Take Me Back

We all have those memories that represent a warm glow in our mind, like you see Joy chasing after in the Disney/Pixar film, Inside Out.

This all started when I pulled up one of my old playlists this week that included Third Day’s song, Take Me Back.

It isn’t about living in the past, but remembering a time of fellowship…of sweetness with the Lord, that is like the X on the ultimate treasure map.

It is a place to get to…no matter where you wander or how long you have been gone.

It is the place where you always want to return. In fact, it is a place we should always want to be.

Alas, our hearts are prone to wander.

There was a time in life when I didn’t understand this concept.

I can remember playing outside my grandmother’s house, in the sunshine, with old pots, pans and dishes. I tried to fry an egg one summer on the back of a truck because it was so hot.

It didn’t work.

Several years also, I asked her to paint me a picture of my playhouse that is long gone, the tree that had to be cut down, along with the tire swing where so many of my warm-glow memories were.

I told her I didn’t want to forget what it looked like.

It was summer.

We drank from the hose pipe.

We ran through the woods.

We built forts.

We picked flowers.

We waded in a creek.

We imagined.

We dreamed.

This place was so magical to me that when I first married, I bought the land next to where my grandparents lived.

I built a house with a front porch that stretched from one end to the other, so I could gaze down the hill to where my warm memories lived. My plan was to have my children would grow up having the same experience I did, but they did not get that chance.

Perhaps, if I had consulted with the Lord at age 21, instead of orchestrating my own ideal plan of what life should be (just like Joy did in the movie), then maybe I would have realized what I needed to give my children wasn’t a place, but a Person.

Yes, I took them to church and we have always talked about why we believe as we do. I still wanted to make their environment like the safe place I briefly had…and not full of so many of the traumatic ones. The blue, red or green marble memories representing sadness, anger and worry, or even darker and more sinister colors that you cannot imagine.

I knew they (the girls) weren’t really mine, and God has only entrusted them to me for a short while, so sometimes I needed to allow whatever color marble memories God was rolling their way.

It is hard. It is hard knowing when to protect and when to let go, so God can do His work. Doesn’t He know so much more than me?

Those moments may not all be glowing and happy, but in His presence is fullness of joy.

Real joy. Joy is different from happiness. No matter what color memory marble you hold, you can still have joy if you are in His presence.

I have to remember that when life is hard, wishing to be somewhere else, like going back in time, isn’t the answer. The place I need to find is wherever I can be closest to the Lord.

Unlike a chronological time map, where I could ask a time machine to transport me back to my grandmother’s yard, Jesus is an ever-present help in our time of need.

He moves with us along our timeline remaining the same yesterday, today and forever.

He stays with us through all the colors. He never leaves. You only have to turn around and take His hand.


It was spring.

There was a building called the lighthouse, an extension of my new church.

It was where broken people could find the Light of the world.

We went to serve in the community.

We prayed.

There were kids.

There was excitement.

There was so much more.

There was Jesus.

People said I had a glow about me.

If I long to return to a time period vs. a specific place, like my grandmother’s yard, then I would want to be in 2004.

Over the years, of often wishing to be in that year, what I had to realize is… Jesus doesn’t just reside there in that warm memory, with those people, and with that old version of myself.

That was just the beginning. It was rebirth.

That was just a taste of what is available…a glimpse into what this world can be while seeing it through spirit eyes.

Honestly, you cannot have it unless you are actively seeking to find it. It does take effort and sacrifice to refocus your mind on things above…what matters for eternity. Then, you get new vision.

You can lose that vision, and over and over seek to get back to that place. You have to dust off this carnal world that clings to you and pulls you down, and press on…

In that place, the sun actually shines all the time.

There is always hope.

There is always warmth.

Storms can definitely still swirl beneath you, but they do not overtake you.

You can go through stormy seas and not sink beneath the waves.

You can hear bad news, but not live in a state of fear and worry… because He is there.

He is the warm glow that we long for. He is the Light that produces a supernatural flame that will not and cannot be extinguished.

Yes, you can walk away from it, cover it with a lampshade, or just hide from it completely in the dark.

Why, why would we want to?

I may not be able to go back in time, but I don’t need to. I just need to become a new version of the person I was…when I was there.

New wine doesn’t fit in old wineskins.

“Take me back to the place where it started
Take me back to the warmth of the sun
To the place where the rivers meet the ocean
Take me back home
Yeah, that’s where I belong.”


I cant believe how absolutely perfect this song is for this moment…this journey. You should read the lyrics, but must listen to it.


Take Me Back

Third Day

It’s your heart that keeps you running

And it’s your mind that I can’t change

Will you ever be returning

And coming back again, coming back again

Take me back to the place where it started

Take me back to the warmth of the sun

To the place where the rivers meet the ocean

Take me back home

Yeah, that’s where I belong

And have you ever really wondered

As we walk beneath the stars

Will we find the truth, will we discover

It isn’t very far, it’s not so very far

Take me back to the place where it started

Take me back to the warmth of the sun

To the place where the rivers meet the ocean

Take me back home

Yeah, that’s where I belong

I wonder if I’ve gone too far

Lord, please help me get back home

Where I belong

Take me back to the place where it started

Take me back to the warmth of the sun

To the place where the rivers meet the ocean

Take me back home

Yeah, that’s where I belong

Back where I belong

Where I belong

Oh, where I belong

Yeah, that’s where I belong

It’s your heart that keeps you running

Songwriters: Iyiola Bablola / Leon Huff / Tom Jones / Dan Kurtz / Darren Lewis / Nicole Morier / Bobby Rush

Take Me Back lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Capitol Christian Music Group

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