Choices on this Journey

I’ve found my heart heavy with emotions this week. Calling my mom to see how chemo went and how she is feeling, is something I never imagined having to do. I want to be able to call my mom like I used to, just to say hi.  I rejoice with the news that my mom’s tumor markers are down and that they came down when she was not receiving treatment. I am thankful to see my mom have hope and joy. I rejoice most of all when I read her words that she credits You for giving her the strength to continue on. I know many may not see that as much of anything, but to me, it means so much. To see my mom verbally acknowledge You brings me joy. It has been my heart and my belief that through this hard You will be glorified. Yes God!

My heart was further weighted with emotions when talking to my husband about the possibility he may need to voluntarily deploy some time in the near future or he may be at risk for a 300 day involuntary deployment, training and advising afghan soldiers in flying C-130’s. While we had briefly discussed this a few weeks ago, I saw the new urgency in his eyes and I felt my heart sink. Yes I know this is his job. Yes I support him 200%. But Father, not right now. I felt my heart and my eyes moving from their position of resting on the face of Jesus and instead turning to the situation. I felt the enemy begin to smile as the fear began to creep in. The fire inside me cried, no! You cannot have me! You cannot have my family! You cannot have my joy!

img_3836As I sit here looking out the window to the beautiful and stunning mountains in Crested Butte, Colorado, I’m truly captivated by the beauty. Here in the mountains among the tall trees, the snow capped peaks and deep blue sky, I feel so close to You. The quiet and the space to be alone with You is a precious gift where I feel You capture my heart. The last time I was here, it was summer time and the views were stunning. Today, it is winter and the snow has painted a whole new landscape. Our condo is feet from the ski lifts so I can see out my window a few skiers who have chosen to venture off and create their own paths. I watched as three different skiers approached this ‘bowl’. From my vantage point, it looked to be a significant drop as each of them disappeared for a few moments. What caught my attention was the different approach each skier took.  The first two approached the bowl together and stopped. They looked at each other and I can only imagine the conversation that transpired. You wanna go first? No, you can go first. Oh no, I insist. Please, go ahead. Eventually one of the two reluctantly entered the bowl while the other waited anxiously to see how this little adventure would turn out. When he saw his friend safely exit the ‘bowl’ the second skier enters with hesitation but makes it safely out the other side. While the two skiers stood on top of the hill, looking back at the ‘bowl’ they just conquered, the third skier came at the bowl with a ‘running start’ for a lack of better skiing words. He flew up over the hill and into the bowl and then came flying out past the two skiers, continuing down the mountain, paving his way with new tracks. I found myself smiling as I watched this little show and I felt my Father speaking to me in this image of how I choose to live and approach life on this hard journey.

My mom’s diagnosis took me off of what I would call a ‘normal’ path or the predictable path my family and I were on. I would identify myself as one of those three skiers off in unknown territory paving my own path. But which skier am I when onA I come upon a ‘bowl’? A deep valley? Do I stop and question whether I want to enter? Do I look around to see how someone else navigates the valley? Or do I trust the arms of the One who has me. The One who has told me WE will rise up in spite of the ache. The One who has called me to rest in Him. The One who is for me and loves me fiercely. The One who calls me His joyful surprise. I choose to enter the valley with the freedom, peace and joy of knowing I will come out on the other side higher and stronger.  I choose to continue paving the path my Father has for me. While it may be unknown territory for me, it is not unknown territory for my Father. He is a good and faithful Father who is leading me into further knowledge of who He is and deepening my love for Him. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Father. Thank you, Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 65:24 The Message
Before they call out, I’ll answer
Before they’ve finished speaking, I’ll have heard. 

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