When I was eight or nine years old, I stood outdoors by our country house and prayed that someday I would be a wife and mother, in that order, because, as I explained to God, a baby needed a daddy as well as a mother.
At age ten, I thought I had given my life to God.
At age seventeen, I was sure I had.
Oh, but I had a long way to go!
Now, in the early years of my seventh decade, I still have a long way to go in that life of serving my wonderful, patient, perfect, loving Heavenly Father.
I was blessed with the answer to that early childhood prayer. Soon after high school graduation, I married the guy I had admired since junior high school. We were both eighteen. The day following our marriage, my husband and I went forward after the Sunday morning service to dedicate our life together to God.
A year later our first child was born, followed two years later by baby number two. Three years later, child number three came along. From our start as teenage parents, we worked hard to stay together, to create a loving, God-fearing home for our children. Always, always, my prayer was that each of our children, like Jesus, “grow in wisdom, and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:52 NASB)
Throughout life, I sought to use the lessons I learned in life to help others along the way. This is not to say my way has always been perfect. As I just stated, “the lessons I learned in life.” That means I learned as I went along. Unfortunately, there are things I’d like to erase, but cannot undo. Maybe in the long run, that’s not all bad. If I did away with every wrong thing I did in life, where would the lessons be? Would I grow in wisdom? Would I grow in favor with God and man? As hard as the memories and the lessons are, I wouldn’t make the necessary changes without them. Like Paul, I should try to put the past behind and press on toward the prize of the high calling. “…forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13b, 14 NASB)
It’s the reaching forward that gives me hope. I relate to Paul’s description of the two natures found in Romans 7:14-25. While I understand I still have a long way to grow, I also see God as my loving Father, one who wants me to be at home with Him, not just in Heaven, but also here on earth.
While my early prayer to be a wife and mother was answered, I know Christ is the only perfect marriage partner and God is the only perfect parent. I still pray to learn to love more perfectly.
While my faith is not as simple as when I was eight or nine years old, it has grown to where I don’t feel as much need to explain so many things to God now! Often I simply say, “Oh, God, You know!”
He does, too, you know.
Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 2-21-2011
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