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Take my yoke upon you and learn from me

Often, when I look back in time I’m blessed to open vaults of cherished memories. Too bad we aren’t gifted with a prescient mind so we could see the outcome of present situations that we would never have chosen on our own.

When my husband got orders for Vietnam, I was blindsided. How could a military command separate newly-weds for an eternity of 365 days? My life went from paradise to praying for his survival in the “killing fields.”

Years later, I look back and see that Vietnam was where he bought his first camera, learned basic photography which launched him into a career that lasted and blessed for over 40 years. A prescient mind would have dried a lot of my tears.

Our early years of raising our children and building a business and home were of a “pioneering” effort. I drove to school, leaving our mobile home in a green Ford clunker that occasionally went through fits of jerking and lurching down the highway. Our two children in the bumper-ride back seat laughed during those episodes while I slumped low in the driver’s seat.

Surely I would have rallied with a bit more enthusiasm if I could have pictured the next three “stationary” homes God would give us. The clunkers would be replaced with thinking cars and recreational vehicles, and our laughing children would reward us with happy grandchildren.

In those early days I never imagined what God had in store for us.

I still remember holding back tears as I told Mother goodnight when I left her room at the nursing home. Stepping into the cold, night air, I would look up in the stars and cry out to God, “Lord, this is too hard; my heart is breaking, and I can’t fix this terrible situation.”

In the days and months that followed, I learned lessons with Mother, the staff and other confined patients that I would never have learned any other way. I experienced God’s strength and faithfulness and what he means when he says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.”

Those days ended as all eventually do and will. Now I’m able to understand hardships in a different light and am a firm believer in “all things working together for good to those who love God.”

Heaven is another unknown that I think about more and more. It’s described in the Bible, but there are still so many questions. I know it’s a place of no sin, sorrow, or sickness, and I’m quite sure that after entering those gates of pearl, I’ll be thinking, “If I had only known.”

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to camille@datalane.net.