December 24, 1865
Christmas Eve had finally come to the beautiful mountains of Tennessee. Thirteen year old Jenny Lynn Walker, peered outside, just as the bright sunshine set, leaving a vivid array of orange and pink hues within the sky. All week long she had prayed and prayed that the big snow would hold off just long enough for her to slip into town, and it did.
Jenny’s Paw worked as a trapper, and was gone quiet a lot, especially during the fall and winter months, while her Maw worked a few days during the week at Johnson’s Mercantile Shop. Times were hard, and it took all that they made to provide food for their family, but Jenny Lynn always knew that it was God that provided for them.
Hearing her mother’s footsteps within the kitchen, Jenny Lynn moved away from the window, towards where her Maw was stirring the most enticing aroma of stew. Wrapping her arms about her waist from behind, she hugged her and placed a gentle kiss upon her cheek. “I love you Maw, and Merry Christmas!” Jenny Lynn exclaimed happily.
Ruth Walker smiled softly at the loving embrace of her daughter and turned to return the hug back.
“Merry Christmas darling.” She said adoringly then her smile faded and face grew serious. “Jenny Lynn, you know this year has been exceptionally hard, leaving us hardly anything to live off of.”
“I know Maw.” Jenny said then laid her head on her mothers shoulder.
“Do you Jenny Lynn, over the past years, we have been able to afford a little Christmas, but this year…” her voice trailed off as tears filled her mothers gaze.
Taking her mothers hand within her own and tugged her to the sit at the kitchen table, Jenny Lynn couldn’t stand it any longer. “Please sit down Maw; I have something I want to share with you. For the past four months you and Paw have let me attend church with Rachel and her parents. It took me awhile to fully understand what the preacher was explaining to me and now I know what he meant when he said that God sent his only son Jesus as a baby to be our Lord and Savior. I did Maw, I asked Jesus into my heart and now I can share the great Joy with you and Paw.”
Ruth’s eyes went wide at her daughter’s confession of finding Jesus as her Lord.
“Pastor Jennings told me that first you have to admit that you are a sinner, sin is the bad things we do. Second thing is that we believe that Jesus is God’s son and Maw; Jesus died on a wooden cross for me and for you and arose from the grave three days after. Can you believe it? Somebody did that for us. He loves us that much.” Jenny Lynn paused only for a moment to allow her mother to absorb the words she had said.
“How could he die for someone he doesn’t even know?” Ruth asked in awe of such a thing.
Jenny Lynn smiled “He loves us Maw and wants us to love him back. The third thing is that we confess that Jesus has come into our hearts and is now our Lord and Savior of our life.”
By this time tears were streaming down both their faces. “It is the most precious Christmas gift we could ever receive Maw, since last Sunday, I feel happier than I have in a very long time and you and Paw can too. If you will just believe
In your heart what I have shared with you then say this prayer with me then you did it! You have accepted Jesus into your heart, but Maw, only if you mean it with all your heart.”
Ruth thought for a long moment taking in all her daughter had said then took Jenny Lynn’s hands within her own and softly spoke “I want to pray that prayer with you Jenny Lynn, here and now.”
Jenny Lynn felt such joy swell within and burst into tears with a beautiful smile upon her face. “Then let me introduce you to Jesus Maw.” She whispered then they both bowed their heads and Ruth Walker became a Child of God.
Two weeks later upon Luke Walker’s return, he too believed and accepted Jesus into his heart.
It was the most valuable and precious Christmas gift the Walkers ever received.
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