Memories

By on September 4, 2012

By Peggy W. Lester –

This past August marks the 21st year of my Dad’s passing away. Sometimes it seems like only yesterday, but, then again, it seems like an eternity. I still miss him so very much. Every time I go on a mission trip, I am reminded how he loved to serve on a mission team. He was always willing to serve internationally, as well as, locally.

Dad and Mom served on the first mission trip to Mexico from our home church. It was a trip to remember. Mom took a million pictures and couldn’t stop talking about the trip, the people, the poverty and the blessings of serving the Lord on that trip. Their excitement and testimonies prompted me to sign up for the next trip. They would be on the next team with me, as well. On this trip the Lord stole my heart for missions. I would never be the same. Over the next several years, we would get to make more memories on trips to Mexico.

Another trip we served together on was to Mississippi. We were to accomplish a building project for a boy’s home. The team rented a motor home and struck out across the States with an extra vehicle trailing behind. One of the trips we went on was to North Carolina to the Lumbee Indians. I had never even heard of this tribe of Indians. We had a building project for them as well. Dad loved the building projects because he loved the outdoors. We also held a VBS for the children in the church and community. We met some great people on both trips and made more memories to cherish!

Dad loved the local church ministry as well. He had held about every ministry position in our home church. He loved the men’s club, especially. They sponsored barbeques, fish fries, projects, etc. Dad was always involved in their worthwhile projects.

Dad held down a daily job for a salary but he was also an avid gardener. He planted many acres each spring, summer and fall. He would come in from his job, eat his evening meal and go to the garden. He would come to the house when it would become so dark he couldn’t see. He provided enough vegetables for our family, grandparents and half the community. He even made a few dollars selling some now and then. He loved to grow things. I remember seasons when we would have too much rain or not enough and he would somehow still have “bumper crops”. Not sure how he accomplished that but he did! (With the Lord’s help, I’m sure!) He had such a “green thumb”… (Which I did not inherit but my sister did!) If we did have bad weather that ruined some crops he would say, “There is always next year!”

Several weeks before his death, he had organized the rebuilding of a burned home for a neighboring family. He had gone to the local paper for some help with the project. They wrote an article in the paper and put a picture of him and the men in the act of building. I have this article framed on my wall at home. The journalist followed up with another article about Dad the next week after his heart attack and death. He was well known and loved in the community. If you ever wanted a job done, you could always call Joe…he would see to it that it got accomplished!

I’m feeling a little melancholy…remembering.  Dad loved the Lord and I know he is probably doing some kind of “building project” for Jesus in heaven. If he can know anything going on down here on earth, I hope he is proud of his family and what we have all become because of his legacy. No, he wasn’t a perfect Dad…he certainly made his mistakes, but I wasn’t the perfect daughter either. God’s grace is good and He covers the “multitudes” of our wrong and sin, if we allow Him to!

Dad’s death was so sudden. It took us all by surprise. It seemed like we were in shock for the first few months after his death. Shock and denial, of course, are stages in the grief process. When you lose a loved one, God’s grace helps you to remember mostly the good about that person.  It helps ease the agony of loss when you can concentrate on and remember the good. The Lord used to tell me, “Peggy, the agony will turn to pain and you can live with the pain.” The Lord told me one time, “You didn’t lose your Dad, because you know where He is.” God was so good to me during the grieving process. (It didn’t take away the hurt but His Presence did help!)

How about you? What are your memories today? Are they good? Are they hurtful and painful? I have a few of those as well. Are you regretting your past and the relationships you have had? You can either let those memories make you “better or bitter”; the choice is yours. God can heal any hurts, pains and/or memories pulling you down. If we didn’t need help, why did Jesus come to earth? We needed (and need) a Savior.

I hope and pray He is your Savior today. We have a Heavenly Father…He is the Perfect Father; call on Him today. I still love and miss my earthly Dad, but I am so thankful I have a Heavenly Father that will never leave me or forsake me and He has a good plan for my life! (And yours!) His plan for all of us is know Him, love Him and serve Him. Would you give your life to Him today and let Him be your Heavenly Father?

 

Peggy W. Lester is the founder of Spreading His Fragrance Near and Far, Inc. Her desire is to take the Gospel to those who haven’t heard, to disciple those desiring to grow in their faith and to share the healing balm of Jesus to those who have been wounded in life. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian counseling and is ordained through FCFI located in Indiana. She lives with husband, Don, about 35 miles West of Atlanta, Georgia. Website: http://www.peggywlester.com/

About peggywlester

Peggy W. Lester is the founder of Spreading His Fragrance Near and Far, Inc. Her desire is to take the Gospel to those who haven’t heard, to disciple those desiring to grow in their faith and to share the healing balm of Jesus to those who have been wounded in life. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian counseling and is ordained through FCFI located in Indiana. She lives with husband, Don, about 35 miles West of Atlanta, Georgia. Website: http://www.peggywlester.com/

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Memories