The Ballestero Blog

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“I’m Going To Run Away From Home!”

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“I’m Going To Run Away From Home!”

That’s what I told my mom. I looked at her face and she didn’t seem to be overly shaken by the news, which

Me, Daddy (Carl) & Mama (Content) Ballestero

Me, Daddy (Carl) & Mama (Content) Ballestero 1951

was a good thing for me. So I relaxed a bit. I had already handled the hardest part. I’d made my big announcement. She smiled understandingly at me, as she touched my shoulder.

“Would you like me to help you pack your suitcase?” She asked, still smiling pleasantly.

My seven-year old brain didn’t pick up on the fact that she wasn’t overly shaken or alarmed by my desire to go, and was asking to help me pack.

I quickly accepted her assistance, because I had never packed a suitcase before. Mama was good at packing and always making sure I had everything I needed for trips.

I watched as she put my clothes in the little suitcase. There were enough changes to maybe get me through a whole week, which was good.  She made sure my little Bible and toothbrush were also packed in the suitcase. There wasn’t any room left for my brown teddy bear. I felt a major twinge about that. I hadn’t planned on being that alone.

Mama and I took a final look around my room looking for anything else I might need to take with me. Finding nothing, she closed the lid and handed me the small suitcase.

I stood there a little uncertain about how my goodbye should be handled. Our family was a kissy and huggy kind of family.

Should I kiss and hug her good-bye, or should I just say, “Bye” and leave? I was unsure. Before I had time to figure it out, mama made the decision for me.

“Honey, put down your suitcase right there, because I would like to take you on a tour of the house before you go.”

I sat the suitcase down and followed behind mama as she walked down the hall toward her bedroom. She stopped in the doorway as I joined her, and we both looked into her modestly furnished room.

“Since you are never going to get to see this room again, I thought you might want to see for the last time, where your mommy and daddy sleep at night. This is where you came every night to say your bedtime prayers and get your good night kisses.

“It’s also where you came every morning to get hugs and kisses from mommy and daddy. But, since you’re leaving you’ve probably outgrown all that now, so you won’t have to come back here any more, but I wanted you to see it.”

I took a big gulp. I didn’t want to cry now. I hadn’t expected a tour of any kind. I’d just wanted to runaway.

She then took my hand and guided me to my sister’s bedroom.

“This is where Beverly and your little sister Carlene sleep, take a good look, you’ll never get to see your sisters again. (Beverly was almost six and Carlene was two.)

Mama then guided me by my bedroom and I looked at my teddy bear proudly sitting on my bed. I felt a big twinge.

The tour continued into the kitchen. Mama took great pains to explain to me that this was where she fixed my favorite meals. She also pointed out where I used to stand and talk to her, as she cooked.

“Here is where I made your pancakes, and cooked your favorite meals. In here is where I baked you cookies, pies, cakes and your favorite orange crusted biscuits!” She said as she pointed at the oven.

“You probably won’t be having any biscuits, cookies or pancakes where you’re going. You don’t know how to make those, and you don’t even have anything to make them with, if you did. So take a good look around.”

I hadn’t thought about never having biscuits, cookies or pancakes again. There were some things about running away I evidently hadn’t thought out completely. I got very serious.

We then walked into the dining room and stopped at the foot of the table where I always sat.

“Here is your place at the table, son. It’s going to look awful empty without you in it!”

She let that sink in a moment before we moved on. She pointed at the chairs.

“Here is where your daddy always sits, and here is where Beverly sits, and Carlene sits here, and I always sit over there. Take a good look, Honey, because you won’t ever get to see this table, or eat with us any more.”

I began to feel more alone than I had planned. Mama walked toward the living room, and I joined her looking at the couch and easy chairs.

“Over here is your daddy’s chair. That’s where he always sits during family devotions when he reads us a chapter from the Bible or reads from The Bible Story Book.

“Here is where I always sit, and there is where Beverly and Carlene sit, and over there is where you always sit.

Mama placed her arm around me as we stood side by side looking the room over.

“Well honey, I think that about concludes the tour of our home. I know you won’t ever get to see it again, because you won’t be coming back. But I want you to know and I want you to always remember how much you mommy and daddy love you.

Never forget how much your little sisters love you too. We are going to miss you every day. You will always be welcome here, because we will always love you.”

Then without a lengthy delay she continued her goodbyes.

“Oh, one more thing, I know I’ve shown you all through the house for the last time, but why don’t you kneel down with mama where we always pray for our family devotions and tell Jesus goodbye.

“You probably won’t be talking to Him anymore either.”

Tell Jesus goodbye? That thought shocked me childish mind. I hadn’t planned on telling Jesus goodbye. All I thought I wanted to do was runaway from home.

Without waiting for me to give any verbal response, mama knelt down at the old sofa and began to pray as only my mama could pray.

Mama was one of those precious Holy Ghost filled mama’s that prayed them heart-felt and spirit filled prayers. She never prayed very long without everyone around her knowing she had touched something pretty wonderful in the glory world.

She began to pray fervently, crying quickly and speaking in tongues. This was how mama always prayed, but today’s prayer and her crying took on new meaning for me as I knelt there beside her.

I listened to her crying, and I felt sure I had made my mama cry because I was running away. I listened to her pray and speak in tongues and knew she was surely talking to Jesus.

I had only been on my knees less than two or three minutes when I began to cry. I placed my arm around my mama and pulled myself close to her.

“Mama, I am so sorry for wanting to run away. I’m not going to go anywhere. I’m going to stay home with you.

