At the LORD’s direction Moses kept a written record of their progress. These are the stages of their march, identified by the different places they stopped along the way.” Numbers 33:2 (NLT)

“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.” Psalm 37:23-24 (NLT)

My beautiful great-granddaughter, Hazel James, was 8 months old on Saturday and is already starting to walk. Crawling still gets her where she wants to go, but any time she has the opportunity, she is on her feet walking with Mommy and Daddy holding her hands. My granddaughter posted a sweet video on social media showing this tiny baby girl holding on to the handles of an activity walker and pushing it in front of her as she walked by herself. Scarcely taller than the handles, she was clearly delighted with her independent mobility, and I was simply amazed! What struck me even more about this picture, however, was what was almost hidden from view. There in the background was her Daddy. All you could see was his hands on either side of his baby girl, close enough to catch her should she let go of the handle or stumble and fall. Mommy, too, was hidden, but every step Hazel James took that day was recorded. With those first steps of independence, Hazel James was looking forward with no idea where she was going. But her Mommy and Daddy knew all along! She had no idea her parents were right beside her; she had no idea that she was never outside the view and protection of their love and that they were taking this journey with her. She also has no idea that their love and care will go with her no matter where her steps take her, no matter how hidden from view they might be, no matter how independent she becomes.

As I watched that video over and over this weekend, God reminded me of the parallels in my own life. Over the past three years, I have been learning to walk differently on a road unfamiliar to me. After walking hand-in-hand with my husband for almost 50 years, things changed for us in a matter of seconds with his diagnosis of Glioblastoma. For eleven months we walked that journey together, still holding hands, until God took him home. Now I have been relearning to walk on my own, and I have no idea where I am going. Sometimes the path is steep, and boulders block my way; sometimes the path is a narrow cliff with a vast canyon of darkness looming beside me; sometimes the path is straight; sometimes it is full of switchbacks. I have stumbled in exhaustion over tiny pebbles; I have crawled at times, too weak to stand. The fog and mist roll in at unexpected moments, and I can scarcely see the road in front of me. Battered and bruised, I have cried out in loneliness and fear, not wanting to take one more step on this journey.

And then, at just the right moment, the sun comes out, and I see in the shadow behind me the hands of my Father encircling me. I realize I am not alone; I am not in danger; I am not lost. He is directing every step of my journey, just as He always has. He knows the beginning, and He knows the end, and He is recording each stopping place along the way so that I might see His faithfulness and His goodness. This road is not unfamiliar to Him, and I can never wander from His sight or away from His protection.

Every journey is different, and we are all at different stages in our journey. One thing is certain, however: God delights in His children! He is directing our steps. His arms encircle us to guide us and protect us. We are never out of His sight, and He will not let His children fall. That comforts me and encourages me to keep on walking.

Father help me to be like Hazel James! Help me move out in faith one step at a time, with my eyes fixed forward, not looking behind me, not looking to the left or to the right, trusting that You know where this road leads. May I live in the truth of Your promises. Thank You for directing my steps. Thank You for Your faithful, everlasting arms that protect and guide me.  And thank You for recording each stopping place on my journey to the Promised Land.

Published by thistleplaid

Introductions are always awkward. What words can capture the essence of character and personality? And yet, we all long to know and be known, so let me introduce myself to you. I am an introverted "fun girl" who is passionate about Jesus, family and intimate friendships. I am a wife of 50 years, whose husband now resides in heaven (widow does not define me!). I am a mother of three daughters and three sons-in-love, a Gram to eight grandchildren, and a Great-Granny to one adorable baby girl. With Scottish ancestry, I love all things plaid, bagpipes and thistles. I love tea and books and rainy days; mountains, ocean waves, and sunshine' lavender, Golden Doodles, bagpipes and country music. Most importantly, I am the daughter of the King of Kings, on the journey of being conformed to His image and desperately in need of His mercies every day. My goal with this blog is to meet other women on this journey and encourage them to see and seek Encounters with Mercy and Glimpses of Glory that will challenge and nourish their souls.

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