"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." - Proverbs 16:9
Well friends, it’s been quite the week.
Full of ups and downs, highs and lows and everything in between – absolutely nothing like I had planned.
But then again, when do our days really turn out the way we plan them?
As Christians, we know that the Lord is the one who directs our steps, orders our days, winds our clocks. This week reminded me of how grateful I am that he walks every step of the way with me!
You see, this week was supposed to be kind of a mini-vacation for our family. My daughter Emma is a figure skater. She skates on a synchronized skating team (that’s kind of like the Rockettes on ice) and this week was the Eastern Sectional Championships. We travel quite a bit for her skating and it’s made for some truly wonderful memories for our family. This particular trip was to Lake Placid, NY, a place that we have come to love over the years and to say we were looking forward to it is a bit of an understatement.
So here’s the rundown - in the span of 5 days, we’ve dealt with an awful health scare for my husband; my daughter being ill without benefit of her prescription medicine – and a fight to get the dr. at home to call in an emergency one; a weird brake problem with our car; me being verbally challenged by someone in a restaurant over getting a table (THAT was really weird!); Emma catching a head cold – yes on top of being sick already; and to top it off, she and another skater on her team had a horrible crash during a practice session that left them both bruised and shaken.
By the time we got to Saturday morning, I was feeling a tad beaten and bruised myself.
Now the human me finds it really easy to focus in on ALL the negative stuff – don’t we do that so well?
Instead, our awesome God gave me a gift. Our crazy weird, stress-ridden trip ended with a wonderful celebration at the historic Olympic Speed Skating Oval in front of the Olympic Center. It was a fun family time of roasting marshmallows by the barrel fires while some of the parents skated with our kids on the oval. There was music and there were fireworks against the cold, clear night sky and the whole evening had a magical feel to it.
And honestly, that’s the strongest memory of this trip that I’ll take with me – the sheer joy of shared family time in a place that seemed to be set apart from the reality of the hard week before.
To me, that’s a beautiful picture of the pattern of our lives.
As Christians, we aren’t promised an easy life – far from it. We are tried and tested at every turn. Each test molding, shaping and refining us so that we can be better used for God’s glory. And because we are Christians – Christ-followers – we are given the ability to see above our circumstances and look at the fireworks in the night sky and enjoy a few toasted marshmallows with our loved ones.
Last night was the best reminder to me that God shows His love to me all the time, in all circumstances. When we CHOOSE to focus on His grace, goodness and LOVE for us, all the difficult hours in this life fade in comparison. Yes, they still exist, but they have so much less power over me when my mind is fixed on Him.
I will ask for your prayers this week friends as we visit doctors and get back to everyday life. Thank you in advance for your heartfelt petitions on our behalf, you don’t know how much you are appreciated.
With a Courageous Heart,