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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Worship (05/03/04)

TITLE: Our Changing Times
By Antje Hill



My husband put the key in the lock and gently pushed open the door. The house was not new, but years of tender, loving care left a newness in all the rooms and a distinct smell you associate with new home living.

“God answered our prayers, all is well,” Richard smiled as we checked each room. He reached to turn the heat up as the crisp air of the home began to bite.

My dear husband had given up his life in beautiful northern Michigan. He and Emilie had raised 2 sons here and had been pillars in their community, standing firm for the good things of life. All too soon it seemed life was cut short for Emilie. Life changed forever for Richard.

Not so long after Emilie’s death, Richard and I began to see a weaving in the tapestry of life that excited us. God had called our spouses home, but had left us for His purpose. We had double portions of deep spiritual convictions and a wonderful friendship. To this romantic love was added, completing the ingredients for a wonderful marriage. A few months later two yielded people found healing from sorrow and a new happiness and love sent directly from our heavenly Father.

Richard moved south to be with me. 36 years in his hometown made it hard to think about selling. Little by little the southern climate and southern hospitality began to win his heart. He began to settle in, getting involved in church affairs and community projects. But what about Michigan? We had tossed our options back and forth. It looked like the decision was made. It bothered me that he was the one doing the sacrificing.

“Things change, Sugarbabe,” Richard softly spoke, as he wiped the tears from my eyes.
“I can’t hold to the past and get as involved as I want to be down home. My interests here are not as strong as they once were. I have a new life now. God has a plan and He’s seeing it through. I don’t care where I live as long as you are there.”

I knew what he was saying made sense. Harsh winters would take its toll as we grew older. But I also knew he would leave part of his heart in this city that had brought him so much joy and so much sorrow.

We stood at the door looking out into the quiet street. Maple trees were just beginning to bud. The air was clean. Signs of new beginnings were everywhere just as God had given us a new beginning. We hugged each other as we moved onto the steps to sit awhile and enjoy the afternoon sun. Words were not needed. The quietness was good.

Sitting on the steps together, holding hands, I knew these were the good times of our lives. We were blending, yielding, seeking. I prayed silently, “I praise you, God, for who you are. Thank you for the years you’ve stood by watching me grow, growing to the point that your will is more important than mine, a change that only You could bring about. Thank you that in this quiet moment, I see that change brought me to this point of worship right now. Thank you for promising your children ‘all things work together for good.’ ”

As the air became chilly, we pulled each other close and watched the sun disappear behind the trees. “It’s hard to believe that the maker of this beautiful sky wishes to spend time with us and desires our worship,” Richard commented. “And I’m glad we can give Him what He desires while we sit right here.” I smiled as I finished my prayer and said, “Amen.”

Member Comments
Member Date
Corinne Smelker05/10/04
This is lovely, and stands out from the rest because you chose to show worship, not tell us about it.

This was an excellent read and is definitely one of my top 3 picks
Naomi Deutekom05/10/04
Compelling and beautifully done.
B Price05/15/04
it tuged on my heart, making and it was beautiful.