Saturday, August 15, 2009

Senior Year Memories: 1970-1971

It's hard to believe, but my first grandchild will be graduating from high school this year.

His name is Brock and it seems like it was just yesterday he was a wee little thing. He doesn't know it, but I've been thinking a lot about him since this school year started . Praying that he will have an awesome year. One that he will look back on with fond memories.

Thinking about him, and this final chapter of high school days, has brought to remembrance my own senior year of high school.

My least favorite year, besides the year I took chemotherapy, would be my senior year of high school, 1970-71. Pictured on the left is my senior portrait. Pretty solemn looking, I know.

The year 1970, brought our country nearing the end of the Vietnam war. Unfortunately, the draft was still in effect and my husband got his draft notice two weeks before he was to graduate high school. This was not good news.

His family had no money to send him to college, there was no such thing as Pell Grants, and I still had a year left of high school, so marriage was out of the question.

He did the only thing he could do, he run down the nearest Navy recruiter and joined the Navy. That did keep him out of Vietnam, but it took him to distant shores and far, far away from me

September, 1970, my senior year, began what was to be the loneliness year of my life.

A typical day for me would be go to school, come home, go to work at 5:00pm, work till 10:00pm at W. T. Grants department store, then back home, sleep and repeat.

In my "spare" time, I waited by the mailbox. Literally. There was no Internet in those days, no cell phones, and it would sometimes be weeks before a letter from the ship would reach my house.

It would also be the last year my mom and dad would be married. The war overseas was winding down and the 25 year old war between my parents was also coming to a close. Neither war would end well.

I prayed a whole lot that year and read the Bible. Someone, I can't remember who, had given me a Living Bible. It was the only bible in our house at the time. I read it and it gave me much comfort. I would even sleep with it at night, along with a picture of my husband tucked under my pillow.

I have since learned that there are much better versions of the bible, namely King James (my personal favorite). I think, though, that is the reason why I have difficulty criticizing other versions of the bible today, because if God could begin to speak to ME through a Living Bible, ( one of the least accurate, in my opinion, now) who am I to judge?

I mean, let's think about it. We serve a God who could, and would speak through rocks and burning bushes, if necessary (Luke 19:40)(Exodus 3:4)! And God's good people spend time quibbling over versions?

Looking back, it's pretty amazing that the two worst years of my life, that of my senior year, 1971 and the year I went through chemotherapy, 1989, I experienced a closeness to the Lord, unlike any other years of my life. No, I was not yet born again at the time of my senior year, but God let me know He was there, and I felt His love for me in a special way .

In May of 1971, the U.S. Navy allowed my husband to come home for two weeks, so I could be his bride.

We got married on a Wednesday and two days later I graduated from high school. Crazy I know, but we only had two weeks and we wanted to spend them as man and wife. It's been a very blessed 37 and a half years.

I've been well compensated for that lonely year of high school.

God is good like that.

Psalm 142:4-7 4) I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
5) I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

(Top introduction photo by the Denver Post taken of my youngest son on graduation day at Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va. He's the one with the cross on his hat)

I love you Brock, and remember God has a plan. You may not know what it is just yet, but I assure you, He's got it all worked out. Fret not.

~~~~~~Blessings of peace & all that is good!~~~~~~~~~~~~

***My original post spoke of being given an "Amplified Bible". That should have read "Living Bible". Old memories...old brain! Sheesh! LOL!


Mimi said...

HI Debra!!
Oh my reading that post almost brought tears to my eyes, God has been watching over you for along time and he certainly had a plan for you and he would be a Big Part of that!!! God is so good and takes care of us long before we begin to serve him. I also got married very young, 9 days after graduating from high school in 1976, and we have been married for 33 years now!!! He is my best friend and my Rock, I don't think I could have survived my senior year with out him!!!!I was raised in a good Christian home, but Really dedicated my Life to God and serving him completely my junior year, so the pressures of high school even in the 70's was tough, peer pressure has been around a very long time!!!!
So happy you have lived in a loving peaceful home with a husband who loves you more then you love you!!!!!
God is so good and he never fails to make me smile and doubt him.
Have a Blessed Sunday
God Bless you so much!!!

Susan said...

Great pictures!!!!! Great post. Yes, God speaks to us in multiple ways and I know in my own life He has used different versions at different times. I "think" King James because it was the one I did all my memory work out of as a young adult. I am just so glad He speaks to us at what ever level we need at the point we are. Yes, HE speaks!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Your stories of Mr. Wallace and yourself are always so precious and heartwarming. I have also been praying for Brock as he is entering his senior year. I only wish to one day have a husband so loving as yours. I hope you are well. Thanks for an encouraging post.
For reference, my favorite version of the Bible is English Standard Version. Not because it's the most accurate, but because of all the Bibles I've had, I have learned and matured the most from it. And the Lord may tell me I'm wrong when I get to Heaven but for now I'm stickin to that! Love you MeMaw.

Grayquill said...

Great personal story - Your bible references reminded me of the verse. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I think - Now you are grandma with wisdom.

Amrita said...

Hi Debra, its good to walk down memory lane and reflect onthe years gone by.
Such sweet memories.. God has been good.
Love your photo.

Congratulations to Brock.

jennifer said...

You were pretty then and you are pretty now!

Such a heartfelt post. I remember loneliness as a teenager - what a hard time! I wouldn't go back to High School for anything. So many people think the young have it made. I think being a teenager is terribly hard.

My mother graduated in 1970 and became a mom in 1971. She was 18 years old - just a baby! My father claims that if they divorced today - 39 year after they married - that people would say "I knew it wouldn't last!" :)

Have a wonderful week Debra.

Sharodindu said...

Very nice post...
Great personal story - I have not read the Bible yet...I'll surely try.

BTW...Best of luck to Brock!

Maxine said...

I so enjoyed reading this. How touching your story is and your memories of your senior year. I can well understand why that year is so etched in your heart. So you were a young bride? No wonder you are such a young looking grandmom. Brock is very blessed to have your words of wisdom.

I especially appreciate your thoughts on Bible versions. I too prefer the King James Version, but also know that the great God whom we serve can use whatever he wants and He does use other versions in the lives of whomever He chooses. I doubt if He's pleased over the hard nosed attitudes He sees in some of His children over this issue.

So happy for you for your 37 and a half years and that He was close by for all of your difficult days! Didn't know you had chemo, but again, so thankful the Lord spared you to be around to bless the rest of your family and us.

Just Me said...

You know, you should consider writing a book! My heart is always touched in a special way when I visit your blog!

My very best friend passed away the first day of our senior year of high school. Not a great way to begin what's supposed to be your best year of school, but it's amazing how God used that sorrowful event to change many lives! I remember how difficult it was on her when she was going through chemotherapy at such a young age, and I'm sorry that you had to go through that. But I'm so glad that God brings beautiful things out of such difficult times!

The KJV is my personal favorite as well... such a beautiful language! But like you, I believe God can and will use any version! I remember a speaker at college saying that if someone were to accept Christ through a NIV then that person has been deceived and is not a child of God. I remember he was never allowed to speak our college again!

Thanks for sharing such heartfelt memories with us!