Molly, my fearless hiking partner, is waiting to go on the trails at Dolliver Memorial State Park. You can't see it in the photo, but she is literally quivering with excitement. I'm sure she's hoping there will be a place to swim, interesting smells, and that I will let her lead.
She doesn't know what we'll find on the trail. There might be horse flies that bite. There might be steep trails and she'll have to "go behind." There might be other hikers with dogs that snarl and want to bite her.
Whatever is ahead, Molly isn't worried. She trusts me, she knows that I will lead her, and that I will be with her. She is ready for an adventure.
I'm waiting to start down a new path as well.
This is our oldest son, Ben. He's about 40 years older now, but this is the face I see when I'm with him.
He is our miracle--the baby we were told we would never have, the baby I pleaded and prayed for, the baby conceived during a time of fasting and prayer. He grew into a sweet, smart, funny, thoughtful little boy who brought immeasurable delight and joy into our lives. And all too soon he was a man with a family of his own.
We are praying for a miracle again.
Ben has been fighting chronic myeloid leukemia for over two years. He has tried 5 different medications. None have defeated the leukemia, and his body does not tolerate them well. So, in a few months, he will have a bone marrow transplant, a risky procedure with numerous chances of complications.
There are many who love Ben besides his dad and I. He has a wonderful wife, 5 beautiful children, a brother, a sister, and many friends and coworkers. None of us know what the path ahead holds. We're hoping there is healing, restoration, and a full and vigorous life for Ben.
I am not quivering with excitement for this path. But I am trying not to worry. I trust the One who leads us. And I know that He will not send us down the path on our own, He will walk every step with us. And most of all, I know He loves all of us with a love that far surpasses even our own love for Ben.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Susan Lawrence taught elementary school for 33 years before hanging up her chalkboard to write and speak. She writes novels for both adults and middle grade children. Susan lives in Iowa with her husband and short-legged Lab, Molly. She has 3 children and 7 grandchildren who love to hear her stories.