I remember when God allowed two little girls to be blessed with our nana who, when our mother died, were moved to live in her home. I remember always living in a big clean, comfortable house, which became for us a home. I remember always having my own room, a bed in which to sleep, and three meals a day. I remember going to an amazing camp for six weeks every year. A time I will never forget. I remember when I sang my first song in public and the consistent coaching my aunt gave, teaching me how to feel words by asking me what each song meant to me. I remember.
I remember good times and laughter, music and joy. I remember fishing with my uncle and coming home cleaning the fish. I remember my father visiting and praying for me, and with me, calling me up at random times, singing over the phone when he couldn’t be with us. I remember storms and times of sorrow and never remaining in those sad places. I remember coming out of those storms and the sighs of relief. I remember laughter after tears. I remember.
I remember throughout my life, answered prayer and that though I’ve never seen Him, God always seems to be with me. I remember times of being angry with Him, fearful that He’d forgotten me, and then when answers came, thanking Him for understanding my questioning heart and loving me through, in spite of me; answering, always answering my prayers.
I remember He sometimes said no and coming to understand that “no” proved better than a yes. I remember the seemingly never ending heartaches of life, not understanding what was going on, or seeing how I was transforming into a newer, kinder, wiser, person, who could be used in the way I’d asked but often wasn’t ready. I remember. I remember God had, and has always had a plan for me and where He had to “take” me to become the person I needed to be in order to do the thing in my heart I am assigned and created to do, I remember.
I remember feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit moving in me to do this or that, or eat this or that, or don’t go here or there. I remember the guidance and strong presence of a Holy Spirit continuing with me past the worship hour, helping me navigate through life. I remember the seeming, and sometimes real cruelty of family and church members and those I believed should have loved me but often didn’t show it, and yet I’m still here! Now I know and understand they hurt, and fear, and need. I remember God teaching me my expectations should only be in Him and love others the way they are, and hope they do the same for me, but be ok if they don’t. I remember.
I remember not understanding, but learning how in obedience to forgive and how God could use the very persons who tried to destroy you to do just the opposite. I remember Jesus loves me and that’s really all I need to know. I remember that no greater love could any one person show me. I remember. I remember God gave me an “aunt” Eleanor whose songs I could sing and interpret until I got my own voice. I remember the countless number of God messages she, Edwin Hawkins, and Andre Crouch, Richard Smallwood, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, the Gaithersburg, and so many others wrote, to cheer me on the way, songs to give me hope and healing. I remember beginning to write and compose songs and arrangements that could cheer my heart and hopefully many others. I remember. I remember songs my children began to write and how they moved me and so many others to feelings of joy and the certain guidance of the Holy Spirit in each word and melody! I remember my pride to know God loves me enough to give to me, so underserving, children, who would far exceed me and carry on this precious legacy.
I remember the gift of friends and friendships, and love of children and precious oh so many precious memories! I remember that even in the worst of days, if I focus on Jesus, I will get through, the sun will shine, love will come, provision made, hope will always be. I remember. Close your eyes today, right now, and remember you are not alone. Remember you are deeply loved. Remember how He got you through and gifts He’s given, ways He’s made. You’re can and will make it. God is on you’re side. Can you remember? Just remember!