Recently I found myself driving down a road I haven’t driven on in over 20 years.
This road led to a place I once worked a LONG time ago. A place where I did some growing up – a little too fast in some ways and not fast enough in others.
At this point everything looked just like it did years ago, but then I looked a little closer.
The bright red sign, just rusted, faded and leaning.
I saw some changes on the island. New homes tucked in beside old home sites. New siding on old places and new docks and boathouses.
And then I saw this…
The picture doesn’t do justice to what happened to the restaurant where I once worked. The windows are all gone, the doors are missing and the roof? Gone. All that’s left is a shell of what once was. A shell that is nothing more than walls with a few broken chairs, remnants of the roof, scattered leaves, and twigs and a faded sign.
A faded sign as a reminder of what once was here. It’s as if everyone left one day and never came back. It’s as if no one cared enough and everything fell apart… the roof caved in, the windows were knocked out, the weeds came up and the sign fell down.
That could’ve been me. I could be the one without a roof or windows and with a faded, crooked sign, which is a great analogy for the current state of my hair, but I digress…
I looked around at this place where I’d spent so much time and realized, once again, the incredible grace of God. I stood in this place where rebellion once reigned in my life and I thought about where I was headed. This little side trip came as I traveled at a women’s retreat. My topic - foundation of faith.
I LOVE how God works. All those years ago, He knew this day would come. He knew that I would make my way through the mess I’d created and back to Him. He knew that this prodigal child would eventually return home.
But more than just returning to His presence and grace in my life, He now uses this prodigal to speak to others. Why? That’s not a question I can answer. I just accept and move on.
I accept that He has taken my faded sign and painted His will over it. His Fingerprints are all over my heart and my life. I feel His presence when I stand before a group and open my mouth – for to tell my story, but to share His Words. I still stand amazed at what the Lord has done and is doing in my life.
His grace and mercy never cease to amaze me!
My favorite. Maybe ever.
Love it. Love YOU.
I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.
How Marvelous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How Marvelous! How wonderful!
Is my Saviors love for me.
As I read this entry the song above came to mind. Wonderful story, wonderful testimony to the love and grace of Jesus.
You should have picked that sign girl and used it as a background prop for one of your talks!
I love you Sister!
I love this…..thanks for sharing from the depth of your heart…and with a gratitude for all He has done!
I had never thought of it that way. Thank you for the beautiful image.
Mary, I love the way you’ve put this feeling into words. Those of us who moved away from home all feel a little like this when we return and drive down those old roads.
My life too. Just so grateful for His love, His grace, His mercy, and the fact that He simply saved my life.
I’m so thankful that He brought us together.