This is the Way

In his Christmas Eve Broadcast in 1939, King George VI quoted these words: “And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown. And he replied; Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

2009 will undoubtedly be a year of big decisions.

My family most likely faces the start of a 15-month deployment to Iraq for Brandon, and upon his return, a re-location to a new military post. Although our move will occur in 2010, the decision about where we may go must be made now. In the past, we always faced these moves with an adventurous spirit: Let’s go overseas! How about this country or that – how cool! Let’s go where the weather is warm, where we can travel…

Now our moving decisions come down to a few questions: How are the schools – are there any for children with low-functioning autism? What are the state laws like regarding special needs? How is the medical care? Are there good, cutting-edge doctors?

The not-knowing can be torturous for the control-freak mama. I’m the control freak and my husband is the planner-fixer. I realized recently how much Brandon thinks about what will come – what may come – when he sat across from me at Olive Garden. With his heart in his eyes, he asked me, “What do you think is going to happen to Rhema?” There was vulnerability, anguish, fear… and, still, hope.

We used to be Invictus personified, he and I. We were the captains of our ship, the masters of our fate. God is teaching us, through autism, to be wholly dependent on a sovereign God to direct our path. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Prov 16:9

I can list story after story of how God has faithfully guided and provided for us. When we were returning to the States after 3 years in Germany, we had no idea the medical issues Rhema would face. But the Lord went before us and put us exactly where we needed to be. If left to our own devices, we would have surely botched things. Rhema is currently in a school that has a 5-year waiting list; Rhema got in in 3 months. There’s no question in my mind of God’s favor.

So as we enter the new year, we will prayerfully and carefully craft our plans. But we will lift them to the Lord with open hands… As we learn to love the dreams that He has dreamed for us.

Maybe as you stand at the gate of the year, you too will the appreciate the unknown and hold fast to the hand of God – that is my hope for all of us.

The LORD will guide you always…
Isaiah 58:11

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:21

10 thoughts on “This is the Way

  1. Amen!! I have always been a planner at heart…this is a lesson that I have learned and is always a good reminder for me! I loved the verses that you have shared! I will be praying that your steps will be clearly laid out before you & your husband.

    I hope your Christmas was wonderful!

  2. I’m a planner by nature too, so I empathize with you. Way to trust in God for the next steps. He says not to fear or worry so many times in the Bible, yet those emotions seem to always creep in for me and I start wanting to “make things work” on my own. Well, know that He sees you and knows exactly what you need even before you pray and he will direct your family and do what’s best for it. I love the scriptures you chose. May I add…
    “You go before me and follow me, and place your hand of blessing on my head.” Ps. 139:5 In your comings and goings, he will be blessing you!

  3. I have no doubt that you will make the best decisions possible for your wondrous little crew. And no, there is no doubt of God’s favor, ever present in your lives, a palpable warmth that jumps from the page.


  4. It’s good to hear from you — missed you on your vacation! What a wonderful “welcome back” post. It’s so hard to put the captain-of-the-ship thing into God’s hands, a lesson I have to keep re-learning over and over. Thank you for stating it so well, and blessings on your journey into 2009!

  5. For me, starting a family was the ultimate act in ceding control. With the birth of both of my children, I was forced to abandon a lot of my compulsions for order and whatnot. Indeed ceded control was a great lesson for me and liberating in the end.

    Best wishes to you and your family. The optimist in me sees the positive possibilities – cleaner air, lower cost of living, etc.

  6. Thank you for another beautiful reminder of God’s loving guidance. May he be with you and your family as you adventure into the new year!

  7. Jeneil, I love the obedience, trust, surrender, and hope that shines through this post! The Scriptures you included are ones to which I’ve also clung; Isaiah 58:11 is one of my “life” verses.

    As I read, my heart was led to another of my life verses … a life chapter, in fact:

    “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8)

    May the Lord richly bless your faith, Jeneil, and that of your husband, as He guides you through 2009.

    Epiphany hope, love, joy, and peace!

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