Do moments from the past stir your heart to welcome new seasons? This story stirred when I flipped the calendar (a Christmas gift from the Emblers) on my desk to September. Smiling faces of Selah, Simeon, Anna, and Asher melted my heart. I paused to pray, thanking God for a new month and for bringing the Embler family home. Focusing on September, finding it hard to believe 2016 is waning like the moon, I became lost in time for a few moments.
Stirrings from the past went back to 1967 when I wore a white dress and bouffant hair do, walked under a canopy of tobacco sticks wrapped in white crepe paper held high in the air by 7th grade marshals, graduated from eighth grade at Clement School, and sang with my classmates a popular song (then) with lyrics that still have profound meaning…’for such a time as this’!
“See you in September. See you when the summer’s through. Here we are bidding farewell for a season but we’ll be together again very soon.”
While writing, I hum the tune and ‘think on things that are lovely’ and lessons learned in my 252 seasons. First, we don’t always see people who color our world with love when a new season rolls around. Separation comes in many ways to families and friends throughout seasons of our lives. We are wise to live out loud crazy in love with the Lord and loved ones, never becoming accustomed to His gifts or theirs, and being grateful for each blessing while praying through burdens – big or small – that come winter, spring, summer, and fall!
Greatest lesson of all is to live a life connected to Christ (the Vine), trusting, obeying, and bearing good fruit through all seasons – sunny, sorrowful, sad, sensational – with Jesus living within and ordering our steps. Then, when our work here is done and we bid farewell in our final season, we will know without a doubt that we will be together again. Or will we? Being prepared to die and live in heaven forever and ever, to be reunited with loved ones who have gone on before, and to know that you know that you know you are ready – in any season – to meet Jesus is a wise and wonderful way to live.
If you have not accepted Jesus in your heart, have become calloused or casual in your relationship with the Lord, or have drifted from the Father through seasons of doubt and despair…be a wise man (or woman or child) and Seek Him! Jesus is waiting to enter His children’s hearts! He sings His own song to those who refuse to open their hearts’ doors… “Let Me in, Let Me in”! Yet, we make the choice to invite Him in or reject Him as our Savior and Best Friend. The best decision one will ever make is to accept Jesus, trust and obey, and enjoy life!
Seeing the new month of September with Chris and Rachel’s children stirs other stories near and dear to my heart. Memories of meeting The Emblers, bonding in Christian love, serving together and sharing, saying good bye and we’ll see you soon rises like refreshing waves of joy. Their faith, love, and willingness to follow the Master wherever He leads maintains precedence in their lives through each season.
Many readers know The Embler Family personally, while others have probably heard of them. In 2006, Rachel and Chris sold all their belongings, even house and cars, and walked in faith to Peru. The 17 month journey took them places they never imagined going and brought blessings in ways you would only believe by hearing them tell their story and seeing the pictures that proclaim God’s presence and provision on their Faith Walk. Chris and Rachel’s story now includes four precious children and miraculous stories of how God provides and gives opportunity to go where He wants us in all seasons…if we listen and follow where He leads. The Emblers listen and lunge forward in faith, even when it looks impossible.
Singing, ‘See you in September’, has special significance as I write this story with many more Embler stories spewing from my heart like fireworks. Four smiling faces watch from my September calendar as I close this message with joyful news. The Embler Family is back in town!
God led them to Peru, to a church in Johnston County, to begin Faith Walkers Ministry, to Emma Anderson Chapel at Topsail (where G.A.I.N. was envisioned), to Clinton to serve at First United Methodist Church for two years, to Ocracoke in 2015 to grow G.A.I.N., and has brought them home to Clinton to serve again at F.U.M.C., continue growing G.A.I.N. and sharing Jesus’ good news wherever He leads.
The Embler’s “Faith Walkers” stories are meant for them to share – as only they can do – with power, passion, and purpose to glorify God. We welcome them back to Clinton with open arms and great expectations for what God’s plans are for them in this season.
Next week, I will share the rest of my story about the Embler children’s walk of faith in my backyard! Until then, take time to enjoy this season and keep Christ the center of all you are and all you do.
Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.