We were returning home from my cousin’s funeral, traveling a highway I traveled time and again with my family when I was young. I already felt nostalgic after spending time with loved ones from the early days, the ones who shared important pieces—places and people—of my personal history, so as Don and I approached the familiar country-road turn-off that would lead to my grandparents’ farms, the pull of the countryside was strong. I wanted to return. To the farms. To my memories.
And so we did. We took the turn and headed toward my past. Past trees, past pastures, past country crossroads. I began to wonder if we’d ever get to the crossroad I remembered so well.
But then we broke through to the clearing. Just ahead I spotted Uncle Jerry and Aunt Della’s corner. Their house looked different somehow, but I didn’t let my eyes rest there long. Instead, my gaze fanned outward—out where I knew my memories lay.
And there they were. Grandpa and Grandma Barnes's farm just around the corner and down the road, and then across the field from them, tucked up against the trees, stood my Grandpa and Grandma Hoy's farm.
From a distance, I looked first at one place and then the other, scanning the grounds for changes. Yes, some things were different, especially the Hoy farmhouse. Someone had added on, resided it, and painted it a different color, causing it to lose all the familiar warmth of my memories.
Other structures were different as well, but thank goodness the barn and the silo stood the same. My heart could focus on them and also on other details of both farms that were still very much as I remembered. Just being on that ground again—on that acreage of my past—felt good, felt right. I belonged.
As we inched forward, driving past each place but staying in the car because of the bitter cold, I shared with Don glimpses of my past. I told him how often my sisters and I walked that very country road we were now driving—the walk that would take us from one set of grandparents to the other. Oh, that they were still there. Oh, that things could be the same again.
Sadly, time and man have altered the physical presence of my past, of that much-loved countryside. My memories, however, like the silo and the barn, stand the same. They offer me as much joy and comfort as they always have. They are safe in my heart.
I’m so thankful there are some things—like my memories—that stand the same. Some things that we can count on when other things change.
Most of all, I’m grateful for the one Person in my life who won’t ever change. I’m thankful for my Heavenly Father “who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17b) He is my solid Rock and will offer me the same comfort and joy that He always has. He is the place where I’ll always belong. I’ll be forever safe in His heart.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
*What are you thankful for that still stands the same?
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