So many times I have chosen the road less travelled.
- Finally detaching myself from toxic, addicted friends and family members beyond the proverbial geographical cure that didn’t work.
- Working hard in Al Anon Adult Children of Alcoholics as I discovered the extent to which abuse, dysfunction, relying on survival skills alone, and the absence of a Christ-centered view of the world made my world smaller and darker than it needed to be.
- Accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
- Pursuing my goals of higher education degrees in a family where at the time, only one blood relative had done so.
- Starting and operating a home business several times despite not having all of the strengths needed for success.
- Divorcing the man instrumental to my coming to faith in Christ when he would not return to our marriage nor his faith of sorts.
- Embracing the Lord’s restoration of my life after much tragedy: a life total makeover of sorts.
- Moving out of State to marry my Intended Beloved and start a new life in which I knew no one else but Steve.
- Finding things that I could learn and still do despite a serious decline of my health and loss of my profession.
- Never losing hope in the Lord or that better days lain ahead somewhere despite wretched convulsive episodes virtually every day for ten years.
Tough stuff, eh? Thank you Lord for your mercy and grace through it all! Tonight I’m not sure what to make of things when I find myself at the end of another road, another lifeline of a rope that has given me so much. After 3 1/2 years, I have decided to step down from my role as Editor of the monthly newsletter for the Extension Master Gardeners in our county. My 42 newsletters have been a labor of love for me: challenging my creativity, communication, and computer skills as applied to my favorite topic of gardening. I need to open up some time and energy to find new solutions to boost my health. Working on a newsletter in the middle of the night (because that is most often the time I am stable enough to do so) then being trashed all day the next day, then repeating this pattern a few times per month is just too much. It has become a dysfunctional pattern of living just to earn 15 volunteer hours every month. Regardless, I am sad to let it go. I need to let it go. I need to let it go not knowing to where the Lord will lead me from here. I will miss being “in the know” about our local volunteer gardening activities, upcoming events, and exciting developments on the horizon. Gee, I did ask myself about taking the next step towards becoming a board member and advance within the organization: a logical next step. Supervise the new Editor in addition to two other communications coordinators? No, came the answer to my prayer. Not this time or in this way. Sigh, I just wanted to figure out my next steps ahead of time. That’s not the type of road I am travelling on right now. The GPS is stopping right here. I have arrived at a blank screen. But why not?
Geez oh man. Talk about what is looking like another endless path with no answers. Let’s add a few more.
- Why haven’t the thousands of hours of medical care, excess of a hundred thousand dollars of expenses, many hundreds of hours of research, and prayers of the faithful including my own yielded more fruit so to speak? We don’t know. No one knows.
- Why did my Mother die right before I met my Intended Beloved? She never got to meet him. She would have loved him dearly.
- Why did my former supervisor’s house burn to the ground the day before she intended to cancel my trip to see my estranged father right before he died? I didn’t know he was dying and had not seen him in 30 years. Turns out that I got to see him and she didn’t return to work until months later.
- Why did my Grandmother die the day after I discovered my former husband’s affair? I couldn’t get out of bed to go to work, so overcome with grief.
- Why have I survived all of the members of my immediate family with no one to carry on the family name? This leaves me feeling pretty empty at the holidays or special occasions.
- Why did I get to marry the man of my dreams only to not be able to fly with him when he lifts off to so many cool places?
Just because, Gentle Julie. This isn’t heaven. You live in a fallen world marked by sin and evil with only glimmers of my majesty and goodness sprinkled amidst the darkness. Even so, I am God. I am doing a different kind of work in your heart, in your life with a different kind of reward for your faithfulness to follow me instead of the way of the world. I know all of your story. I know all of your sorrows, including ones that only I can see. I know because I am there loving you and seeing you through it all. Thank you for letting me in . . . could you do so even more? I grieve and suffer with you in ways that you can only imagine from what you can see, from my Word. Meet me there. I promise you that the strife, the unrelenting striving that leads to seemingly dead ends will be redeemed when I come again in glory. Lay your cares at the foot of my cross. I will hold them tenderly with your tears. Trust me. I will never leave you or forsake you.
So this blog is a bit of a downer tonight but it doesn’t end there. I write the truth as I know it and about the truth that sets me free. Me and you too, Gentle Reader. Do you know many sorrows too? Weep with me. Weep for your losses, your hurts, your unanswered prayers. Then take each one and place it beneath the cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ right next to mine. He will take them for us from here. It doesn’t matter that we don’t know where the path we are on is leading us when we are living unto the Lord and following Him. What matters is the trail we are leaving behind. JJ