Thus Far the Lord Has Helped Us

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the LORD has helped us.'”  1 Samuel 7:12

It’s been many years since I have traveled abroad. Growing up it was something I was fascinated with, traveling the Globe. My Dad fought in WWII and sailed around the world from California to Africa, India and all the way back home to West Virginia and I loved hearing his stories as a child. We had a large Globe that we mapped out his journey on and I always dreamed of visiting some far country.  I had a hard time growing up and I suppose that the thought of escaping my problems was a way I dealt with trauma and pain.  In my mind the further I traveled might bring me peace, when in fact I took that sin and turmoil with me wherever I went.

When I think about my life before I was saved I am amazed at the things God has brought me through, and the mercy He has shown me. I have indeed like the prodigal son in Luke 15:13 “Went off to a far country and and there wasted his substance with riotous living.”

God has been very patient and good to me. He showed such mercy in saving my soul, but He has been very real and very personal to me through the years as well. I have a little box I keep at the top of my closet. It’s my personal “Ebenezer” and when times are hard or my faith is tested I often get out that box and thank God for what He has done in my life. There are so many reminders in that box, scriptures, notes and various things that mean more to me than anything else I own. I know I find God in His word, but I need to remind myself that He’s still working in my life and the lives of others. He is still saving souls and I am so thankful today for that. Years ago I spent time in England. It’s a special place for me because it’s where I first felt the pull of the Holy Spirit calling me home to my Father’s house.

I have always prayed that someday God would send me back, either to meet Christian friends or to have some chance to spread the Gospel there and tell people of Jesus. I have had financial hardships since becoming a Christian, so it was always something I kept in the back of my mind, tucked away if God ever saw fit to send me there. I always had much more inportant things to pray about but one day I watched a television program about missionaries in England and I wanted so badly to go back.  That same spring day I got ready for work like I always do and I grabbed a jacket I rarely wear. I had gained weight and like all women do I thought I might try to wear it anyway. It was snug and I was very uncomfortable, but I wore it to work anyway. As I reached my office I took the jacket off and noticed one of the pockets was unbuttoned. I reached down inside the tiny pocket and there, way down inside was a very small seashell, the size of a childs fingernail.  I realized that it was from a beach I had been on 5 years previously, in Northumberland, England. I know it sounds goofy but that little seashell represented a tiny ray of hope to me. It was like God left that shell from England in my jacket all those years, just so I would find it the very day I prayed. That was 9 years ago. I held onto that shell for all these years knowing someday, God would get me back across that pond. I am so happy to say that this very week I bought my plane ticket.

Nine years later and He’s blessed me with wonderful friends to visit, in fact a precious Sister in Christ. I am amazed and blessed to know her and her family.  I had to take the time today to set up another Ebenezer. God has done great things, He saved our souls by shedding the precious blood of His only son. That is more than enough for me! But He’s also real, personal and involved in our lives. I am so thankful.

As for the little shell, several months ago I misplaced it. It’s still around somewhere but I put it away for safe keeping, and being me I cannot find it. I looked for it the other day and was a little discouraged but realized it’s just as shell after all. Last night I was cleaning out my hall closet, getting ready for my trip and I came across a box full of hats and gloves. Buried down deep inside the box was a plastic ziplock bag full of seashells. From that very beach in England. Those shells are in the photo at the top of the post. I had to share and hopefully encourage anyone reading this that God is still the healer of hearts, He is still on His throne and saving souls.  I am including a wonderful hymn that speaks the words of my heart , it’s my story and the story of all the Children of God.  I hope it encourages someone today.

Be blessed dear reader!

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.



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12 responses to “Thus Far the Lord Has Helped Us

  1. dawnmarie4

    You get to go to England!!! Yeah!!!! How neat is that? How long are you going for? That is so exciting B!

    • Teresa

      Yes Dawn, I am so excited! I get to see my friend, Diana and her family and I am so happy. I will be there for 5 days. Yes it’s very exciting! I will have to post photos and tell you all about it.

  2. Ruth

    Dearest friend, you are such an encouragement to me! What a blessing to return to a land that you love in a right relationship with our Lord. I am so very happy that you have this opportunity to spend time with our sister and brother in Christ and pray that your time together is blessed! Thank you, too, for posting this hymn. It’s one of my favorites and brings tears of joy and thanksgiving whenever I hear it. Love you, sweet T – your friendship is such a blessing to me! xoxo

    • Teresa

      Ruth the only thing better would be if you were going with me. I love this hymn Ruth, it’s been such a gift to me over the years. Love you Ruth, getting to know you this year has been such a blessing to me, next year it’s gonna be you going across that big pond! xoxoxoxo

  3. Sweet T – I’ve read this 3 times now and each time I cry! Such a beautiful post. I had no idea England was such a special place to you and I really want to know more now about your first feeling the pull of the Holy Spirit whilst here. I am so honoured and excited that you are coming to see us and I pray that England will remain dear to your heart as a result of this trip. It made me smile when I read how you said you’d wanted to come back here to maybe have the chance to spread the gospel here and tell people about Jesus – because just last week I said to Pete that I hoped whilst you are with us you might be able to share with us how you are able to speak to strangers about Jesus, because we both struggle with that and you have an amazing gift for doing exactly that ♥

    Much love to you, sweet friend. I am so blessed by you and your friendship and can’t wait to roll out the red carpet for your arrival here in England 🙂

    • Teresa

      Love you Diana! I am so happy to come and visit you and the lads. We will have lots and lots of chatting to do my dear friend. So looking forward to seeing you all, so very soon! God is good 🙂

  4. Beautiful post, Teresa.

    Thanks for sharing your Ebenezer. I am so excited about your trip to England. Give Diana and her family a hug from us.

  5. Teresa, Oh my, this is a moving post. Bless God – He has such a way of communicating to His children in very tangible ways – I’m just soooo happy for you sister –
    And the hymn – it’s one of my very favorites – I cannot even sing the verse:
    “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
    Prone to leave the God I love;
    Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
    Seal it for Thy courts above.” without getting completely choked up.
    Have a wonderful trip!

    • Teresa

      Diane it’s so nice to see you here! the hymn makes me cry every time, and yes that is my favorite part as well. Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love. Yes how I struggle here, it chokes me up every time. I know we all have those same struggles…someday we will no longer fight this battle! That gives me so much hope. I am so happy to get to see our Sister Diana, what a blessing God has given me indeed. Love you and thank you!

  6. Let me guess… you’re going to see sweet Diana? Awesome! God is so good!! Please give her a big hug from me. When are you leaving and how long will you be able to stay? I’m not nosy, really, lol! Love and blessings!

  7. I am so behind in my reading, I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to read this as I have been in a fog for the past two weeks with getting ready for my journey across the states to Oregon and recuperating from going to Oregon. I am just now returning to the land of the living! Nothing like a 3 hour time difference and 6500 feet more than I am used to get me all discombobulated!

    What a beautiful story! I am so very happy for you that you get to go back to England and this time to be with fellow Christians. It will be a much different trip this time I am sure as you go with a different mind and heart. I hope you have a wonderful time and I will be praying for safe travels!

    Love the sea shell picture by the way!

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