My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.

The Way We Were

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troy 12th bday with me laughing

Climbing the summit to adulthood can be rough and challenging terrain as you mature through various obstacles including awkward teenage years. Childhood to adulthood, from wonder years to blunder years, finding your personal niche with family and friends. We all have stories that inevitablity shaped our character and helped forge us to mature, calling us onward and upward.

For me childhood’s sharp turns began as I carefully wrapped my beloved dolls with crisp white tissue paper preparing them for a slumbering storage. Aware of saying good-bye to my dolls was only the beginning of more farewells to crossover my hearts’ threshold. One of the things I dreaded most was the thought of my brother moving out, I simply was not ready to be left home, feeling like an only child. Sadly, that day  came way sooner than expected as my brother chose to move out at 16 ,  when sowing his wild oats (as so many of us have done) collided with our disapproving parents,  sealing his decision to prematurely leave the nest. Causing plenty of ruffled feathers  due to the intensity of the situation that surrounded his final choice.  Now the unfurling of his resolve thrusted me into a front row seat, watching my family fall apart before my very eyes.Packing away my childish toys was one thing but growing up without my brother’s presence in our home deemed itself unbearable.

Longing for his good nature and playful attitude to grace our four walls again, wanting to hear him call me “Lisgang”, even though to this day I don’t know why. Trying somehow to process my raw pain I gathered extra loose photos of us growing up, carefully cutting the pictures edges with my mom’s pinking shears, unknowingly gearing up for day when scrap booking would be a household word. Because Barbara Streisand was my all time favorite singer, I could think of no better lyrics than “The Way We Were” to gingerly paste into the middle of a poster board; placing photos around it. For those of you young en’s that don’t know this gem it goes like this ,
The Way We Were

“Mem’ries, Light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories of the way we were.
Scattered pictures, of the smiles we left behind.
Smiles we gave to one another, for the way we were.
Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time re-written every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again, tell me, would we? Could we?
Mem’ries, may be beautiful and yet, what’s too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget.So it’s the laughter we will remember
Whenever we remember…
The way we were…
The way we were…”

Securing this collage of recollections underneath my canopy, clothed in pink and white gingham, I uttered prayers for my brother… heart crafted prayers for his speedy return and for our family to heal. A rousing prodigal welcome home ending, with celebration and feasting… slamming the door shut to sever the misunderstandings that caused such a division. After wrestling heartache and a unwavering fight from my parents to get my brother out of JDH, he finally returned home. Though there was a long road ahead of us to work through of regrets and forgiveness, we had my brother back in all his zany glory.

Now 40 years later, I’m preparing myself to go to see my brother again at his memory care facility. My husband’s comforting presence each visit is paramount in enabling me to it make through each overwhelming visit. Bittersweet is woven through nostalgia that  intertwines with harsh reality… my heart pulsating, beating to the melody of the “Way We Were”. This time disease has locked him up, imprisoning his body and placing his mind in detention from the freedom it was created for. Grappling with these restrictions we do what these limitations permit. We hug him, tell stories, share photos, go on walks in the facilities gardens. Tell him we love him and pray with him. Since his speech is difficult we share the powerful and universal language of laughter.

God’s word promises, “A merry heart does good like a medicine”. I’m so thankful for my brother’s good nature and jovial personality in the midst of his extremely trying circumstances. Thank you God that in the end, “it’s the laughter we will remember “. Not focusing on the “Way We Were”, but who we are in the light of eternity. One day we will all be home together again celebrating our new celestial bodies in our heavenly homes. Walls reverberating with laughter, filled with love that knows no measure… once again hearing my brother’s familiar voice calling me Lisgang… What a beautiful reunion!

Author: Lisa Thompson Jennings

Hello my name is Lisa,.it would be so delightful to sit down with you swapping life's stories..Reveling in God's goodness,sharing our battles won and those we still are fighting. Finding sacred ground together in heartbreak, redemption , forgiven and blessed hope that promises not to disappoint us. A little about me ... I love God with all my heart stumbling along the way as I do , I talk a lot but still covet listening, Laughter and being creative are not options for my soul would wither with the lack of them. My husband Kevin and I have been married for 27 years and blessed with two boys Derek 22 and Trent 19. It's been 22 years since I worked outside of the home some of those twenty-one years were spent homeschooling, coupon clipping and keeper of the Jennings household. Counting it pure joy to watch our amazing boys turn into outstanding young men.While this earthen vessel laden with cracks and flaws by God's intentional grace and renewed strength made it through. A touch of God's redemption from past misfortunes that included surviving sexual abuse, a failed first marriage, eating disorder, panic attacks, intense gripping fear and crushing low self esteem. Drawn to a God that can right wrongs, bring beauty where ashes once laid ,all the while lovingly speaking His worth and value into weary, parched souls. So that we can not only survive as victims but thrive as a people walking in glorious victory, blazing a trail of freedom for anyone held in chains of injustices, personal failure or loss. So thankful God is all about new beginnings, fresh starts and slates wiped clean.. our past misfortunes merely spring boards of new found hope and deep abounding joy ... it's a privilege to be a fellow sojourner in this path to greater wholeness and liberation. Charles Dickens writes "Reflect on your present blessings every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some". Celebrating present and future Heavenly blessings with you

5 thoughts on “The Way We Were

  1. Oh my heavens…. I am in tears and this was beautiful…………………….I have always loved your beauty inside and out. A real friends is always a friend. May God Bless you Lisa and your family.

  2. I’m Stumbling Through Your Writings——–I am waiting for a More Dignified—-Thoughtfull Comment— To Come To Me—–I am at a loss—–I Do Believe The Holy Spirit Will Inspire Me When The Time Presents Itself—-Merry Christmass Holy Princess In Christ!!!!—–John L Knox!!!!!——I was VERY MOVED BY YOUR WITNESS——-Testimony——-

    • Dear John ,Thank you for your kind comments ! I’m humbled that you have been blessed by what I have written . We all have a story to share of how good God is in the midst of our darkest hours. So happy God can bring beauty out of ashes , and hope where their is despair ! May you have a wonder filled Christmas and a New year filled with fresh hope .. Blessings Lisa

  3. Excellent, what a webpage it is! This web site presents useful facts to us, keep it up.

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