Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
I believe in God and I know he places people and places in our lives to teach us, direct us, give us Godly advice, and serve as role models. I truly believe that if I had grown up in other town than Burlington, NC and with any other friends and church family that I had the privilege of loving and being loved by, I would not be the person I am today.
My childhood was like many others from the late 50s and 60s. Family oriented, church centered, household chores and responsibilities, and traditional childhood activities (riding bikes, climbing trees, playing kickball and football hopscotch, jump rope, playing tag, Red Rover, playing in the road, and many more). Our curfew was typically the moon rising in the sky and the streetlights turning on. We walked to and from school daily. You knew everyone in your neighborhood, especially if you were the welcome committee. Which according to my daddy, I was the one who had to run and meet anyone who was moving into our neighborhood. Life was simple!
Church and my church family were especially important during my childhood, teenage years, and even God’s Strength as an adult. If the church doors were open, you could be assured that we would be there. Even when we were not at church, it was normal to have any number of our church family members visiting our house. A common happening at our house would include singing gospel music around the piano, playing scrabble, playing badminton, or just sitting around and talking with our friends. The friendships we formed with our church family have lasted a lifetime. The common threads of these friendships are based on our faith in God, our love of gospel music, our love for each other, and the love of Christian fellowship. Again, life was simple but full and rich because of these friendships.
The leaders of our church were dedicated to their Christian faith and their church family. They served as role models to all of us as children and teenagers. They are responsible for the adult I have become. I am forever grateful for their guidance, their wisdom, their teachings, their faith in God, and their love for each of us. Life was simple in Burlington, NC but it was also heartwarming and inspiring.
God’s words in both Psalm 32:8 and Romans 8:28 assure us God places people in our lives who are vital to our Christian walk and he places us in towns and neighborhoods with those we need to surround ourselves with for our Christian growth. In Jeremiah 29:11 he assures us that He knows the plans he has for us, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” There have been many times in my life I did not understand God’s plan for my life, and I questioned his direction. However, I am witness to his plans and how perfect they were for not only myself, but my family and friends too. If I have learned anything over the years, it is that God’s plan is always perfect! I just need to trust in Him and His plan! He will not fail me!