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Escape or Endure


Psalm 57:1
… O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings 
I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.
  

[We are currently under construction.] Many of us from very good families had a difficult childhood. Of those who survived, some have been left embittered, deeply grieved or even enraged. The need to find some resolution often leads us to the simplest conclusion—it's God's fault: "Did He not know?" "Did He not care?" "Couldn't He have protected me?" The unqualified answer to each of these questions is a resounding "YES!" He did know; He did care; and He did protect you to some degree, or you wouldn't be here reading this now. Some were enabled to take refuge in Him, to hide in the shadow of His wings until the storms of destruction passed by. The important thing is, how are we dealing with it now?

The Bible teaches us, “The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get 
understanding." (Proverbs 4:7) I have found it extremely helpful to understand some of the processes that were going on around me in my young life. So I want to share what I have been learning in this area, and perhaps you will read something that suddenly 'clicks' for you, and you can gain understanding as well.
It's hard to know where to start. My father came from a large family, and he was the oldest. No, he had a half sister that was a few years older than he, but she lived with her maternal grandmother, so practically, he was the oldest. My mother came from a much smaller family, and she was the oldest. Together, they had six children in eight years. (And no twins!) I won't go into birth order and the whole psychology behind that, but there is something about two 'oldest' children marrying each other. I had two older brothers, an older sister, a younger brother and a younger sister. I was fourth, the middle of the middle. So there's some more interesting birth order goings-on there.

Well, that alone is enough to confirm that growing up for me was very loud, boisterous, and at times traumatic. We had fun together! And then we fought, and then we'd do some farm chores, and then we'd all be laughing together again. Somehow I became the chief cook and baker, and it really was fun making cookies, brownies and desserts for my brothers. I think "Instant Death", a chocolate concoction that required no eggs, was a huge favorite. Sometimes in the winters, all six of us kids would get up early on Saturday morning, drag out our sleds and walk out to the biggest hills to go sledding. In the summers we'd gather up all the empty squirt bottles we could find. We'd go out into the hayfield when the alfalfa was a couple of feet high, get down on our bellies and crawl around squirting each other. Oh, and eating Mom's peas from the garden! Poor Mom, she thought she couldn't grow peas. One year for my birthday one of my brothers took me on an official tour of our farm and showed me all the inner workings. And waking up at 3am to go get the pigs out of the cornfield, because they broke down the fence again. And of course the horse shows. With six of us riding, the other club members hated to see us show up! Well, the memories are fading, but not the wonderful feelings. And there were wonderful feelings; many of them.