A Little Girl Lost

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Dirty Water

McGee Creek flowed a quarter of a mile from our bus home. My sisters and I carried water by the bucketful to supply our little homestead.

The creek’s appearance changed often. Calm weather meant nearly clear water. If it rained north of us, the water would be brown with thick yellow froth. The pesticides and herbicides from our neighbor’s fields washed into our only source of water.
Our full water buckets sometimes stood a few hours as we waited for the sediment to settle and could skim the oil from the tops. When we could see sand, small pebbles and even tiny shells lying in the bottom, we declared the water safe.
My family’s life depended on that water. We assumed it was clean because it was clear. Looking back, the poisons I ingested daily for nearly a year have never made me ill.
I have questioned my survival from many situations in my life. I believe there is only one answer to my survival. God was active in my life from the beginning.
God had a plan for me. His power protected my mind and my body from the harmful toxins in McGee Creek.
I continue to see God in my daily life. He is with me when I meet a new friend. He holds me when I hurt and laughs with me in joy. Every encouraging word or prayer spoken comes through nail-scarred hands.
“Can clean water and dirty water both flow from the same spring?” (James 3:11 CEV)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jerimiah 1:5 NIV).
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 NIV).
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13 NIV).
In Christ,
Berta
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Nothing Lasts


When I was eleven, Daddy made Momma pack a suitcase and sent her away, Daddy started touching me and our house burned down.
Momma was gone.  My innocence was lost. The only home I had ever known lay in ashes.
Nothing lasts.
Daddy’s bad choices slowly stole our chance at a new beginning. My sister’s and I were isolated from friends. We lived in the garage of an old gas station, a converted school bus in bottomland and in an old run-down farmhouse over the next two years. Soon nothing of my childhood remained.
Nothing lasts.
My unimportant life continued through five years in the Navy. Relationships disappeared with the tides. A bad marriage brought a beautiful daughter I didn’t know how to love. Afraid of failure, I walked away.
Nothing lasts.
After more failed relationships, I met Earl and we talked over meals at the hospital where we worked. Then after two months, he left with barely a word.
Nothing Lasts.
On his return, I sought him out and we picked up where we had ended. I failed to see our friendship growing until he asked me out on a date. Even then, I couldn’t see a future.
Nothing lasts.
When Earl proposed, I said “Yes” without hesitation or thought of what was to come.  A preacher’s wife. “I haven’t even read the Bible.”
I told myself, “It won’t last.”
And it nearly didn’t. My attitude at home was shameful. I couldn’t face my past and mistreated my family. I avoided our parishioners for fear they would learn my secrets.
That perfect storm lashed its fury on me until I nearly went under.  Finally accepting the forgiveness Christ offered on the cross, the storm clouds cleared and the sun shown bright all around me. I began to share my testimony everywhere I went.
Nothing Lasts.
Eight months later, an accident injured my spinal cord. Paralyzed, I became withdrawn and depressed. Adrift on an ocean of fear and guilt, the years passed me by.
Nothing lasts.
When I came to myself, it was through the crimson flow of Jesus blood. The love, encouragement and prayers of my husband, family and Christian friends buoyed me until I could stand on a solid rock again.
Nothing lasts? Nothing but Jesus. He never let go of me. He never tired of my tears and He never turned away from my pleas.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow” (Hebrews 13:8 NIV).
“The Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV).
“He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” (Psalm 40:2 NIV).
“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty’” (Revelation 1:8 NIV).
In Christ,
Berta
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