In my book Girls Like me, I mentioned the importance of ‘going back’ to correct wrongs of the past when we can. This is necessary in the recovery and restoration process. The past can also be a place to recharge and refresh, if visited in a healthy way. Sometimes ‘going back’ also means revisiting those God moments that left indelible imprints on our lives. This is especially needed when our faith needs to be restored. Have you ever had those seasons? That place where we store our testimonies of God goodness, my pastor names it our memorial closet .
In August of 1983, my girl friends and I had one of those God moments. Of course, I captured those moments in my little diary. Here goes some parts :
08/24/83 -8/25/83 – Youth Camp
“Woke up at 6 AM….Met Ricky (quite nice). Met Debbie, Sammy, Gypsy, Ian and Norman….Best day at camp so far!”
” Woke at 6 AM. Day started great…[usual routine]. Ricky and I talked for awhile. I really like him. Met another Ricky!
Woke at 6 AM….usual routine. Ricky sprained his ankle. [Later] the other Ricky [#2] took me to see him in his room. Met Chassy, Jibbo, and Collin!…
That’s the day – right there August 26, 1983 that those amazing young men seen above Chassy ( Anthony), Jibbo (Dave) and Collin walked into our lives. I’m sure they probably do not remember that day – but I do! That’s what us girls do – we remember!
According to my little black book , after summer camp ‘us girls’ above [and another who is missing from the picture] – saw them again September 9 – 11, 1983. We had visited their youth meeting and stayed in the area for the weekend.
Diary entries showed they came to see us ( we lived in different towns) for a long weekend; September 24-26. That picture was taken on Sunday, September 25, 1983, outside our church building. We had an amazing connection and created memories that will last a lifetime.
Some of us were teenagers and some just about 20 years old or so. A time when life was simpler and we actually talked to each other for hours – no cell phone. We wrote each other letters and looked forward to hearing from each other. Chassy would write all four of us girls the exact same letter! He wrote like the Apostle Paul – for real! One of us would read his letter out aloud and we didn’t need to open the others. Ricky #2 (not in the picture) and I would communicate by letters too. Once he sent me an interesting two-page letter. ( Can you imagine a guy writing a two-page letter today to someone who’s just a friend?). The first page made sense but the second page was a bit confusing. He had sent me the second page of a letter meant for his girlfriend and sent her the second page meant for me! BTW, I found out years later that Ricky # 2’s mom had really liked me then ( for Ricky). Did we miss a moment there? 🙂 Ricky – Please don’t kill me for mentioning this.
Were we in love? No. Did someone like someone? Probably – I’m sure there was some of that but nothing that interfered with the bond we had. We laughed together, talked about everything, argued, went to concerts, took walks – all together. These were moments of pure, undefiled, unadulterated joy. These were God moments! Moments we would never forget. They were gifts given to us by a Father who loves His children. They are memories that bring a smile to our faces when we open those memorial closets.
For that moment in time, God smiled on a group of carefree, unscarred young people and gave them moments to treasure . He knew life would bring us tough moments as we got older. He knew we would travel some mountainous terrains, walk into some deep valleys, feel pain we never bargained for. We would navigate some difficult places in life – but for that moment in time, life was simply beautiful.
Today, ‘them boys’ and I still chat from time to time. Life took us all in different directions but I know where to find them (and Ricky #2) when I need a little laughter or meaningful conversation. We all have our own families now ; doing our own thing. We will never forget that summer in 1983. ‘Us girls’ haven’t seen ‘them boys’ in decades ( except for Jibbo). A few years ago we happened to be in the same area; he drove over an hour to come see two of ‘us girls’. We still laughed like old times!
So, have you forgotten your God moments? Has life drowned out the sounds of beauty that you once heard? Are you in a dry and barren place? Wounded and worn because of the season you are currently in? Dealing with a loss? You don’t laugh as much. Not much to smile about? Dare to go back and visit those incredible points in time when you knew it was GOD! Call them to mind with a thankful heart. We are reminded to ‘…forget not all His benefits’ ( Psalm 103:2). Let them fill your heart with gratitude.
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands ( Psalm 143: 5). Can I challenge us to open our memorial closets – unpack those beautiful memories. During this season, let’s remind ourselves of the good God has blessed us with. Lest we forget…