God reveals himself to you, and to others, through the story He has written in your life.
God gave me two Scriptures when I became a Christian at age 22, one is Psalm 16: 6: “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” And another Scripture, Joel 2:23-24 says: So I will restore the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust and the chewing locust. In this passage we find there are 4 different kinds of locusts, one takes the flower, one takes the stem, one takes the leaf, and one takes the root, so when they are done there is virtually nothing left. Yet, God’s promise to me was that He would take the heart of a bruised and battered child, who suffered in silence, and heal and restore her again.
These two verses have been such a source of strength and encouragement in some of my most challenging and darkest times.
God took a broken little child and restored her……He took a wounded young girl and offered her healing….and He took a woman, filled with shame and promised her life!!
The Lord doesn’t reclaim the years of the locust….He restores them! He restores them to demonstrate His grace, to bring praise to His name, and to reveal His power…..How can we not Thank HIM!!
Today, I can testify that He has indeed given me a delightful inheritance….and as Psalm 78:4 reminds me; “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord and His power, and the wonders He has done.”
And I am thankful beyond words…..when I was on the plane watching England fade into the distance, the tears softly flowed….not tears of grief, but tears of deep gratitude, because God had answered the prayers of a little, abandoned girl so many years ago, and gave her the connection and family she’d always longed for
….no I never knew my mom or my dad, but I’ve known and tasted the goodness of my Lord, and to Him I am forever grateful!