Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Living Story of Freedom

"Write, dear ones. Write your struggles and your victories. Write about the moments that you feel God speaking, and write through the moments when you don’t." Allume, A Call to Write

I'm in our nation's capital enjoying a weekend with my son and his wife. My son has been stationed here with the Navy for the past two years and this is my fifth visit here. I've grown rather fond of this place. To me it's a place that honors those that have served this country and made such great sacrifices.

As I Google how others would describe this place, words like majestic and inspiring are used. I'd use the word mesmerizing. I'm mesmerized by its history and how it captures the great sacrifices made for our country. But as it captures those sacrifices, it also brings life to a country that continually overcame.

I think of my daughter-in-law and her family who came here from Bulgaria. Coming to America was a dream come true for them. Do we Americans realize we are living the dream of so many others?

I read again the quote I shared above. I began this post with an unsure objective, but realize the words of the quote are what Washington, D.C. is to me. You can walk the streets of D.C. and read of America's struggles and victories. There are stops along the way where you can feel God's presence and others were you may wonder where God was.

And maybe that was what I felt God wanting me to do with this post..."Write, dear one. Share with others both the struggles and victories of a great country where whether or not you questioned my presence, I was surely there."

During my time here, I will spend a day at Arlington National Cemetery.

If there is ever a place that speaks to the sacrifices made for the freedoms we enjoy every day, this is it. The word mesmerizing accurately describes this place. At times it seems wrong that I'm so drawn here. As you walk the sections of the cemetery, you walk a nation's history of war. Final farewells are made here to hero's from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as hero's from World War II, Korean conflict, Vietnam and the Cold War.

I can see how God's presence could be questioned as you walk through Arlington Cemetery. Where was He during a time such as the Vietnam War?

But God never promised to prevent the storms of life. He does promise to be with us through the storms. At a Hearts of Valor Ball, I witnessed how God saw this country through a time like Vietnam. As our Vietnam Veterans were asked to stand, they were given a proper welcome home tribute.

Our country did not crumble, we eventually rose. And we rise over and over again.

On the website for Arlington Cemetery they share their vision of being "America's premier military cemetery - A national shrine - A living history of freedom - Where dignity and honor rest in solemn repose." What rests on my heart are the words, "A living history of freedom."

Again, I find myself mesmerized. I'm mesmerized by the loss, but more than anything I'm mesmerized by how God breathes life into me when I am here. There are so many stories waiting to be told. There is something these heroes want to teach us...and that is to keep moving forward.

And I believe God is saying to me, "Write, dear one. Let your words speak to how their sacrifice changed you and your family. Write a living story of freedom and continue to share how we will overcome. Write to let others know that I was and will always be present."

As the one hymn goes, "Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place."

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  1. Oh, Beth! I'm so glad you shared this with me today!!! Thank you to your son for serving this very important role in our military. I know so many military members who have lost their faith after witnessing war and pain, but you are so right that God does not promise to keep the storm at bay. Blessings to you and your whole family!

  2. Beth, I love this! I really admire your zeal for noticing every detail in life that brings joy. It's refreshing. You live out: This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.

    That verse got me through so much turmoil and tragedy in my life in the past recent years. I love it, so I know notice it in others.

    Much love to you,


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