As I stood in the courtyard on October 30, 2009 and took this picture I heard in my heart, "You are about to travel along a new path". I had no idea where it may lead.
It was my last day as Program Director in a beautiful assisted living community in Baltimore County. I had submitted my 30-day resignation letter a month earlier due to the rigorous and oftentimes overwhelming demands that only continued to increase, leaving me no room to breathe or to have any kind of a personal life; I was completely exhausted. All that said, it was still one of the hardest decisions of my life to make, yet I knew it was time for me to leave. My heart was so tied to the residents and tears seemed to flow without end as I said my good-byes to the friends I had made and grown to love so much, who had become my family.
I had visited the community periodically with my Pets on Wheels therapy dog, Gideon, for a couple of years prior to employment here and had gotten to know some of the residents. But I never could have imagined the sweetness and depth of relationship that would grow with these precious souls once I was hired on and interacting with them on a daily basis. Gideon began to accompany me everyday to work and quickly became the community mascot. Oh, the joy and smiles he brought to faces each day was such a blessing to watch.
Well, here I am, now looking down this new path which initially has led me to the road of battling breast cancer. I felt like I was getting myself together a bit after recovering from the grueling workload of my previous job and was just about ready to venture out into new territory to see what might await me...then I got the "news" and was stopped dead in my tracks. Honestly, it felt as if I'd been punched in the stomach and I couldn't catch my breath.
It's only been six days since I've been diagnosed and I'm trying to teach myself to breathe and to maintain my focus, keeping my eyes fixed on my sweet Savior and not on the storm that rages all around me. For He truly is the One who speaks peace to the wind and the waves and settles our souls even in the midst of such life altering events.
I get the sense that all along this path will be things for me to lay down and those things to pick up, but also most certainly, a place to continue to learn and grow in God's great grace. Life certainly is a journey. Although I'm sure I wouldn't have chosen this direction, I trust in the sovereignty and goodness of God to lead me and continually guide me into His chosen destiny for my life, all the while undergirding me with His strength and holding me upright.
I don't know all that awaits, though for now suffering surely has been dealt to me. I pray I may recognize and take every opportunity the Lord might place before me and learn from every lesson presented. I ask Him for the wisdom, courage and faith to continue to move forward in His direction, close to Him, remaining in His will, allowing His transforming power to draw me ever deeper into the knowledge and ways of the Lord.
Scripture reminds me I've been bought with a price through the blood of Jesus Christ and I am no longer my own but my life is hidden with Him in God. So with His help I rest in the arms of my everlasting Father, focused on the prize of the upward call that is found through the Lord Jesus Christ, running to Him that I may obtain His mercy and grace to help in my time of need.
Isaiah 43:18-19 - Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.