Offering Hope and Encouragement in the Midst of Sorrow

           TRAVELING DOWN AN UNKNOWN ROAD              

          Does it feel at times as if you are traveling down an unknown road?

                                    A widow describes her journey......... 

The day I found out that my husband was going to die, I began to see everything from a different perspective. I was beginning to travel a road I had never been down before. The journey down that road began with two of us. We knew the road would divide and I would begin to walk a new road alone. Until the road divided, we walked together, hanging on to one another tightly. As we walked and talked together, we saw things along the road from different perspectives.

My husband saw everything with protective eyes. He struggled with leaving behind the very things to which he had vowed to remain faithful. His eyes were watchful. Everything caught his attention and reminded him of unfinished tasks. Normal daily challenges became troubling to him as he anticipated how I would meet them without his help. The time before he was taken to travel down his new road was filled with concern for those he was leaving behind.

My eyes viewed only the time I had left with my husband and the things I needed to survive. I focused on absorbing every last moment with the one I was about to lose. Normal daily activities seemed trivial and insignificant. I neatly stacked problems and feelings into little boxes and placed them on a shelf until I had time and emotional energy to deal with them.

We walked with our hearts intertwined with unwavering love until the road divided. When that day came there was no question as to the destination of the road my husband was asked to travel. His heart belonged to Jesus. His earthly journey down a road filled with potholes and detours led to streets paved with gold. God wiped away the unfinished tasks from his mind. His concerns, fears, and responsibilities were all left behind, and he entered into eternal life.

That is not where the road ended for me, however! I am now walking a road that is totally unfamiliar to me. The potholes and detours in the road walked together look pale in comparison to the ones I face on a daily basis alone. The little ruts in the road have sometimes become canyons. Frightening objects appear alongside the road and frequently jump out to distract me. Sometimes it takes all the energy I have to stay in the center of my lane and avoid swerving off the road.

Those of us whose trust is in Jesus know we do not face our journey alone. He continues walking one step ahead of us, leaving footprints for us to follow. But sometimes the strides look farther apart and I have to struggle to place my feet in the next footprint. The impressions left on the road by my Savior for me to follow are clear, but sometimes it feels as if my legs cannot stretch the distance to reach each step.

I relished being led by the one God had joined me with. He gently encouraged my short strides to become longer so I could rhythmically place one foot in front of the other directly into the impressions left on the road by my Savior. The security my husband provided for me was my rhythm. It calmed my frazzled emotions. It wiped tears from my cheeks. It reassured me in little messages tucked under my pillow. With a wink, that rhythm was thrown across the room.

Where is the road I now travel alone leading me? Some days I think that if I can make it around the next bend I will see things more clearly. Sometimes I am trying so hard to see around the bend that I trip and fall into a pothole. But as I pick myself up I realize what it is all about. It is all about taking one step at a time. Sometimes it means putting blinders on my eyes so I can see straight ahead instead of becoming distracted by things along the road. I must focus on following each footstep, forcing myself to make my strides smoother as I concentrate on things that are concrete, avoiding becoming pre-occupied with the abstract. When I am able to be attentive, keeping focused on my Savior, I am better prepared when I reach the next bend in the road. It is all about taking…….one step at a time.

Proverbs 3:5&6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."