Thursday, June 3, 2010

Carolyne Aarsen

I've made a scrapbook for each of my children and I'm working on the last one. The first part of the scrapbooks are heritage pictures and I have many stories that go with the pictures. One of the pictures is especially striking to me. It's an anniversary picture of my grandparents. My mother is about ten years old in the picture and my Opa and Oma are surrounded by their children. Their oldest daughter is married and expecting. But my Oma and Opa's expression are anything but celebratory. That's because, only a few weeks previous, their country, Holland, was invaded during WWII. The picture is familiar to me, as are the stories of the war, but looking at them now, as a mother of grown children, I wonder what went through her mind. I'm sure worries piled upon worries and concerns for the future of the children that surrounded them. Because my life is on the other side of the war, I know how the story ended. But how hard that 'between' part must have been. How many prayers didn't they send up for deliverance. There were so many sad stories in the 'between'. My father lost two brothers, my father-in-law's family was torn apart. My parents had an 'enemy' who collectively had caused pain and sorrow and oh, how they hated that enemy. Lives were lost and families were torn apart. My father lost two brothers, my father-in-law's family, who lived in Arnhem, was scattered across Holland. And then the war was over and the rebuilding began.

We used to listen to those stories in the comfort and peace of our own home and country. We were in the 'after' of the war and the horror was far removed from our lives.

I have to think of my Oma's face as I'm dealing with difficulties and worries and concerns. I have to remind myself that at times I am in the 'between' part of the sorrow and the concern. I don't know how I'm going to come out the other side, just as my parents and grandparents didn't know what would happen to them. But it did end. And in it all, God was with them even though He might have felt so far away.

So I pray that for any of you who are in the 'between' part of sorrow and pain and heartache, that you will feel God's presence and that, when you come out the other side, you will know He was always with you.

2 comments:

Ramona Richards said...

Beautiful words, Carolyne, and a reminder of God's total presence in our lives.

My mother made photo heritage books for my brother and me, and I cherish mine. They start with our school pictures and go on to include legacy shots dating back to my grandparents' courtship. They married just after WWI; my parents married just after WWII. Both generations lost so much during those years, yet faith got them through - along with some personal scrappiness.

Thank you for sharing this.

Barbara Phinney said...

Very nice post. Thank you for reminding us how God is right there for us.