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  • Elizabeth R Billingsley

Vacation Lessons and Reflections


Hello everyone! I hope you enjoy the pics I have added today. I not only learned a lot of history on this vacation, I learned a lot about God and myself. I shared some of what I learned yesterday in my blog God Speaks to All Peoples. Today I want to share the rest with my readers. 

 As I was making my way through the Native American Indian museum at the Crazy Horse Memorial, I ran across several sayings by prominent Native American leaders at the time. Many of these sayings were questioning how the white Americans could come preaching the gospel to them and then treat them so terribly. My heart was sad and I admit I was teary as I finished the exhibits. We have been foolish for so long. In those quiet moments, the Lord spoke to me about justice, His justice. He assured me His justice is being carried out in the earth and I will begin to see these things happen. His quiet encouragement made the past not sting so badly. I stand with our Native American brothers and sisters! God sees you, He loves you and His eyes see everything. He will uphold you and vindicate you. He will make all things right! 

We spent a lot of time driving to various places in the region. In fact we visited two other states while staying in South Dakota. God’s creation is amazing! I have never seen more beautiful mountains or seen such rich history as is in South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. We hiked in Wyoming and South Dakota in the mountains and went to visit Little Bighorn in Montana. The memorials for the Native Americans and the US Soldiers were very well done! If I learned anything about General Custer, it was that he was very arrogant. Arrogance cost him as it does us all. He brought his men there to die and he died with them. Where many of them fell, soldier and Native American alike are marked with grave stones. Most of the remains have been relocated by family members. General Custer’s remains are now at West Point. In fact, the national cemetery that is there is now open to WWII and Vietnam Era veterans if they or their families wish them to be buried there. Little Bighorn was a somber place, an example of man’s inhumanity to man. Once again the Lord spoke to me about how He sees all things and that He would make all things right. One day, there will be no more war and no more discension. 

We also visited Deadwood, South Dakota. The resting place of lawman Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, also known as Martha Jane Canary. Her life is a one of the saddest historical stories I have read in a long time. She was an acquaintance of Wild Bill but was believed to have loved him, although he did not return her love. She was both a fighter and a pioneer woman. She was also a prostitute for a time, something I think she was ashamed of years later. She died in Deadwood from complications of alcoholism and what I honestly believe was a broken heart. I am learning in our broken world we see the same stories from century to century play out in different people. I can only hope despite all she had done and been through, she came to know Jesus before she died. One day, there will be no more alcoholism and no more prostitution. 

Mount Rushmore was one of the last places we visited. It was magnificent! Such wonderful craftsmanship! Did you know it is not finished? All the presidents were supposed to have their lapels included, only Washington has his included. The monument was never finished. Once again, war interrupted. Perhaps one day they can finish the monument. I would support that with my tax dollars. My friend and I stood looking at the four men, Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln. I remarked to her that if they were alive today, they would be appalled at the state of this country they worked so hard to build. I believe they are already rolling in their graves at some of the ridiculousness you see today. I believe they would ask us what we believe in. I believe they would ask us why and how we’ve let special interest capture many of our leaders – Washington himself warned against this as well as entangling alliances. If those stone men could speak about what they have seen in this country over the last few years, they would have a lot to say to Washington D.C. Now did these men get everything right? No, I believe some of the history I have spoken of speaks to that. However, I do not believe they would have sold us down the river or sold their own souls for power and money. I can only hope and pray for leaders like them to once again be at the forefront in America. We can never go back but we can always move forward. One day, there will be no more borders or flags, only every people from every tribe and nation living under the light and kingship of Jesus Christ. 

As you can see, we not only took in a lot of fun sites, I learned and reflected a lot along the way. This is one of the main reasons I love to travel! I hope many of you will get to travel and see these wonderful places. Be watching for all God wants to show you and tell you. He is always speaking, you just have to listen. 

Ready for my next adventure,

Elizabeth  


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