Imagine.

You’ve spent decades raising four children. They have all grown and flown the nest. You and your spouse are eagerly facing the years you’ve planned for, dreamed and talked about – years void of responsibilities minor children require, years for travel, exploring new hobbies and interests.

As part of the “rest of your life plan” your husband accepts an incredible career opportunity in another state. You pull up deep roots spanning most of your marital life to return to the state of your birth. You decide to purchase a vacation/retirement home on a lake within a 2-hour commute of your new residence. That home is a long-awaited dream come true, your Happy Place, a place for rest, recreation, restoration, laughter, memory-making with family and friends. Most importantly, it is a refuge for the two of you to escape an extremely hectic schedule with national/international demands and the fast pace and high stress medical careers create.

Imagine.

Happy Place is not coincidentally next door to your ‘sister-cousin’s’ permanent residence – perfect for overflow, joint family gatherings – located at the end of a Point you two now share, where, in your absence, it can be watched over with loving care and readied in great anticipation of your late-night arrivals.

Imagine.

You jointly celebrate your first Thanksgiving on the lake together followed by the blessing of having all of your children and their spouses gather ‘round for Christmas. Your cup overflows. In special moments you see Happy Place from the lake, lit with lights, exploding with laughter. You marvel at spectacular sunsets, the flight of heron and the sounds of loons. God’s providence. You are blessed beyond measure and cannot fathom the plan has come together.

And so it was that she, having waited long and endured patiently realized and obtained what God had promised. – Hebrews 6:15.

Imagine.

Less than two months later, you receive an urgent call in the middle of the night. It’s your cousin. Her home next door to Happy Place is on fire.  The winds have picked up. The fire originated on the side of the house closest to your home. There is great possibility it will spread. The volunteer firemen have not arrived. Your cousin is calling from your front porch. The house key to get into Happy Place is in what was once her garage and it is currently exploding. You are in another state visiting your daughter 5 hours away.

Imagine.


You immediately dispatch your son in Georgia to head for South Carolina as you and your daughter depart into the night to begin the journey from Alabama to Happy Place. By God’s grace you learn in route that it is fine and has suffered no damage.

Your cousin’s home still smolders as you arrive at the scene. It’s February. Super Bowl Sunday. The smoke and embers, combined with cold, damp air and fire hose water are as offensive as the once grand porch you celebrated upon a short while ago. Recovery is in process. There are people everywhere. Your garage has been turned into a make-shift area to feed and provide for first responders.

Can you imagine?

It is all true. That destroyed home belonged to Ted and me. My sister-cousin and her husband are our benefactors, our landlords, our saviors if you will. We have an acute appreciation for having been spared and a profound understanding of an immense sacrifice and gift of safe haven.

We entered their Happy Place with a wet, shell-shocked dog, storage boxes, smoke treated clothing, a constant stream friends and family.  This dear couple have continued to exhibit immense patience as we bumble and fumble through with jangled nerves, compromised immune systems, foggy minds and memories that are shot.

I am reminded of Mary and Joseph urgently seeking shelter in the middle of the night. I think of intangible gifts that can never be reciprocated, total selflessness and mercy, delayed dreams, incredible inconvenience.

I dreaded disclosing the estimated date we would move into a new home of our own. How could we possibly impose ourselves for over a year? My cousin’s reply “Well, we’ll just have to find a way to make the house more comfortable for you.” The response was more stunning to me than the house fire itself.

Can you imagine?

There   are     no     words.

At night I cling tightly to a rung of the iron bed headboard in the guestroom of the Happy Place. It is an anchor in the whirling dervish of our reset life. Unlike Mary and Joseph, the doors were opened for Ted and me.

“Here I am”! Jesus invites. “I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with me.” (Rev. 3:20).

All Through the Night

Sleep, my child, and peace attend thee,
All through the night
Guardian angels God will send thee,
All through the night
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,
Hill and dale in slumber sleeping
I my loved ones’ watch am keeping,
All through the night

Angels watching, e’er around thee,
All through the night
Midnight slumber close surround thee,
All through the night
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,
Hill and dale in slumber sleeping
I my loved ones’ watch am keeping,
All through the night

 

~From the desk of Becky Morlok~

Copyright © 2016 ~ The C3 Connection. All rights reserved.

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