7 January 1947
“I thank my God upon all my remembrance of you, always in every
supplication of mine on behalf of you all making my supplication with joy.”
Philippians 1: 3,4
Dear Mom and Dad,
I don’t think I’ve ever been homesick (like this) before and I know if it wasn’t for the Lord Jesus my “eternal” home wouldn’t be open for sinners like me. I really don’t see how people put up with me at all. I hope I didn’t cause a whole lot of misery and resentment just before I left. I realize now how immaterial it was, as I had seen those kids during the day, (it was) to take those things to them just before I left and to rush you so. It is those little things which are a pain that I have to get rid of, ‘pronto!’ I hope you’ll forgive me; maybe the Lord made it so big an issue to make an impression on my thick noggin’!
All my inward ‘pangs’ are many times worth the real joy that it brought to be home again. Of course, I again wish I could’ve ridden with Dad more and talked with Mom more and stayed home much more than I did, but I was glad that what running I did was to further the cause of Christ in school or wherever it may have effect in lives. If I start thinking about how wonderful it was, I get wishin’ I was back in Wyoming and when I realize I can’t, I feel “wuss yet!” The Lord is speaking to me along these lines though because when I think of others the Lord can use me to help I forget myself which is a good thing.
All I know is I can never begin to tell you how much being with you meant way down in my heart. It was almost just like making life long friends anew! I think I only halfway knew you or appreciated you until just this leave. I just praise God He could see it fit for me to come home and get to know the folks He has blessed me with. I do hope you haven’t regretted all your kindness and welcome to me. I still can’t figure out why the Lord could see it fit for me, so unworthy a disciple, to have such a wonderful experience but more and more I see plain the care and comfort of God and of His son’s salvation in my life. I just pray others have benefited from my visit other than just me because that was the whole cause and hope of my visit. It seems strange never before in my life have I really enjoyed talking to Mom- when she used to talk before my mind was miles away- this time it meant something. Getting out with Dad and realizing his interests and hopes a lot better just lifted me right up and I really feel I know him now. I don’t believe I can ever stop thanking the Lord for such a “smile” and such a home. I wish and hope I might be more deserving and things were somewhat as goodly for you as they were for me. Well, the dictionary doesn’t have enough words and my time is limited, so I can say, “Thank you from my heart’s bottom” and praise the Lord, for his infinite kindness.
No doubt you would like to hear about my return trip. I do hope you received my telegram- personally I was overwhelmed with feeling and “Arrived okay” was as good as I could do. My trip back was alot more eventful I must admit than going home. Quite abit more confused. I was an hour and some minutes late but a least I had an excuse from the air line.
I got off swell from home and slept right through Casper and Cheyenne stops. I almost didn’t wake up at Denver but they kicked me out and so I chewed peanuts for an hour of waiting! I was quite surprised as I stood in the waiting room to see my old “girl-friend” Wilma Jean Ahlemeyer come in with her folks. I wasn’t sure at first it was she but coincidentally she got on the same plane as I. By that time I was sure it was she, but I never said “book” cause I wanted to find out if she’d recognize me- she sat down in the seat across the aisle form me and very shortly leaned over and asked me if I was me- of course, I said yes! She was in her last year at Arkansas and she’s majored in psychology! We had a talk but we must have bored one another because we both dropped off in sleep in a short time. Armarillo, Texas and we bid farewell and I got another flight to Fort Worth! I came close to missing breakfast but as it would have been hard to face I persuaded the hostess to let me eat on the sly (so other “sleepers” wouldn’t see me!). When I hit Fort Worth I was surprised (I was held there instead Dallas, so Denver said) because I found my reservations had been altered and my plane for New Orleans had left but the Lord was there and I got a seat that someone didn’t show up for. I got to New Orleans right on schedule but as I read my Bible and thought, time went by and my flight was never announced. I hurried to the ticket counter- plane was late and they weren’t sure how late! I waited two long hours, nearly three, - I was supposed to leave at 4:20 and the plane at last left at ten minutes to seven. I think what troubled me most was I couldn’t find any peanuts to buy in New Orleans or anywhere along the line. I don’t know why the sudden craving for them but everytime I woke up, I wanted peanuts. Must have been the Lord’s will though that I be without cause the do seem to be a little greasy for my system! I woke up when the hostess said Jacksonville and some worried sailor asked her what time it was and she said 12:30. As I picked my heart out of my feet and got off the plane I stopped at the ticket counter and they were outfitted for such a thing. At any rate I happily got my certified delay sheet and hopped it to the Air Base right quick. Everything seemed “roger-doger” with everyone and I haven’t heard any complaints and by now I don’t expect too either! I do believe it was just the Lord’s gentle way of telling me not to plan things so close together (again!) because even though it would have been rougher I could have taken the three thirty plane out of home and instead of taking these last two days to get squared away, did it all easily Sunday afternoon and evening. I haven’t had a chance to get going on my studying yet for that reason but tomorrow I commission my new plan! So far it looks favorable.
I was happy to find on my return but one letter (then, a card) awaiting (Edna’s Christmas Greeting) me and even though I am behind quite a few letters I’m definitely going to have to settle on one fairly short letter a day- limit one hour- in order to provide for study period. I hesitate at this writing, thinking of letting it go until after the test but I think a short letter will be a good outlet and keep me well rounded off during each day. That’s one of the reasons I made this letter collectively because I’ll have quite a bit of drill this week end and I then will start my individual letters to you next Monday. Eleven more days until the test. The Lord’s surely going to have to carry me through although I must try to do my part and not make trial of Him. The future is promising in the lord and I pray I will allow Him to use me in His Will. My New Year’s Resolution is to let Christ live in me all the way and not just half of the way, or hardly even that much, as I have been doing.
I’m sending fifty dollars in an enclosed money order which I hope is only a small portion of that coming. We were all paid on the 6th rather than half the station on the 1st and I believe we’ll be paid again the fifteenth. I do want to get my debts squared away quickly. It’s been long enough!
I’m sending a tract which surely interested me! We seldom think of incidentals as the Lord’s lesson. Maybe you read it at home but it’s a good one to pass on and it does sound reasonable even though it’s difficult to understand as many times things are. I’m surely finding that closer personal friendship with Christ is surely the key to a more marked living- a life fuller and less lonely and Jesus’ powers surely have kept me these past few days. I guess I’ve never experienced homesickness before because I never stayed home enough but that’s immaterial because if I can become closer to you no matter how great homesickness might get I’ll stay home more yes next leave (the Lord willing) and love it, ‘pangs’ and all! It’s wonderful!
The love of Jesus satisfieth every longing in one’s heart and praise the Lord for that. I have to hurry into town now, and mail this letter but I’m ever praying for your welfare and further knowledge of him and that God will bless and strengthen you in every strife and battle of the day and against Satan.
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” 2 Thessalonians 3:18
Your son in Christ’s love,