Please forgive me, mama. I love you. I promise, I will never leave you. I won’t even get married, or nothing. I’m just going to stay with you!”

She slipped her arm around me, and hugged me tightly as she gave me a sweet kiss. And then she went back to finish her prayer time with the Lord.

 

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

 

By chance have you been thinking lately about running away from Home?

  • Have you been considering leaving the Father’s House?
  • Have you?

Well, before you go, please, please permit me to take you on a tour of the church you’ve been part of for so long.

I want you look with me again at the place where the plan of salvation was first preached to you. I am pointing at the pulpit.

Remember feeling like you had sinned so bad that God would never forgive you? Can you hear your pastor’s voice once again saying that there was no sin you had ever committed that Jesus wouldn’t forgive you of? Remember him trying to give you hope? He was trying to tell you that God loved you no matter what.

I’m sure you remember him saying that you needed to believe in God’s promise, repent of your sins, be baptized in Jesus name, and then receive the gift of the Holy Ghost speaking in other tongues. Just like they did on the day of Pentecost.

Please look right over here at the altar where you first knelt down and repented of your sins. Remember how you felt when you felt you repented that night?

Now, I want you to come with me over to the baptistery and look into the place where your sins got washed away in Jesus name! Remember how clean you felt and how wonderful that experience was?

Then, when you came up out of the water you lifted your hands and God filled you with the Holy Ghost. You spoke in a language you’d never spoken in before! Take a look at this place again and ask your self if the world has anything that matches that.

Oh, see that aisle right there? Remember all the times you shouted, and danced for joy down those aisles?

Remember the night you came up to the front and stood right there in a healing line and God healed you instantly of cancer? The world can’t offer you that.

Look over there at the third pew where you’ve sat all these years. Remember that Sunday night you stood and testified about God healing you? Remember that?

Come over here to this door, look in here. This is the prayer room you always went to before service each night. You fought a lot of battles and won a lot of victories kneeling right there.

Please walk with me down this hall. Here is the Pastor’s office. He sure loves you. Think of the many times he’s given you counsel, direction and encouragement.

I know you’ll never forget how he would pray with you, and for you, before you left the room. I hope you can remember what that was like, because you won’t have anything like that anymore.

Now, we need to come back out into the auditorium and look it over real slow. Let the faces of each one come to mind as you look at where they sat during service. They loved you. They rejoiced and shouted the night you got saved. Those dear people will pray for you daily, when they realize you are gone. They will never give up on you.

Never forget how much you are loved here. We are going to miss you everyday. Don’t ever forget that the Lord truly loves you and gave His all for you!

Well, that pretty much concludes our little tour.

Aw, before you go, why don’t you kneel with me right here where you always pray, and then you can tell Jesus good-bye too…

 

praying_man_at_altar

 

 

10 Responses

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  1. You make and old man cry.

    Steve Epley

    December 13, 2012 at 12:32 am

  2. I’ve heard this story many times but it made me cry again, remembering Mama! Love you Elder!

    D L Morris

    December 13, 2012 at 1:04 am

  3. Story I read here left Me with tears rolling.

    janellpuleo

    December 13, 2012 at 7:06 am

  4. Tears are streaming down my face as I write. How many people have let stupid things come between them and God, His Church or His Preacher. I hope this blog is published in book form so many more can read it and take their own tour of their church and remember where God has brought them from. Thank you for writing.

    Nila

    December 15, 2012 at 6:13 pm

  5. Thank you for sharing this! I need to take a trip down memory lane and not forget what all has been done for me in the house of God. I sent this to a friend and she responded with the following ( I don’t think she would mind me sharing) :
    Wow! This made me cry! it is all to easy to forget the times that God spoke to me, touched me, healed me, encouraged me, and so much more. When I take a tour in my mind, I go to the front pew on the ladies side where I heard a message of tongues and the interpretation that put me flat on my face crying at the top of my lungs. I would have to say goodbye to those sweet conviction messages…. On my tour I would have to go to look into the baptistry where I had my sins washed away. In this baptistry I also watched my two best friends have a life changing experience, being filled with the Holy Ghost… I would have to say goodbye to them. I would have to take a look in the Pastor’s office where I had a long talk with the Pastor’s wife the night before I got the Holy Ghost. She told me that God was not through with me, and that sometimes God has to bring someone low before He can help them… I would have to say goodbye to her and all the life lessons she has taught me. In the Pastor’s office I also remember having many heart to heart talks with my Pastor and his wife. Talks that my soul depended upon. If I left God’s house I would have to say goodbye to all the love, preaching, prayers, encouragement, and burden that the Pastor has had for me. On my tour, I would have to take a look in my Sunday School room, it wouldn’t be mine anymore. The children wouldn’t understand where there Sunday School teacher went… I would have to say goodbye to them. This would just be the beginning of my tour. It wouldn’t take too long to realize that my life is invested in this house, my soul depends on this house, my friends and my family are in this house, almost everything I value is in this house. Where could I go, O where could I go? needing a refuge for my soul? needing a friend to help me in the end, where could I go but to the LORD????

    So many are being blessed by these blogs, thank you again for sharing!!

    Daphne

    December 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm

  6. Thank you for this very stirring blog post, Brother Ballestero!!

    Charlotte Mills

    December 16, 2012 at 9:24 pm

  7. Thank you once again Elder for a moving post! I can’t tell you enough how I appreciate your post, they are always encouraging & thought provoking. May God bless you & your family, may ya’ll have a very merry Christmas!

    Brian Enochs

    December 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm

  8. You made me cry. Thanks. Very moving.

    Eugene Wilson

    January 25, 2013 at 11:17 am


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