For Everything There is a Season (Day 4 from an untitled collection)

 


As things change with the colors of autumn our lives change as well, we leave our school years behind us and look forward to all the possibilities life has to offer.  Our adult years are filled with both achievements and failures. My first marriage was one of those failures, ending after six short months. It was a year later that I met my husband; he was drafted in the Army during the Vietnam War and stationed in Germany; we were married shortly after basic training. I went with his mom and dad to his graduation, but on the return trip home his dad had a cerebral hemorrhage and was taken off life support on what was to be our wedding day. We were married two months later. I will never forget the day after I took him to the airport to leave for Germany; I had gone to my mother-in-laws, a wonderful woman I came to love dearly to my mother-in-laws, we were standing just inside the living room watching my son just standing by papas chair staring, then we heard him say, “Papa gone, daddy gone, Kcotty all alone.” Mom and I just stood there in silence with tears streaming down our faces.

 The first two years we were together just over two months. Our first three years of marriage got off on a rocky start with being separated and with three miscarriages and the unbearable news that I would never be able to have another child. Like most marriages we had our share of up’s and down’s, but we both had been married before that hadn’t ended well, and I was going to honor the vowel I made before God  to remain together in sickness and in health, for better or worse; we celebrated our 50th anniversary this past spring.

I was in my mid-twenties that I had to have emergency surgery for a ruptured ovarian cyst that I saw a glimpse of my dad I had never seen before. When the doctors opened me up they were surprised to find their assessment of the damaged caused by the rupture was under estimated, and I was drowning in my own blood and went into shock. The next day when I woke up my dad was standing at the end of my bed with a tender look on his face. When he came to sit by the bed he handed me a small box and told me he had gotten me something; when I opened it there was a floral ring inside. There was only one other time he allowed me see this side of him.

I was the city girl that married the country boy, but in trying to make me happy we lived in the city, until one day, he came home from work to find I had packed up the house and announced we were moving to the country. We had the strangest conversation after that when he realized we had nowhere to move to. It took the rest of summer before to found a place, when I was given the keys, I went out to get the house ready and every day for the next week I was taking things out to be put away. I even visualized where the furniture would be placed and then hung my pictures accordingly. On moving day all I had to do was make the beds and put away the groceries within two hours I was fixing supper in our new country home.  We had a large garden and I learned to put up produce for winter. The boys would tell their friends if mom didn’t grow it, and dad didn’t hunt it, we didn’t eat it. And you know I learned I was a country girl at heart after all.

We continue to have some rough years and I spent a lot of time alone while he was off hunting or fishing, we stopped camping after moving to the country and taking family vacations, I felt like everything he wanted to do was more important to him than I was. The hardest time for me was when we stopped celebrating our anniversary because he always went on a fishing trip. I remember on our 25th anniversary I thought he would stay home, but I was wrong, then the florist delivered this beautiful arrangement, and it brightened my spirits, until I learned he had forgotten and called my son to take care of it for him. Maybe I was wrong, but I was so hurt I couldn’t stand to look at them after that. When the time came I wasn’t there to welcome him home and when I did come home the house remained quiet; I knew if I opened my mouth I would regret what came out of it. It took a while before I remembered the promise the Lord told me that our latter days would be greater than the first. “’The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house’, says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace’, declares the LORD Almighty” (Haggai 2:9 NIV). Eight Years ago we moved to the lake house and His promise came true.

Early in my Christian walk the Lord put within my heart a love for a people I did not know and a land I had never seen, the Jewish people and the land of Israel. I studied everything I could about their custom and traditions; and the ancient land of the Bible. The feasts of the Lord were of particular interest to me, especially the Passover. I began to put together a Haggadah, a program the Jewish people use in the celebration of Passover, by complying scriptures that followed their traditions and blending in commentary that explained their customs. The following Easter my church was the first to have a Passover and I held one in my home as well. For two years I traveled all around the state in churches, Bible studies and homes putting on Passovers. One in particular I will never forget, it was for the women’s group of our local Presbyterian Church. One of the ladies was crying every time I looked her way. After the services she asked to speak with me, her story touched my heart and I knew if no one else was ever reached by the services it was worth everything to me that she had been. Her story took me back to 1922 in Nazi Germany when she was a member of the Hitler Youth movement; all these years she carried the shame of what she had been and done under the absolute obedience to Hitler and the Nazi party. She told me for the first time she knew the Lord had forgiven her and that she finely felt in her heart she was clean. When I close my eyes I can still see her face and the peace that came over her.

There is a scripture that came to me when I realized what the Lord was doing through these service’s that just couldn’t be explained, it is in 1 Corinthians 1:27, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (NIV).  God had chosen me, the one who everyone saw dumb, worthless and would never amount to anything to reveal His love through and to shine His light through. My first book, A Christian Observance of Passover, the Haggadah, was published in 1997 by Joy Publishing. The first book was sold to an evangelist that was on her way back to Israel and would be celebrating Passover, with a gathering of Jews and Christians, using my book. 

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