June Griffin told us about her true Valentine this week when she shared her story of God’s abiding love.
Many times I have been in group meetings where we are asked to tell about ourselves. I feel like a deer in the headlights! What can I say . . . what can I tell that would begin to cover the lifetime of who I am? Usually, in those circumstances, we tell our names, where we are from, whether we are wives or mothers, what we do, and so on.
My name is Alice June Griffin–but my name has so much more attached to it than just those three words–an entire history and an ancestry of many nations and places.
I am from so many places, but Tulsa, at first–the only place I could call home, though loosely. We moved so many times, and I was also farmed out. It was always, “you go,” never asking how I felt about it, so I quit feeling. I hope you have roots.
I was a wife–my favorite part of my life. I still love that green-eyed man, though he has been gone for 12 years. I remember all the things that had to come together just for the two of us to meet–then the courtship, the wedding, and our life together . . . then losing him. But it was worth it all. So, in our meetings, when you tell me you are a wife, I see you have a story too. How interesting it would be to read your love story.
When you tell me you are a mother, I think of how it was to carry that baby. I was fascinated to see him change every day and, even now, over 40 years later, he is different every time I see him. He has some gray in his hair now. I know the joy, happiness, love, pain, disappointment, pride and all the emotions a child can give you, and can’t imagine how anyone can endure more than one child. It must be the grace of God.
I worked outside the home too–hard, physical, mentally-draining work. I often wonder how I survived 40 hours a week (for almost that many years) and was still able to come home to be a wife, mother, housekeeper, gardener, financial expert and all the other things required of me. Again, God’s abiding grace. So I know there is so much more to you when you tell me you have a job.
You might say to me, “I am a missionary or preacher’s kid. I teach Sunday School or am a leader in some ministry.” I was a pastor’s wife, a Sunday School teacher, a treasurer, janitor, and many other things. I loved it all. Many, many stories lie behind those titles, more than you or I could ever talk about.
How much more there is to each of us than just those few words we share in those meetings. I see there is more to you, because I know there is more to me.
I will never forget the pain of my childhood–all those years of being moved around with no say in it. I really was pretty helpless. A word I do not remember hearing as a child was “love.” At best, I felt tolerated. I have seen people search for love in all the wrong ways, thinking that sex is love, or hiding their pain in drugs or alcohol. I often wonder how I ever escaped that? But somehow, as a child I had a chance to be in Sunday School and church and somewhere in that mess, God loved this lonely child. I can look back on my life and see His abiding love.
He was my constant companion and keeper. I could not have done any of this on my own.
He is my Darling Companion.
He has always been and will always be my abiding love.