We were supposed to be in Alabama. It had been fifty-six years since my husband graduated from Liberty High.  Most every year, his “Liberty High family” consults him about setting a date for the reunion, as he lives farther away than any of the others. It takes careful planning when trying to visit our relatives and attend the class reunion since we’d need to include North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Kentucky on the route!

After all of our planning, things abruptly stopped when the cardiologist called and strongly recommended postponing all plans until after cardiac catheterization and receiving the test results.  The results confirmed his concern—severe blockage. So, our vacation plans were canceled, and plans for bypass surgery were made.

During the night, I woke up with this horrible fear. I have heard people speak of anxiety attacks, and I am thankful they have not troubled me. But, as I wondered if this was what was happening to me, I was reminded of an incident so long ago it had laid dormant in my mind for years.

It was a pleasant, sunny day in Louisiana. I was about as excited as a little girl could possibly be. Daddy was taking me squirrel hunting!  I carried no gun; I was designated to find the squirrel, and he would do the harvesting. I felt so loved and chosen. (Looking back, mother was probably the one that “chose” me, as I was the most troublesome of the gang, and this was daddy’s way of babysitting and doing what he loved so much—hunting.)

Once in the woods, my little legs skipped along, trying to keep up with daddy’s long strides. Everything was so perfect until we came to the creek.

The creek was dark and looked wide and deep. A fallen tree reached from one side of the creek to the other, forming a “bridge.” Daddy stepped up on the tree and began heading to the other side. I hurriedly climbed up, but fear gripped me, and I could not put one foot ahead of the other. It was as though I was frozen!  I couldn’t go forward, but neither could I back up. I remember Daddy coaxing me, but I simply couldn’t move.

As he walked farther away, fear gripped me. He was leaving me all by myself! Still coaxing me to follow, he reached the other side and stepped off the “bridge.” I couldn’t believe he was actually leaving me. He walked over to a tree, leaned his gun against it, and walked back to where I stood, trembling with tears rolling down my cheeks. He patiently reached out, held my hands, and slowly backed off the log. It was amazing how easily my legs worked with my hands in his!

Recalling this incident, I placed my hands in my heavenly Father’s and drifted back to sleep.

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).


Doris Jaynes is a former Maine District Ladies Committee member, a retired nurse, and the mother of two. She is the wife of Noah Jaynes, founder and pastor of Oxford Hills Christian Fellowship in Norway, Maine.


  1. This is a great reminder of how a great our God is. He loves us so much. Thank you for the memory of your past.