Today was a special day. You know, I realize how fortunate I am to be able to say that. I am so thankful for good news. I am thankful that my family believes that what is good for one of us is good for all. And, of course…what hurts one of us affects us all. You take one of us …you take us all. We are a cohesive unit…even if we have differing paths to follow.
Well,as I said, today was a special day. And, so much leads up to it, that I don’t know if I can even explain it all to you so that it makes sense. For years, our family has worshipped together at SBC. ***But children grow up and move away to other cities and worship with strangers (to us) but where they feel comfortable. ***They grow up and move away……even if it is only 30 miles up the highway, and they join the community church and use their talents there. Which is, I believe, what God intends for us to do wherever we may call home. ***They grow up and move with others to start a new church. ***They grow up and worship in a totally new kind of church. ***They grow up, but don’t always move away…and are not even able to attend church at all……but read and study and worships in his own way…living very close to God. ***And, then there are our elders who simply moved on to the the most wonderful place of all to worship…at the feet of Jesus. And, this is the way of the world. It is right and fitting that they should make their own decisions about how and where they worship. They are serving the Lord , they are teaching, as they have been taught, they are raising their children to love their church. This makes mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles and grandfathers very happy and proud. Together at SBC or worshipping in other places…we are ALL part of the Family of God.
But, there are those of us who come to our dear SBC each Sunday to worship. Joy is the church pianist, Don and Tommy serve as Deacons, and committee heads, and Pop leads a Sunday School Department. I have not been able to be very active in the past few months due to my health, but I’m hoping to get a reprieve soon. It is funny thing that if I clear my throat or cough, Joy will always look my way from across the church. It is a gift to sing the hymns with Don. It is a treasure in my heart each time my Pop takes my hand during the benediction and holds it gently in his. He always did the same with Mom.
It is nothing short of an early Heaven to be at church with those who have known you since you were a babe yourself. Who saw you and loved you and taught you and TOLD ON YOU!! and set the example of what being a Christian means. They watched you grow, and helped you grow, and then they watched your children. And, they loved them and visited them, and taught them, and set the example, and yes, TOLD ON THEM! when necessary. And, their children were taught, and loved and TOLD ON, when they were taught by us. We love their children just as they love ours.These are the people who feed you when you are sick. They sit with you during illness. They comfort you during the pain of death. There are many ladies here who loved my Mom. They never mind us mentioning her or talking about her…they loved her, too. It helps us so that we know they can recall sweet times with her, too. I know that any of them would stand in for my Mom should we need it. This is what makes a church family. This is what binds us together. This is the stabalizing force in our lives. And, it is a good place to be. And, here we shall be until we join Mom and Mrs Elizabeth and Mr. Hanlan (Don’s Mom and Dad), along with Tommy’s and Ben’s Dads, on the streets of gold.
Adam grew up at SBC and Suzanne came when she was in college. There are many, many people who love Adam…from watching him grow…and for watching him fight and beat cancer when he was just a little boy! And, he and Suzanne are sorely missed…as are the rest of the cousins.
*****Allow me to stop here and say again what a blessing God has given us in Little Levi. There was much doubt as to whether Adam and Suzanne would be able to bring a child into the world. There were fertility issues that shall remain theirs to tell. But, it was devastating when discovered. However, God can take the saddest things in our lives and work through them to bring about a miracle. Through wonderful doctors and God’s grace…they were able to have this precious child! You know…people often get angry with God and wonder why He allows such sadness to occur in the lives of His children. God made this natural world for us to live in, and things sometimes go a little wonky. It is the way of this world. Even though it was created to be a perfect place…it changed with Adam and Eve. So, God takes these sad and bad things that come into our lives and turns them into things we can bear. Sometimes He makes things right. Sometimes, He helps us find a workable solution…even if it is not the perfection we truly want. And, sometimes, He says, “Be strong and learn from this trial. I will help you and hold you and I will never leave you alone.” And, He does just what He promises. He is there to smooth our paths and He uses His followers to love on us and comfort us. He. Is. Always. Good.*****
***Wow! That was a lot of background that probably was not at all interesting, but as a historian for our family…it is important for me to tell the whole story.***
Today was a day of happiness and joy. Joy deep down inside. Adam and Suzanne brought Levi to SBC and my heart overflowed with happy. There were so, so many people who loved and still love Adam…and they have been praying for he and Suzanne throughout this whole process. They were happy to hear when they got pregnant, and even more so when he was born. And, today, they were so happy to see their new son.
Pop began sitting on the other side of the church soon after Mom died. Joy and Tommy sit there and it is easier for him to sit in a different place. But today, he came and sat between Adam and I. Forgive the goofy grin…like I’m the only woman to ever have a grandchild. He was so good all through the service. Not a sound…except when he got the hiccups!
Do you notice how adoringly he is looking at me in the pic above? Now look at the pic below….see? Yes, I think the correct word would be adoration…just saying…
Here he is with our dear Uncle Allison, who just celebrated his 92 nd birthday!
Don and I with the sweetest grandson ever!
And, then Adam said they needed to go home. Well, Levi was having a grand time at church with all the attention. So, he whispered to me that he wanted to stay. Then Adam told him that really they had to go. And, this is what he thought about that…
And, thus the day came to an end. Adam and Suzanne and Levi will be back in their church next week. They are now in a long and well established church where they are very happy. And, that makes us happy!
That was indeed a joyous occasion!! I’m so glad they came to share Levi with your church family. Wonderful, love-filled pictures!!
Oh, Tonja, what a joyous day for you and Don! There is a pride (not a bad one, but a good kind) that swells up in your heart and melts it from the beginning – a pride that lets the world know you love deeply – your parents, your siblings, your children, and your grandchildren. Isn't God good? So many families don't know that kind of love and for those I grieve. I am glad you got to spend this day in church with little Levi, Adam, and Suzanne. And I know that Adam's heart was overflowing with gratitude. Love you and miss you lots!
Girlfriend I can hear the joy in your words! Levi is so adorable and is growing so fast! I know how you felt…when my children are in town and go to church with us I love it!!!
You sure look pretty in those photos!
I can see the adoration. I also know the feeling. We are so blessed that our son and is family live close and go to the same church. I am enjoying seeing Kaiden grow up in our church family – he knows the people and is starting to know parts of the service.
Tonja, I love reading your posts/stories. I think the history was needed to tell your tale. I am so glad they came and visited with you today.