Crystal Faircloth • End of an era

Crystal Faircloth
Crystal Faircloth

I sighed and rubbed my hands over my face as we approached the dilapidated broken-down structure that loomed before us. 

The old packhouse had been a beacon of contentment to our family back in its heyday. It once held drying tobacco leaves gathered by generation after generation of youngsters born and bred down the family line. Fieldhands helped to sow, crop, and harvest the summer’s bounty alongside the tired faces of our kin. The pungent odor often nauseated the gentlest of stomachs, but by the fall it always smelled the same. It smelled like winter’s livelihood.  

The old girl had lost much of her glory over the last decade. My great-grandmother had passed on and there were no longer any business ventures to be had within her walls. The property had passed through several hands and now lingered in a boisterous proprietor’s lap, unrelated to us. He had deceived the whole lot, and my precious aunt and uncle fought tooth and nail until finally, it was once again brought back into the family’s keep. 

The lock on the door was covered in dust and cobwebs, but the steps were still sturdy and strong as we climbed them. She had been converted to a storage place for possessions that still had meaning, but had no room anyone’s home. In their haste to take what they wanted, the previous owners had mangled and torn through several decades of our family’s history. Boxes, papers, clothing, and relics lay strewn all over the floor. Cans and alcohol bottles were abandoned on surfaces from their attempt to have a last hurrah and leave us the mess.  

My heart sank as I made my way up the stairs to check on my own belongings that I hidden away many years before. My feet landed on crumpled bits of my past as I climbed over the debris and made my way over where these things should have been. 

I was disgusted to find my high school diploma was nowhere to be found, or my son’s baby book that I had made myself when none of the manufactured ones could live up to the magnificent event of his birth.  

I ambled through boxes as my heart broke, and I realized that nothing was truly intact anymore. My foot produced a ‘cling’ on the floor as it brushed against an old tin something or the other. Lucky for me, I looked down.  

The tin time capsule was a welcome sight. It contained a clay mold of my boy’s footprint, and inside it held letters I had written to him when he was an infant. This find led to album of his baby pictures, and that album led to the discovery of an old floral recipe box from when I was a young girl. To my utter delight it held a recipe handwritten by my great, great, grandmother Fanny. In all my disappointment, these treasures shone through to bring my spirit back to the surface.  

Later at home as I was sorting through what I had rescued, I found some pictures of my Before Christ (BC) times. Old friends of mine and I were having a good old time and living it up in a way that my new Christian self would never dream of doing. 

I thought about the significance of each thing I had carried home, and I realized that they all contained some part of my past, present, and future. It was all a message meant just for me to find in the darkest corners of an ancient lifetime ago.  

As I flipped through those BC pictures, I realized that I was ashamed of that girl that looked back at me from the shiny paper. She was someone I didn’t recognize from so long ago. My hand stilled and the Lord’s voice rang in my ears. 

“Throw them away. Your sins are forgiven now, and that is not who you are in Christ. This moment is the end of an era,” He declared. I can’t tell you the amount of satisfaction I felt as the old worn-down spirit I held onto all these years left my body, and the renewed faithful spirit finally took her rightful place. 

 I went through so many emotions throughout that Thanksgiving Day, and I realized the greatest thing I am thankful for is a faithful and awesome God who loves this old sinner so much that He healed my broken soul and gave me a new life worth being proud of.  

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17, KJV 

About Jefferson Weaver 1975 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].