We started off this summer with a family reunion at a little lakeside RV resort in the Kootenays in British Columbia. We have been going to this lake since our youngest child was a baby. My husband and I set up our campsite, parking our fifth wheel, a week before our adult children arrived. This was the first time we had been back to the lake in six years and it was sweet fellowship to gather once again, renew old acquaintances with fellow RV ers, and then spend quality family time with our children and grandchildren.
I’ll be honest, it’s been a tough year so far for the Doves. My husband had to shut down his business due to the economic downturn here in Alberta and since then he’s been debating whether or not to retire or pursue something new. It’s an ongoing prayer. Our children have gone through several trials and struggles and being at the lake allowed each of them to escape (at least for a week) and just relax without worries crowding in on them. Being surrounded by my children and grandchildren is always my greatest joy, but also my greatest distraction so for a week all I did was focus on being with them…the worries of the world were forgotten (at least for a week).
After a wonderful week at the lake, the children returned back to Alberta and to reality. My husband and I decided to continue our travels and forego reality for a little while longer, so we spent two more weeks in beautiful British Columbia. It was the first time in our thirty-six years of marriage we had ever taken a month-long holiday. Exploring small towns en route, meeting interesting and at times quirky people allowed us time to discover what being “retired” may mean in our future. Finally ending up on Vancouver Island to visit with family and friends, our hearts and minds turned to thoughts of retiring near the ocean. Throughout that journey, we were in constant prayer for our kids and we were (are) praying for God’s direction in our lives. It’s an ongoing prayer.
I was fortunate years ago to have a wonderful and candid conversation with Henry Blackaby (Experiencing God) when I was faced with a life crossroad that had me struggling to know which way to go. His advice then is applicable now as my husband and our children face crossroads: “Until God has given you clear direction, go back to the place where you clearly heard His voice and stop there. Keep doing whatever God called you to do then and wait until He tells you what to do next.”
It is great advice.
I have a tendency to disengage when I struggle. I turn away from church, from doing my devotions, from being around God’s people. I listen to the voice of the enemy who says that God has abandoned me and is not hearing my prayers. I drift in my spiritual malaise and wallow in self-pity. The further away I turn from God, the quieter and quieter His Voice gets. Oh, He’s still talking, I’m just not listening.
I know if I stay disengaged, it is harder and harder to re-engage. So, I’m taking Henry’s advice, once again :), and going back to a familiar path I once traveled when I knew I was connected and engaged with God.
I am going back so I can move forward!