“A River Runs Through It”

I’m jumping into this boat at age 55, as a new-old-freshman-transfer-student at George Fox University.

But somehow, I feel like I have put my canoe into the river just above a set of rapids.

Just before my school term begins..

..All the usual household and car things breaking down, getting dirty, needing repair or cleaning. Then we become aware of a new, unusual, huge homestead ‘thing’ needing immediate attention..
..Taking care of homestead issues, a Hobo spider bites me. Our dog and my dad have both had bites. The dog’s hamburgered nose recovered with nerve damage – his sense of smell diminished. After four months and four inches of necrotized skin, my dad is still in recovery, still often in great pain. What will best heal this? Or Who? Jesus. Thank you friends and family for your prayers, and the doctor for the 2nd round of antibiotics after one severe allergic reaction. The bite blister, big as a golf ball, is beginning to heal after 3 weeks..
..The last of our 5 children is gearing up to live at the university in the dorms and to leave home ‘for good’ this fall, after 18+ years of close fellowship, including homeschooling. A new and bittersweet thing..
..Another one of our 5 children is preparing to move to New York with our only grandchild. They are visiting and staying with us before their departure. Another new and bittersweet thing..
..I begin a temp. job – the first ‘real’ job I’ve had since leaving the U.S. for Germany many years ago, before our first child was born. I’ve ‘only’ been a wife and mother, a homeschool teacher, self-employed, a volunteer, and a homemaker – but not an employee – in the years between. Things have changed a lot in the work world; and there are lots of new adjustments to make at home..
..This ‘real’ job requires me to be a student at the university. I was accepted at G.F.U. the year before – but 2 weddings and more changed my plans. Suddenly, I find myself working on financial aid and registering for a full load of classes. Everything’s on-line and ethereal. Nothing seems solid or even connected. Things have changed a lot in the world of education too..
..Meanwhile, since one of my husband’s and my ministries is hospitality, a thing we love, we are signed up to host a couple of Chinese students in our home during their week-long orientation at the university before all the new freshmen arrive and before they move into permanent homes or apartments. Through this we find that we have two new friends/daughters to thoroughly enjoy..
..And we are signed up to be first-time host parents for a high school foreign exchange student from Brazil; attending meetings; doing paperwork; meeting her at the airport and finding that we have yet one more new friend/daughter, whom we will get to know very well, which we hope and trust all of us will enjoy.

Each of these is a big thing to me.

Then there’s a turn in the river. The first week of school begins. A whole new vista opens up and a whole new set of rapids is before me! Now I am wholly overwhelmed. There is no calm water in sight. I am already not keeping up with all the ‘new’ things in my life – though I am a veteran of change.

Nevertheless, I remain in the tippy canoe. No, it hasn’t capsized. Yes, I still have my paddles, and my gear is still intact. I know my own skill, strength and oarsmanship are not up to any of this yet. I have a slight suspicion that God has something to do with my keeping upright instead of being instantly drowned.

So, until we are back in calmer waters, where I can believe I am in control again; I will keep looking to the maker of the river and of the scenery and of my companions and of me, to see where He will take us and what He will make of us, if we will let Him. And I hope maybe by then I will be a little more in the habit of trusting Him in ALL waters and a little less in the habit of believing I ever have been or ever should be in control.

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