Well, my Readers,
here I am again. Revisiting my childhood. Part of me feels it is a waste of time. It is so unimportant. Another part of me feels it is so selfish, completely egoistical but the little child says, this is the way it was for me. I did not know anything else. My feelings were what I was. I felt deeply that I was not allowed to be me and when I tried to please, it brought me no real happiness. I remember holding the baby bottle and having no interest in the baby. My thoughts were elsewhere. Where? …I do not know. Later in school the teacher hit me on the head to wake me up. I was day-dreaming, wanting to be away, longing to be free. Bible stories and fairy tales let me imagine a world where I could do what I wanted, were I had my own place, save from the invasion of others.
On the road to the train-station there stood very little pretty new houses built for new settlers. It was a government program I knew nothing about but I liked these houses and wished I would have one for myself with no maids and no one to disturb me. I was only thinking of myself. At the time individual freedom was a real luxury. I did not know that but I longed for it. The only place where I could be happy was in heaven. I wanted to be there. When mother heard me singing the hymn, “Let me go that I may see Jesus”, she became angry and said: “Stop singing this funeral song.” But I already knew God would wipe the tears from our faces and pain and sorrow would be forgotten. Because our church was too far away especially in winter, mother had a lovely Sunday school teacher come to our house and the children of the village were all invited. This was wonderful. This special lady told us only of a loving Heavenly Father and Jesus, his son, who was sent to earth to bring us the good news of a heavenly place that was prepared for us. She told us of how much Jesus loved the little children and of the guarding angels who watched over us. I believed with all my heart. Jesus loved me! She also taught us the most beautiful hymns. I still know them and sing them to myself when I feel down. The words and the melodies are the best medicine for a sad soul. We also learnt the bible verses that were good guidelines for right living. Trusting in God was all we needed to do. The trouble was, I and everyone else knew only conditional love. No one had ever heard of love given freely and when not deserving. We were taught, we had to be good to earn God’s love or the love of anyone. But Jesus understood our weaknesses and failures and all would be forgiven if we were sorry. Here I now see a big problem. Being sorry meant being good. God loved us when we were sorry. Well, this little child never learnt to be happy. I was sorry for all I did wrong; and wrong was everything that did not please others. No one ever said, “God loves you when you are happy”.
It was so unnatural for a child who was well cared for to be unhappy. No one understood anything about me. I had everything I could want. My siblings were not feeling sorry for themselves. They seemed normal. I remember our governess was leaving and she was going to be driven to the train station. I made up my mind I was leaving with her. I packed my doll carriage and climbed into the carriage. I was determined. I was leaving! No one paid much attention to me until the last moment. The horses were ready to go and I was forcefully lifted up and out. Everyone assumed I had been playing a game. No one realized that I was very serious. I cried and everyone else laughed. I might have been 5 years old.
Now I knew I had to stay with my family till I was old enough to leave on my own. I believed everything the adults told me and realized I was not good enough. There was no one I could talk to except God. I believed God knew my heart and he would hear me. I knew he was the creator of everything including me. He was my Heavenly Father. If I was wrong, he would have to fix me. I wanted to be good. So I trusted God and continued to live in my own world while learning to survive in the world of others.
Have you ever heard of such a crazy child? That’s what I was.
There is more to come, Tela