By Doris Schroeder
There was a feeling of magic in the cool December 24 air in the forties. Glistening night clouds sat like marsh mellows in the dark sky, lending a feeling of ambiance to a young school girl’s heart as she watched the silvery clouds drift along the evening vapors with her brown eyes.
The methodical thump, thump of the gyrating windmill clanged to a stop as she remembered her last four years her family of four had lived on her grandparents’ farm. All the quiet joy she had found writing her penciled stories on her Big Chief Pencil Tablet in her lone upstairs bedroom seemed to flood every ounce of her body.
Her memory included this last autumn on the Kroeker family farm and her new found joy she had accepting Jesus Christ into her life.
Ever since she had witnessed the death of her beloved sister Luella a little over eight and a half years ago, she had been looking for a positive answer to becoming a Christian. She had been told that her sister “Lulu” was now in heaven. She herself had witnessed the accidental shooting of her sister, Luella. A neighbor boy had carried his Dad’s hunting gun into the house after a hunting expedition. She had seen her sister playing with the kittens so happily and then fall back when he pulled the trigger, with a red blotch on her dress. Later that evening her Dad had come to get her from her cousin’s house and told her that “Lulu had gone to heaven!” She had felt anger at first, not really understanding that her beloved sister had died and wasn’t able to take her along to heaven.
She knew, however, that she wanted to be sure of going to heaven some day, too, but no one ever gave her the answer…at least, not for sure.
Her family of three had moved once more after Luella died and Doris attended kindergarten. Then they moved to the farm and she enjoyed attending the first grade in a one-room country school named Sunrise. There were all age students and she enjoyed having temporary “older” sisters. It was then her parents gave her another sister and named her Carol Jean.
One day her Dad’s cousin and his wife had driven up the driveway to the house on the hill. They had come all the way from McFarland, California. They wanted Dad to bring his family and work for them. It sounded good to her parents and after harvest; they had a farm auction and moved to the land of golden opportunities.
The little girl found little churches in the golden state each time they moved, thinking someone would tell her how to go to heaven. But no one did.
Finally they had moved back to the farm and she felt she was going home. Her Dad took her to many different tent and revival meetings, but somehow, nothing clicked. The teacher in the country school let the Rural Bible Crusade present something in the school and she learned 500 Bible verses. In doing that, God became real to her and finally one day when she came home from school, she found a tract, read it and finally understood how to be sure of going to heaven. Finally it was clear and she accepted Him into her life. The burden had been lifted and she felt much joy in her life.
Here it was Christmas Eve, 1945, and she was at peace. She had loved the farm, California, her life with her sister, and had had an interesting life. But now she had the assurance of being part of God’s family…the one whose birth they were celebrating that season. She felt a complete peace in her heart for that night and for the nights to come in her future life on this earth and the forever life in heaven.
That summer they had moved back to Hutch. Although their life had drastically changed again, she felt at peace. She has stayed at peace in all her years following.
How do I know? Because that girl was me!
Doris wishes you a wonderful and peaceful Christmas…dorisschroeder @att.net