"When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, It is well with my soul."
Growing up in church, I have sung these words all my life and they have never meant more to me than they do today. Through tears I barely got the words out, sometimes only as whispers of words, but with voice quivering I sang.
The old hymns of our faith are so precious to me. I have so many favorites and so many memories surrounding those old hymns. "The Old Rugged Cross" has to be the most dear to me. It was one of my grandmother's favorites and was sung at her funeral. To this day I find it hard to get through even one verse of that song, but what a message it brings through song about how as Christ followers we should "cherish the old rugged cross."
My grandparents went to the same church that I went to growing up and from time to time I would sit with them and fondly remember my grandmother singing "Jesus Paid it All." Now a little background information that you need to know about my grandmother (my dad's mom) is that she couldn't sing in tune, bless her heart, but it was a known fact. Grandmama could cook like no one else but she couldn't sing on key to save her life. It never stopped her from singing, though and I remember standing next to her in church when she would sing out the high chorus, "Jesus paid it all," in all it's of key glory. Y'all it's a high pitched chorus and she would just belt it out...music to my ears as I think back on it today.
Sweet memories of a small church where you knew everyone, holding the church hymnal as we sang the 1, 2 and 4th stanzas. Standing during the invitation singing "Just as I am" more times than not. God was laying a ground work of faith in my life through my parents, grandparents, family members and many many others in my childhood church who loved and cared for me so much.
This is the church I grew up in, Mullins Station Baptist Church in Memphis, TN. That playground to the right didn't exist when I went there, but otherwise it looks the same to me. That main building up front was our sanctuary and written on the arch right above the front door are the words "God is Love."
The legacy of the people of my childhood church did not stay within those walls. I have carried their faithfulness and their example with me all of my life. Even though I may have not seen it so clearly then, I know God was laying a foundation of faith in my life through His people. I came to know Christ in and through this church and was baptized there as well. Faithfully, unwavering and beside me every step were my parents and grandparents. I'm so grateful for the legacy of faith in my life.
Philemon 1:4 "I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers."