Best of One Ringing Bell: When they're far away and what she said

This summer, I'm continuing to share some of my most viewed posts--this one about a challenge I faced when one of my children was traveling. This piece first ran in 2019.

My sister handed me an envelope.  “Patsy gave these to me. She found them while going through old photographs.” 

Our friend Patsy’s mom and ours were friends and coworkers when young. I opened the envelope and found a picture of my mom I’d never seen, which had to have been taken during the mid 1940’s judging from her age.

Interesting that after more than seventy years, the picture came to me at this particular time.

Here's why. Someone I love is working in London for a month. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime with all expenses paid. Such a blessing!

Yet, may I admit in a very unsophisticated way that it’s a bit challenging when people I care for are on another continent.

My mother always liked to keep the people she loved close, too, so when Jerry and I announced we were embarking on a Wesley studies tour in England, she was none too happy. After a few days of wrestling with the idea, she called me. “I guess I’m going to have to trust God with you.”

What she said.

Yes, I guess I’m going to have to trust God for my traveler.

Why does it seem I’m surrounded by people with huge adventuresome spirits. A writer friend has a daughter they nicknamed, “Danger.” I understand that. It could apply to many I know starting first with Jerry, that plane flying, quarterback sacking, swamp wading, hunter- gatherer I married.

When this picture showed up of mom with her hand on her hip, it’s as if she were saying, “Uh, huh. Now, you know what I went through.” I had to laugh.

That trust thing, well, I’ve written about it so much.

I don’t imagine anybody I know will suddenly decide to hole up somewhere (and I don’t want them to), so I guess I’m going to keep writing about it and hopefully doing it.

At present, I am reading Max Lucado’s book, Anxious for Nothing. In it, he describes a practice he uses which I find helpful. “On my good days I begin my morning with a cup of coffee and a conversation with God. I look ahead into the day and make my requests . . . Then if a sense of stress surfaces during the day, I remind myself, Oh, I gave this challenge to God earlier today. He has already taken responsibility for the situation. I can be grateful, not fretful.”

Gratefulness, not fretfulness. Don’t you love it? That one practice can change the way our days go. We pray in the morning, and then the rest of the day we rely on Him and give thanks.

I’m convinced God allows these situations where we’re totally out of control to occur so we’ll look to Him alone. If you’re facing one of those yourself, pray over your day, and then trust that He’s got it.

So, thanks, Patsy, you had no idea how meaningful those pictures would be.

Praying the words the Lord spoke to Joshua for those close to me, “. . . for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

If you're in the area,

I'd love to have you join me this Friday from 2-4

 for a book signing in Watkinsville, Georgia

 at the lovely 

Bird and Brass on Main Street.

 Hope to see you there. 

Beverly Varnado, a Georgia native, is an award-winning multi-published author, as well as a screenwriter, blogger, and artist. Her writing has also been included in a dozen anthologies and one of her screenplays was a finalist for the Kairos Prize in screenwriting. She enjoys participating in gallery exhibits and is always working on a new painting.