"You hem me in - behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me."
Psalm 139:5Rick looked at me Sunday afternoon and told me that he believes my being at camp this weekend was putting me smack dab in the center of God's will.
"You have to be kidding me!" I thought to myself for a moment before saying anything. "Did he really just say that?"
Really. He did. He even repeated it when I needed him to.
I smiled and chuckled, then told him that it was funny that he said that because I could name about 5 really good reasons why I should not have been there. In reality there were even more...some I would find out about as the days went on.
It's true, too. Just a week before as I sat in church, knowing how my gut feeling was that I needed to bring the boys North, I sat and looked at the calendar of events telling me it just wasn't possible.
Too many meetings...too many other peoples' expectations.
In my spirit I knew I had to go.
So I called, sent messages, making arrangements for me being absent for a week. I could not explain it, and still can't, but there was a feeling that this was God's will and He would handle the details.
I remember telling myself that God will reveal Himself to me and confirm that I was doing the right thing. Maybe it was more of a whispered prayer...
Off I went on faith, confident in the One who was sending me...calling me to Indiana and, specifically, winter camp with Bible Memory.
On Monday we packed for a Tuesday morning take-off. Getting the last bags in the car, (along with sleds, winter coats, boots, and perhaps even a kitchen sink if one looked hard enough), the phone rang. My sister was calling to tell me that our 91 yo Grandma had fallen and was en route to the hospital. I thanked God for having us all ready to go so we could be there for her and the family during this, this time. In April of 2012 she fell and broke her other hip. I did not make it up there for that surgery/recovery.
Made it to Grandma's room in the hospital just before they took her in for surgery. She made it through surgery and has six weeks of rehab ahead of her now. The day the boys and I were leaving for winter camp, they were transporting her to the nursing and rehab center. God's timing ceases to amaze me.
After getting home from the hospital, the boys and I went sledding at my mom's house for about an hour. The snow was melting fast and I really feared that there would not be any remaining if we waited for morning light. I turned on the lights in the rooms that faced the hills and raised the shades. It gave off enough light so we could see to go sledding. Yay! It was a great way to get some exercise in after being in a car for 7 hours and at the hospital for a couple more.
The snow continued to melt through the night and early morning hours, but there still remained enough in the back yard that had not been touched yet. We postponed breakfast and hit the hills again. After two years of no sledding, we enjoyed every moment of it!
Also while there, my aunt had to go to the hospital for outpatient surgeryand my uncle was recovering at home from back surgery he had just had on that Monday. My sister and fam were still recovering from major illnesses that they had been suffering through for over a week now. They had just been at our house on their way home from Florida. I am still amazed that one or all of us did not get sick. It had to be God. No doubt about it.
We left for winter camp in Goshen, with plans to perhaps stop back by on our way home to GA.
I found myself at winter camp amazed that the boys and I were still healthy and praying that it would not hit while we were there. My prayers were answered. We remained healthy in spite of all the exposure and more people having colds at camp as well.
All the while of traveling and visiting with family, I kept praying for and about winter camp. God was stirring up something special and I wanted to be sure not to miss it.
It was in the first Bible time that I knew why we were there. Both the boys and myself. God had a message for all of us, even though it was different for each of us. God wanted to instill in Tim that He wanted to and would speak directly to him. God's message for Alex was that God loves Him just the way He is and that He had nothing to prove to anyone. Jesus thinks he is worth dying for, living in eternity with, and praying for. Alex knows Jesus as his Savior, but at 10, he's finding himself battling an identity crisis...not a little boy, not a teen yet. He tries to hard to be whatever it is that he thinks is what people wants. God assured him that Alex is good enough just the way he was made.
As for my word, it kept showing up in and around passages that Rick had us read...give.
Not for sure why just yet, but this verse leapt off the page at me. I am anxiously awaiting the days ahead to show how God is going to move in my life. It's God, so it's going to be good!Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.Luke 6:38
I felt all weekend long the filling that I have been longing for quite some time now. God knows, hears, and answers! He is amazing and He is good.
On the way home, we left Goshen just ahead of sleeting rain. A few minutes of driving in it and I was thankful we were headed South and out of it. So, I thought.
Rain drenched us the entire ride back to my mom's, but we made it safe and sound. My sister and fam came over so we could see them before we left the next morning. The boys really enjoyed this, as did I. It was hard being there before and not getting to see them much.
Heading out in the sunshine the next morning, was marvelous. It lasted for awhile...about halfway to be exact. We enjoyed a stop in Nashville to visit the American Picker's shop and have lunch. Not an hour or so later, I was stopping for coffee to perk me up and get me seeing clearly again because the rains had found us again. The temps were hovering just under freezing, too. I needed to keep alert especially now.
We made it through pouring rain and traffic jams to our house a few hours later.
After I made it home, I found out that an ice storm chased us from Nashville all the way to Chattanooga. We had just missed being in the middle of a horrible mess.
That is when I really knew without a doubt that God's hand had in this trip the entire time...from the first moment I thought of it to the moment I learned of that storm following us.
He does indeed go before and behind us...and lay His hand on us. Not because I deserve it, but because He is just that good.