|Along the hiking path|
The airplane ticket had been purchased during the long weeks of silence and wondering. I knew that I would need to escape the walls that closed in around me every weekend. A full week of Spring Break would either provide rest or more turmoil. I wondered, though, if distance, a change of environment, and time spent with my best friend could really grant me the peace I sought from the thoughts that assailed me.
|Hiking through the park|
As the break approached, the pieces of my life tumbled chaotically like clothes in a dryer. One minute everything was flying across the top of my world. The next second they had all come crashing down to the bottom, only to flip through the cycle one more time.
At everyone’s urging, I boarded the plane on the Monday morning of Spring Break and headed to California. There the Lord ministered to me with His comfort, peace, joy, friendship, and wisdom. The reigns of overseeing the household issues were in Hubby’s hands–where they belonged all along and I was at peace in the letting go (almost all of the time there).
|Flowers that greeted me in my guest room|
The first morning I awoke at my friend’s house in California, the Lord gave me this Scripture that so aptly described my condition and the new hope He had given me.
“Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:17-19 NIV
I had planned a week’s getaway to a friend’s mountain cabin. Just a pile of books, hikes in the woods, and time spent in friendship. The Lord had other plans. Just before I arrived, a snowstorm moved in making the roads impassable unless one had chains or a 4-wheel-drive vehicle. That wasn’t on my rental contract.
|A sunflower beams at us along the trail|
So my friend and I took each day as the Lord ordered it. Days filled with stone-gathering memories–the kind the Israelites used to mark God’s Presence on their behalf. Hiking through tree-shaded park trails; decorating tables with my cousin for her granddaughter’s cheerleaders’ banquet; watching squirrels scamper through my friend’s backyard; dinner and breakfast with two other friends, God-painted moments captured on camera; a funny movie shared with friends; and a day in the snow–the retreat I longed for.
The commemorative altar came on Wednesday as youngest enlisted in the Navy. Although it had been the initial fear that started the anxiety back last fall, the Lord has shown me since then that this will be an important step in his development as a young man. While I gathered with my cousins, joyfully adding sparkle to the tables for the evening banquet, texts from Hubby came flying through giving us moment by moment account of the enlistment details as youngest sent word to Hubby. I was filled with joy and tears to see how God arranged that moment to occur while I was with my cousins and my closest friend. His timing and His ways are truly perfect.
|Decorating with my cousins|
Oh, there were hours of anxiety that threatened to destroy my joy, but God allowed them to only last for a short while. The Lord had the victory and I returned refreshed.
|The cool breeze blew peace through my spirit|
|The weathered tree stump where I prayed|
“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;” Psalm 96:1-4a NIV
Thank you all for your prayers. Tomorrow, I’ll continue with my Joy List.