Love Journal

6June2022

I moved from my hometown, Morristown, Tennessee, for the very first time in January 1991.  I left my small mountain town to move to a thriving, multi-cultural city.  I had sold my home and my business, and left everything I had known as life to attend Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  

To say I was naive about a new life in Fort Worth, Texas, would be a huge understatement.  I knew that I was following the call that God had placed on my life.  Because I knew I was following God’s call, I believed everything was going to be perfect.

As you read further, I need you to know that communication from Texas to Tennessee was antiquated in comparison with all that is available today. There was no cell phones, no text messages, no emails.  And something most of us have totally forgotten—paying long distance phone call charges.

I had been in Forth Worth about three weeks when I ran face first into the wall of reality.  I was hundreds of miles from home.  I had left family and friends.  I had no income.  I was a student for the first time in over a decade.  And I was living in a dorm with dozens of other guys.  Everything I thought I knew had changed.  

I quickly came to the conclusion that I had left God in Tennessee and I was now all alone. 

I had one life line to Morristown, or so it seemed at the time.  One of my sweet, spiritual mentors, Brenda, worked for a company that had a toll free phone number.  I COULD CALL HER AND IT DIDN’T COST ME ANYTHING!

And call her I did.  Day-after-day…every feeling of despair that I had, i called.  And she listened.  Day-after-day…encouraging me and pointing me to our friend, Jesus.

One day, I thought I had reached the bottom and had nowhere to turn.  I was convinced I had nothing to hold on to.  I believed I had lost it all.  All my years of living had brought me to a point of nothingness. In her great wisdom, Brenda asked me that day what I did know.  And I told her I didn’t know anything.

She insisted that I tell her one thing that I knew with certainty.  I thought and I thought and couldn’t come up with a response.

Brenda encouraged me to keep thinking.  She wouldn’t let me hang up until I had one thing I could say, “I know…”

Finally, I responded with, “I know that Jesus loves me”

She affirmed my answer.  And gave me the instructions that I was to say this to myself when I started to feel alone and low. 

So for the next days, I must have said “Jesus loves me” hundred of times a day.  I would be walking to class mumbling under my breathe, “Jesus loves me.”  

When I would go to Kroger to pick up Bluebell Ice Cream, I would be walking down the aisle singing to myself, “Jesus loves me, this I know.  For the Bible tells me so.”

Very quickly God started flooding my heart and mind, reminding me of more truths that “I knew.”  

The next time I talked with Brenda, she asked me if I knew more than I did the last time we talked.  And I immediately started to listed all the things that “I knew.”

With her sweet voice, she chuckled and said, “Morris, I love you.”

Thank you, Brenda, for redirecting me to Jesus.

Now 30+ years later, I still draw on that deep theology principle that Jesus refreshed my life with:  “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.  Yes, Jesus loves me…”

Refresh me once again, O Lord, and all who read this.  Be encouraged!

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