Last year our family received the blessing to visit Colonial Williamsburg for two days, and I’m so extremely thankful to God for making it possible. Father fulfilled my heart’s desire to travel to one of my favorite places. But on top of that, He threw in some special souvenirs besides the memories we would take back in our hearts. The souvenirs mentioned are so much more than objects; not to be kept on a shelf but rather cherished and paid forward! The gifts we brought back with us were the lingering flicker of faith left for us from those who are now long gone!
First off, as homeschoolers, we learned so much about colonial day history with real hands on experiences! Since everyone who works there re-enacts what living back in the 1700’s would have actually been like, we got to walk in original houses, shops, churches, courts, pubs and even the Governor’s Palace set up like they were three hundred years ago! These buildings were not all replicas but carefully, preserved structures from the 18th century! Another alluring aspect was how tourists got to sit in on re-enactments of bona fide court cases from that era! Because of documented accounts of who lived when, we were intrigued to watch actors play out actual peoples’ life stories! Captivated by the fact that we seriously felt as if we stepped back in time, we got to see and hear of how people ran each shop with its distinguished trade. Each actor portrayed what life would have been like at home or in business depending on if they were a “high society gent, common person or slave.” The injustices of that day were disturbing, to say the least. With brute honesty, the lineage one was born into determined how they were treated; as a human or as an object, regardless of their true worth to God. Personally, I find it fascinating to see how far we’ve come as a country since then. And that is why I feel it’s imperative to understand history because we can help change the course of the future by knowing where we’ve been before!
Overarchingly, what was highlighted for me throughout our visit to Williamsburg was God’s love for everyone indiscriminately. Seriously, everywhere we turned, it was like we never met a stranger! We knew who was full of the Light & vice versa! And those who had not necessarily received Christ yet were still attracted to His Light within us! Relationships were the true treasures found on this adventure! Along those same lines, we learned that the bedrock of our country’s foundation was not solely built upon the people you often hear and read about in books but rather the unknown farmers, slaves & “common people” who had such great faith. These people were the rare gems, who risked their lives in their everyday work just so those of us coming up after them could have more freedom than they’d ever experience!
That stated, we left touched and forever changed to have the opportunity to hear some of their unsung stories. Undeniably, it was as if we ventured back in time like archeologists who discovered the true pillars of this nation; the men, women & children who lit the lanterns of faith for us to follow. Praise be to our Heavenly Father for granting us the grace to travel to such a place where we got to capture more of His Story through these formerly unrecognized heroes who went before us! Because of this trip, we made new, real life relationships. But even more surprisingly, we encountered a profound connection with the earlier colonists whom God Himself decided would live during that time period. Like momentous heirlooms, we took back with us the stories of those who have long since passed from this life. And it was those infamous legends who endowed us with such a trail of hope for our present day!
Earnestly I pray, that we like them, will continue to carry the same light which unites us to them. May we leave our mark for others with the awareness that we too will pass the torch of who our hope was in. And the essence of our lingering glow will likewise light the path for those who come up after us!