Recently I was visiting with my daughter, Nicole, when a discussion of her daddy’s accident came up. It’s not a topic we talk about on a routine basis, but it is part of who we are both as a family and as individuals. During the course of the conversation I looked at her, now a wife and mother herself, and inquired “Why do you think your dad and I made it?” Pausing briefly she laughed and said,”I wonder that myself sometimes.” Then she paused, looking at me with what I call her ‘serious face’ and said, “Because Mom, for you quitting is never an option.”
I was raised in a Christian home by two loving parents who not only talked about trusting God, they lived daily showing their trust. I was only two years old when my dad was transferred overseas to England. His young wife and two daughters, age 2 ½ and 6 months were to follow him a few months later. My mother had never traveled out of the state of Missouri much less travel first to New York, NY then on to Great Britain. Yet she forged ahead. Even when her oldest daughter was diagnosed with the measles and put into quarantine there in New York her faith did not fail. She took a room at a hotel, cared for my baby sister, visited me when allowed and continued her plans to join my dad. Following my release she boarded an Air Force cargo plane headed for Germany. In her mind Germany was closer to England than New York so off we went. For some reason the plane stopped to refuel in England, my mother took both of her girls, got off the plane, and refused to get back on. Her husband was in England and England was where she was going to stay. After a series of miscommunications my parents were reunited. I heard that story over and over as I grew up. I knew my mother was a strong woman but there was no doubt who she gave credit to for that strength.
As years passed I watched my parents deal with difficult times over and over again. The loss of parents, health scares, sudden transfers, my dad’s sudden departure for duty with us not knowing where he was or when he would return were always met head on. I never saw them blame God instead I saw them turn to Him for strength and purpose. Later I would appreciate what a great legacy they had given me. I also understood that legacy had been passed to them from their parents.
So, as I faced those very difficult times I had an example to go by, my parents and my grandparents. I’d seen them pray, I’d heard the words “God knows best”, I’d watched them put their trust in God in action. I knew to turn everything over to God. I’m not saying it was always easy or that things always went the way I thought they should go. But I never doubted God was in control. My faith is what got me through those difficult times. It was one thing that I could count on when everything seemed to be falling apart.
I’ve often said that when I felt myself getting overwhelmed by all that was going on God would send just the right person, at just the right time, with just the right word, scripture, or gesture. God was faithful to send help each time I needed it. My parents passed the legacy of faith to me and because they did I have the responsibility, privilege and honor to pass it along to my children. My prayer is they saw and continue to see in me the faith I witnessed in my parents. It is a gift that will take them through any difficulties they may face.