Arriving at More

The story of my life began on the plains of South Dakota in 1960, a location from which I had always desired to be windswept.  It didn’t matter where, just somewhere where there was “more.”

img_9181-1I was born to a handsome father and a beautiful mother.  They met when my Army dad was stationed in the South.  After 12 years, their fairytale romance went that direction as well, leaving a huge hole in my heart and life.  I escaped for hours at a time in the world of Beezus, Ramona, and tales of others’ lives in my makeshift clothesline tent; books were my best friends.

Missouri Synod denominational beliefs were instilled by my elders, and I attended Sunday school and church weekly.  I was confirmed in the faith as an eighth-grader, but as a result of the absence of my father, I retained questions about who God was and how I fit into His plan, unaware that I was adopting the belief that God was much like my parents – distant but loving, stern but caring, and always beyond my reach.

” … for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6

I welcomed the nearness of my paternal grandparents, just a few hours away, with whom I was very close.  My immediate family, along with my grandparents, eagerly awaited holidays when those who had blossomed and grown beyond the state lines returned.  There was a bond forged among us that to this day remains.

The distance from my mother’s family did not afford me the same opportunity, leaving me with a curiosity about my “far-away” family and life in the South.  During occasional visits, I learned that some of the stereotypical characteristics of the publicly-viewed South were well-earned, but most were not.  People everywhere have the same wants, needs, hurts, and dreams.

Traversing the state highways through Minnesota on a Greyhound bus each summer for visitation with my dad in Wisconsin, I became enchanted with the beckoning city of Minneapolis.  It was a place I could explore while I allowed the busy environment to envelop me.  With diploma in hand two years after arriving there, I began my gradual journey south to Nebraska.  Though I didn’t earn a degree — just a diploma — my court reporting career afforded me the opportunity to become a student of life, introducing me to a roster of characters whose stories were more raw and real than anything I had ever read about.

Despite nearly losing fingers — and my life — in what was known in South Dakota as the Blizzard of ’75, I traversed the byways of Iowa and Nebraska, using the God-given gift of stenographically writing faster than most people could talk.  Eventually, my husband was able to talk faster than I could process, and a wedding ring ended up on my finger.

The entirety of our marriage was spent in America’s heartland.   My name changed and my identity became camouflaged.  For years I exhibited the persona of the in-charge, invincible woman who could bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, as the child nestled deep within my marrow yearned to be extricated.

Time stood still when dread showed up on the doorstep.  I repeatedly hit my head against the wall of enablement and codependence … until, one day, I discovered a support group at church which loosened the grip of unwanted beliefs and behaviors.  Realizing that God possessed a far greater love for me than anyone ever could, I was released from the clutches of long-held debilitating and damaging lies, which brought freedom to my Truth-seeking soul.

After 25 years and a brief six weeks into the one-year-prognosticated journey of lung cancer, my husband succumbed to the disease.  Again left floundering and wondering where I fit in, I continued the exploration at God’s leading.

A handful of years later, my heart became restless with “staying put.”  I still wanted more.  God began to open doors and I continued my journey southward.

Now hundreds of miles away — and just about as south as one can go — I am far from the life and routine that I had known for decades. My older sister and younger brother — both still in the upper Midwest — and I remain in close contact as they each own Bio1parcels of my heart. Unlike a lot of families who become disjointed, my mother never allowed us to fight with one another.

My days are currently spent exploring the Southern life …  I have learned I love grits, one-syllable words drawn out to two or three, and the closely guarded values of the South. I am charmed by the names of obscure roads and places, like Bee Line Highway and Backbone Creek.  The sunsets are colorful, and I see my horizon expanding each day.  My heart is more peaceful and my spirit more content.  And I am grateful for every experience God has brought me through to bring me to more. ~ Pam

 


 MAKE US A PART OF YOUR DAILY DEVOTION AND FOLLOW BREATH ON PAPER.

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15 thoughts on “Arriving at More

  1. An interesting read; the entry proves the old adage, things are not always what they seem. It is good at times getting verification of one’s beliefs. Thank you for your honesty Madame!!

    Like

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