I watched ‘The Secret Garden’ recently and found myself sent into a wistful mood, partly envying Mary Lennox the special love and relationship she discovered in the person of Colin’s father (now her guardian).
Many of the scenes showing her dealing with anger and frustration (upon her arrival at Highclere Castle), brought back my own childhood difficulties and lack of friendships. I recall asserting myself in the presence of an older cousin, (while I was evacuated during the second world war), he made me feel completely belittled by his teasing of my ‘little girl tantrums’; like Mary I distinctly recall ‘digging in my heels’ and telling him that ‘I would not stop taking his books from his bedroom, I wasn’t going to damage them, I only wanted to look at them’ and he was equally determined to halt my little busy-body treks into his bedroom (I can now identify with his frustration at my ‘invasion’ into the privacy of his room) – poor John. Mary indignantly told Colin she would cast her eyes to the floor and pretend he wasn’t there, because he wouldn’t allow her to leave his presence. Obstinate and determined! That’s exactly how I felt, all those years ago – I could only have been four years old.
Mary Lennox finds a new friend in her guardian! She had encouraged his son, Colin to walk again and to venture into the garden where his mother had spent many happy hours, and had indeed, brought the garden back to life! He tells her not to be afraid and it was OK that she had ‘snuck’ into theSecret Garden– he was so happy to see all the benefits that her presence in his home had brought, not only to his life, but to his son and indeed to the staff of his castle. He hugged her and assured her that all would be well from ‘now on’. I found myself deeply moved by that because I suddenly realized that I was wishing I had had a person like that in my life way back in those ‘tiny’ years and the years that followed the war; I too, lacked friends because family disturbances discouraged all outside relationships. I have always yearned for the close relationship, I have seen and experienced with other families – where each person is respected and listened to, and where opinions are readily accepted and not rejected as worthless. In later years, I found respite in developing a ‘long distance relationship’ with my grandmother; she became my friend and confidante!
My peace now comes from God! My strength grows through Jesus Christ! I have ‘travelled’ many miles through many years, floundering at times; trusting the wrong people (I had no concept of building relationships and trust, because I had not been allowed to have friends, so that area of development has in itself caused me challenges) – however, just a few years ago I finally ‘got it right’; I accepted Jesus Christ into my life, after pleading with God to help me (I was at that point homeless, jobless and had very little money; self-respect or confidence – and I was completely ‘lost’). He sent ‘angels’ to help me move from ‘bewildered and overwhelmed’ to ‘enlightened and safe’, and in this state I began to grow spiritually and emotionally.
I regret many things in my life. I regret the hurts caused to my children – none of which were intentional or in fact, directed at them. I regret not making ‘more of my life’ because I now have to live with the consequences of choices made and the results of each one. I am, however, learning to be content. In order to overcome the negativity that can creep into my head, I sit myself down with my morning coffee, read a daily devotional and my bible and all the while, play praise and worship music softly in the background: it is hard to be ‘down’ when my spirit begins to soar and I begin to hum or sing along with the music or the singer; pretty soon the daily ‘blues’ lift away and I really get started with my day. Recently, I have begun to journal again, something I ‘put on the back burner’ for no other reason than allowing life and its’ distractions take my attention to other places.
We are all encouraged (in the bible) to ‘take everything, in praise and thanksgiving, to the Lord and He will sustain us’ – how I wish I had been aware of that many years ago, it would have greatly reduced lifes’ hardships – but I’m beginning improve and I often ‘hear’ God saying, ‘and just in the nick of time, Patricia’.
Oh, how I love you Lord
Truly I do.
Help me focus
Only on You.
Grant me grace, Lord
To be content.
Then I’ll know, Lord
My time is well spent.
(I do not recall where I got this from, I only know that it touched my heart.)
May God grant you peace today and always.
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