Thursday, January 7, 2010

Full Circle Moments

Defining moments - we all have them. A place and time when you reflect on incidences that changed your perspective forever. You realized your purpose and marched to the beat of a heavenly drum.

This week our church called for a week of prayer. Every morning and every evening we meet for an hour and seek the Lord. Tonight as we prayed the Lord's presence was so near. In stillness and quietness, you could sense the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of the prayer warriors. My soul was overcome with an attitude of gratitude for the way God had led our family. As I was thanking the Lord for His faithfulness, my husband led out in a familiar chorus.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name.
He has done great things! He has done great things! He has done great things!
Bless His holy name.

As we sang, I reflected on past answers to prayer and those memories boosted my faith for the future. I knew the same God who had taken us through in the past was going to walk beside me in the future. And at that moment I was reminded of a story I had heard from my grandfather about a tragedy that happened to my great-uncle years before I was born.

Uncle Ernie was my paternal grandfather's baby brother. Right after he married and had two children, he bought a house in Floyd, Iowa. In January in the 1930s, he lost his house to a house fire. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but they lost everything. They decided to not rebuild, but moved to Oklahoma, where they lived until Uncle Ernie passed away.

Fifty years later, my husband Paul accepted a pastoral position at a little church in Floyd, Iowa. This church was built on the very lot where my Great-Uncle's house had burned to the ground. As God blessed the congregation, a building project for a new sanctuary was started. As the construction workers started to dig, they hit the foundation from my great-uncle's old home. A chipped ceramic coffee cup was salvaged and brought to me for inspection.

"I bet it was Uncle Ernie's coffee mug." I said staring at the old cup.

It was a full circle moment for me. My husband and I have now served the congregation of the Gospel Lighthouse Church in Floyd, Iowa, for nearly 30 years. A few years ago, Uncle Ernie's son Eldon built the cabinets and book shelves for my husband's new office. Even though Eldon was only five years old when the tragedy occured, he still remembers watching the flames devour his home. God has restored in ways above and beyond our wildest dreams. Eighty years ago my family suffered over the loss of their home, but now in that very spot stands a church. The fire that once destroyed the hopes and dreams of a young family has now been replaced by an eternal fire, which offers hope to whosoever will may come.


Rae Nolt said...

Did ya keep the cup!?!?!? :)
Love those full circle moments!
I'm sad I haven't been at prayer...but I do pray at home. This weather can't keep me from praying!

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing these beautiful thoughts with us.

Nicole weaver said...

Our God is an awesome God, even in the midst of tragedy he always finds ways to bless us. What a story! It brought tears to my eyes. At the same time, I am reminded of God's omnipotent power to turn our lemons into lemonade when we least expect him to. Great sharing, my faith in my God and savior was renewed a thousand times reading this piece. Thank you my dear friend for sharing it.

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