If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.
In the 19th Century, millions of immigrants pour into the United States. My great-grandmother on my mother's side is one of them.
Elizabeth McLaughlin is born in Ireland. Her parents are survivors of the horrendous Potato Famine of 1845. They, like most of their countrymen whose lands and titles were confiscated by the British, are poor.
When she is aged seven, the Lady of the Manor spies her in the local village with her mother. She is enchanted by Elizabeth's lustrous auburn hair, luminescent green eyes, winning smile.
She has no daughter of her own . . .
Elizabeth's mother is startled one day to see this royal and elegantly dressed woman standing in the doorway of her humble cottage.
The Lady wastes no time divulging the reason for her visit. She wants Elizabeth as her own. She promises to raise her in luxury. Provide her with an education. Give her all the finer things in life.
She offers a hefty sum.
More than Elizabeth's mother could hope to see in seven lifetimes.
Arrangements are made. The Lady will return in a week to claim her girl.
But, when the day arrives, Elizabeth's mother cannot go through with it. She loves her precious girl too much to let her go. No amount of money can compensate for the loss of her own flesh and blood.
So, I wonder how my great-great grandmother felt when her daughter, at the tender age of sixteen, boards a steamship for America. The land of opportunity. Of freedom . . .
Where a stubborn, savvy, strong-willed Irish girl, used to hard work, can make something for herself.
She does just that; a story for another time.
And, never returns to Irish shores . . .
When Jesus calls us into freedom with Him, there is no looking back. No going back.
Our past is in the past. Our future is in Him.
Now, and for eternity . . .
As you journey with Jesus, are you running to meet Him, or are you looking over your shoulder?
Will you pray with me?
May we always trust, Father, in the journey You have set before us. Do not let us dwell on where we were or who we were before Jesus entered our lives. Let us ever walk in the light of His freedom. Amen.
Psalms 61, 62 or 68:1-20 (21-23) 24-36
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