The Paths We Take

Throughout life, we each take a path that we think will lead to future happiness and success. For me, it was to go to college and become a teacher. I never expected to get married and have children, but that was part of God’s plan for my life. Each of us has choices and our choices make a difference in our own life as well as in the lives of others.

This has really been brought home to me recently because I have been at my sister’s house this week helping her pack up to move to a different state. She is a year older than I am, and she is not in particularly good health. Because she has macular degeneration and is slowly losing her vision, she cannot really live alone for many more years. For that reason, when my niece and her family decided to move, they also chose to move her mom with them. That is a very kind gesture that shows the love she has for her mom. However, my sister has had little choice in the matter. A house was purchased next door to them for my sister to live in. The fact that she is leaving all that she has ever known is not a factor in this decision at all. There have been spontaneous outbursts of tears and more than a few arguments (all caused by stress, I’m sure) between my sister and her daughter since I have been here. My heart goes out to my sister and I long to comfort her, but the best I can say is that she knows she can’t take care of herself and that in the long run, this was an unselfish and caring thing for her daughter to do for her. Nevertheless, it is not a path that she would have chosen, but it is done now and she leaves the state she has lived in for almost all of her life and moves to a new one.

I would like to share this Scripture with my sister but she refuses to listen to anything I have to say about God. Her current reason (she has had many excuses over the years) is that a friend of hers was recently diagnosed with cancer and how can a good God give people who are good such an awful disease? She expanded on that philosophy ad nauseum the other night when we were resting from a long day of packing. She says she knows that I believe in God but she just can’t believe in a God who does such horrible things to people. I tried to tell her that God didn’t do it, sin and evil in the world did. But she tuned me out and said she doesn’t believe in sin and evil. Are you kidding me?!? How can anyone not believe in the evil that is rampant in the world, threatening to overtake us at any time? And if it were not for God’s love, mercy and grace, we would all be destroyed. I spoke for a few minutes before I was interrupted, but she just would not hear me. My heart is broken for her because of her move, her leaving all behind here but mostly because she doesn’t have the hope that lives in my heart. Yes, bad things happen to good people. But God is still on His throne and still in control. I sincerely believe that He has everyone’s best interests at heart and that God’s heart is hurting when people suffer, from cancer or from heartbreak, but especially from unbelief and turning away from Him.

God literally showed me the truth of this Scripture back in the 1980’s. My husband was a fairly new officer in the USAF (having left his enlisted position in the USN) and we had been stationed in a very small town in Arkansas for four years. Preparing to move overseas, we were all excited about going to Japan. Alas! The military carefully scrutinizes medical records of all family members before they send you overseas and they decided that my health was too bad to go to a military base without an appropriate military medical facility. So, our things were all packed in crates and awaiting our final orders to Japan, but those orders had been canceled. My husband talked to the scheduler about where he could go and they came up with Iceland. Again, I could not be approved to go there, but I could be on base as the caregiver of our children and they would take care of me medically if needed. Harry asked me where I wanted to be while we waited for base housing to be available and I told him South Carolina since I had lived there for eight years at various times during our military moves. He went to Iceland, the children and I found a small apartment in South Carolina near our church and settled in to wait for our stay in Iceland. It never happened! Once my husband arrived, he was told that the wait for base housing was at least two years, a remote tour was one, so he opted to stay there for one year alone while the children and I lived in South Carolina. I was beside myself with anxiety and grief, but I did what I do whenever I’m caught in a situation that I can’t control. I prayed. I knew that God had me there for a reason, so I asked him to reveal the reason to me and let me be calm and nurturing for the children. Not long after my prayer, the Christian school in which I had taught each time we were in SC called and asked if I would be willing to step in for the teacher for grades 6-7 since Harriet had been diagnosed with cancer and was dying. The students knew me and needed a familiar face at this time of grief for them. My youngest son was only two, so I prayed about it and asked the principal if I could come in for only half a day and if they could accommodate Steven in their daycare. Both worked out, and I was there in SC for a classroom filled with students whom I had known since they were in my third grade class. They were disoriented and confused about why God would take away their beloved teacher, so I spent a lot of time comforting them and reading Scriptures like those above. God had me there for a reason even if I did not understand it when I got there, and even if I had other plans that just didn’t come together.

God always has a plan and it’s always better than the one that I have. That’s what my experience with faith has taught me. I wish I could impart that knowledge to my sister. Instead, I’m packing boxes for the last day and going home this afternoon to prepare to teach Children’s Church tomorrow. God has a plan and I will continue to intercede for my sister as she goes on this totally unexpected and new path. I hope that some of you will join me in prayer for her.

Thank you for your prayers and have a blessed day, yielding your will to God’s and thus being on the path that He has prepared for you.

3 thoughts on “The Paths We Take

  1. God knows and blesses your obedience to Him. Rest in His arms of peace.
    I, too, continue to be dumbfounded at the lies people can believe, and the things they can tell themselves to be true or not true. Only God can open eyes. I will pray.

    Liked by 2 people

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