Monthly Archives: November 2018

You will always be in my heart!

In the last blog I talked about how diversions in our path can shake up our plans. The day I was going in circles trying to find my destination for the conference, also began one of the most painful detours of my life.
That night I returned to my brother and sister-in-law’s house where I was staying, and found out that Leo, my brother, had fallen while unloading his commercial truck. He hit his head and was knocked out. An office worker found him and called 911. He was taken to the hospital and had stitches in his head and given one day off work.
My reaction was very adamant. “You need to go get a CT scan!”
Leo laughed, “I’m fine.”
“How long were you unconscious?” I began quizzing him.
“Not sure.”
“What did they tell you about the concussion?”
“No one mentioned a concussion.”
I was getting very…uh…motherly. “How could you be knocked out and NOT have a concussion. It may be weeks before you feel the effects of that, when the brain swelling starts to go down.” My voice may have gone up some. “You can’t go back to work after only one day. How is that safe?”
Our conversation did drift to other topics. The next morning, I playfully, and seriously, left for my conference with, “You need your head examined.”
Three weeks later I received a phone call to tell me Leo had an accident with his truck and he did not survive his injuries. To the investigators it appeared he was unconscious before the truck left the road. When I learned that his truck drifted off the road, I knew in my heart that it was from his resent head injury.
Natural reactions set in. I wanted someone to blame. I wanted to tell someone “I told you so!” I wanted to go back and change how he was examined. Nothing could be done. As I struggled with finding fault, I realized no one had the power to effect Leo’s life outside of God. He had given his life to Christ, who can intervene in human errors. I accepted that God had chosen to take Leo home.
I don’t know the answer to “why now?” Trusting God doesn’t mean that I don’t hurt. It means that I am not bitterly or angerly looking for someone to blame. Leo is with his Lord and that is a great comfort to me at this time. Knowing that he was a good person, doing what he loved, and that he had a large network of people who loved him eases my pain a little. I am proud of the man my little brother became.
You may be reading this and have never asked Jesus into your life. I would strongly suggest that you do. You may not be concerned about your eternity right now, but you have no hold on tomorrow. Eternity may be sooner than you think. What about the loved ones you leave behind? Would you want them to anguish over losing you to an unknown eternity?
The best way to make the best of your life is by following Jesus.
Life may take many turns, but with Jesus by your side you will have peace in knowing you are not alone. And you won’t miss enjoying forever in heaven.

Lost or Re-directed

Have you ever been lost? So lost that you feared you may never find your destination? I recently attended a conference in Portland. I drove each morning from my brother’s house in SE Portland to the Jantzen Beach area for the meetings. The first morning, I left early, giving myself time with the morning traffic. Which was a good plan as I had to creep along in rush-hour traffic. Almost to the conference location, I began feeling proud of myself for my seldom-used-skills in heavy traffic. I was even patting myself on the back for remembering that the Hooters restaurant was the exit before the one I needed…or was it?
Then I saw my destination below me, at the end of the exit ramp that I failed to take. After crossing the Columbia River and circling through downtown Vancouver, I was again on I-5, this time headed south. At 8:30 AM southbound traffic into Portland was at a near stand-still. I knew where my destination was – just across the river. Since I would be getting off at the first exit, I remained in the outside lane where I could marvel at the distance to the water below. Creeping across the bridge activated my fear of heights. My fingers tapped the steering wheel.
It felt like an eternity before the first exit was in sight. Finally, I was off the interstate with my destination near. Only I turned wrong at the first light and ended back on the freeway! Tension quickly rose as I inched along with traffic to the next exit. Once off, I zipped under freeway anticipating the northbound on-ramp. There wasn’t one. I was headed east into an unknown area. I pulled off on a side street to re-vamp my plan and asked a construction worker how to get on I-5 North. “Turn left at next block and go a mile or so and follow signs.”
“Left! That takes me south.” I would be headed away from my destination!
Eventually, I found the freeway, the correct exit and the convention. Relief. I survived the ordeal and was safely at my destination. Though arriving at the conference didn’t put me at my goal of publishing my book. I talked with several agents and publishers. No one was begging me for the opportunity to publish it. One agent said that if I made some changes she would take another look at it. Yes! On to another “destination.”
Looking back, I realized that morning was much like my life. Sometimes I was on the right track and other times not. Two years ago, I had a destination in mind. I could see it clearly. I wanted to help others who have felt worthless and hopeless, so I helped write a plan to expand the Soup Kitchen. I was part of a board applying for funding to build a transitional housing project where, eventually, I would be able to teach lessons from my book, which by then would be published. I joined the Homeless Coalition for the city, determined to tackle problems in my community. I could see my goals. It would all work out because I was doing it for God.
Or was I?
Two years later and I feel no closer to the dreams I had. It appears I am circling my destination but not arriving.
Again, life imitates my travels. I thought I could predict how each goal in my life would work out. God didn’t agree with my plans. I had to circle around and take another look at what, or maybe why, I was so passionate about each of my endeavors.
I began writing my blogs months ago with enthusiasm. After going to a class on blogging, I discovered I had a lot of details that needed improving. So, my blogs stopped. While I work through the changes, they may continue to be sporadic rather than scheduled. I am back on the “interstate,” moving slowly. It may not be a straight path. But I am traveling toward my goal and, with God’s help, I will get to where He wants me to be. The same is true with my volunteer work. I will let God guide how each should go.
What I thought was my destination was only a stepping stone. But that’s a thought for another time. Keep your eye on your dreams, but be flexible to God’s guiding.