He Will Not Forsake Us

He Will Not Forsake Us

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

            It was June.

            We lived on a farm and, as a kid growing up on a farm, I was always on tractors and other equipment with the farm hands. I was almost three, the oldest child in the family, when my mother went in the hospital to have my brother.         

          One day, however, when Mom was still in the hospital, one of the farm hands rode me around on a tractor and began to touch me in ways he never had before. Then he took me into the field where we’d just planted row after row of potatoes. There wasn’t any green foliage yet, just mounds of brown dirt.

            Raymond laid me down between two rows of potatoes and had his way with me. I looked up at the beauty of the sky. I didn’t understand what was happening to me, but I was very much aware of God’s presence.
          Raymond stopped working at the farm a short while later. Nobody ever told me why.

          Even after Raymond left, my biggest desire was to get off that farm, to get away from those memories, to get away from those fields, to get away from everything that reminded me of Raymond.

          Years later, as an adult with grown children, I went back to that place in the potato field. It had become a pasture. I laid down in the same spot. It was still very clear in my mind where it was. I looked up and saw the same sky I’d seen as a child. As I gazed took in its vivid blueness, bright sun and white clouds, God spoke to me.

            “I don’t like what Raymond did to you,” He said. “I don’t condone that kind of action, but I gave man free will.”

          I laughed out loud. It was the laugh of the lame leaping! I’d felt God’s presence as a little child, then I’d heard God’s voice as an adult. The release I felt was extremely powerful.

            Some years later, one Sunday when I’d gone back home to visit, I was at the family church when Raymond’s younger brother, Joe, came up to me and said, “Raymond passed.”

            “Oh, Joe,” I said, taking his hand and shaking it, looking him directly in the eye, “I am so sorry.”

            In that moment, I knew that I had been healed. The pain from my memories was gone. They no longer had the power to hurt me. The Holy Spirit was so comforting and pleasing, I knew once again that I was in God’s presence.

            He had not forsaken me when I was almost three, and He has never forsaken me since.  A Grateful Believer