Monday, August 10, 2015

Trust and Follow

This past weekend we finally finished the last leg of the New Jersey section of the Appalachian Trail! 72 miles in 9 weeks.

Sometimes I think this series of hikes was more about my learning to listen to, respect, and submit to my husband than hiking. Why did it all have to do with following directions? I've sure come a long way since the first time I decided I knew a better way. Or the week after that--our first week on the AT--when I STILL thought my way was better.

I pretty much knew where we were headed this week, but after 8 weeks of lessons on letting go of control and allowing Hubbles to take charge of the directions and logistics of shuttling two cars, I found myself following him without thinking of where we were headed. 

Nine weeks it took me to get to the point of not caring about directions, not feeling like I needed to be in charge, not wondering how to get from Point B to Point A (because we dropped his car off at Point B, where we'd end the hike then traveled to Point A, where we'd start the hike). 

I didn't think I had a trust issue but apparently, I did. I couldn't blindly follow my husband. I didn't trust him to be right. I needed to know where we were going, how we were getting there, and if it was the quickest way (as if it really mattered?). And I needed to have directions, just in case we got separated.

As we drove down Rt. 80 this week, it occurred to me that I was singing along to my music and following his every move. If he changed lanes, so did I. When he sped up, I did too. When it seemed like he was going too slow, I slowed down and kept singing along to my music. My gps was not on, and I had no directions except to follow.

I finally trusted my husband to lead.


And I thought about how similar that is to our walk (or ride?) with God. 

How long does it take us to trust God? To abdicate control? To blindly follow without questioning?

We are thrilled to be on a journey with God, but we still want to know where we're going, how we'll get there, how long it will take, and if it is the quickest way, because yes, that does matter! Oh, and can we please have directions in case we get separated?

God promises us this:

I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future (Jer 29:11).

But He doesn't promise to give us the specifics ahead of time. Sometimes We just need to trust Him. And follow, often blindly.

Scary?

Yes, sometimes it is. 

What's most scary for me is not so much the unknown, but the abdication of control.

But He also promises us this:

I will never leave you nor forsake you (Jos 1:5).

I learned that my husband would not allow me to be separated from him. He cares too much for me. Why would I doubt that?

Even though he has a tendency to drive through amber stoplights, leaving me behind at the red light, he is always watching, and pulls over to wait for me. He would never leave me to find my own way without direction.

So it is with our Lord.



All we need to do is get in our little spiritual car, put on some music and sing along. When he changes lanes, so do we. He sets the pace, and all we need to do is follow, not questioning the whys or wheres or hows. 

Oh, and if you really need directions, you'll find them in the Owner's Manual. 

Blessings on and off the path,
Mare


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This post was shared with Laura at Playdates With God, Joan at Sharing His Beauty, Kelly at #RaRaLinkup, Holly at Testimony Tuesday, Winter at #WordsWithWinter, Beth at Wedded Wednesday, Jennifer at #TellHisStory, Holley at Coffee For Your Heart, Lyli at Thought Provoking Thursdays, Deb at Blessing Counters, Arabah Joy at Grace and Truth, Nina at Thursday Favorite Things, Barbie and Mary at The Weekend Brew, Janis at Sunday Stillness



15 comments:

  1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my personal blog the other day and leaving a comment. I am SO hopeful this week that I can catch up with you all from the conference. I am feeling much better after two trips to the chiropractor, but still not 100% . . . . but very excited to be working with you on some writing projects. I want to get you on the Ruby Blogger Schedule very soon and get going!!! Hope you had a great weekend, and looking forward to talking in the next day or so. Hugs, Nina

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    1. Thanks, Nina. I thought this was an email, so I responded to it...don't know if you ever got it. Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm ready whenever you are!

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  2. I think this would be a great exercise for every couple to do--walk some long and windy trail and follow each other in two cars going some distance. I think you learned so much, Mary, by that experience--about yourself and your ability to follow your hubby's lead. I know I'd struggle, because on Fridays my husband and I spend the day together while he drives us everywhere. I bite my tongue every time I'm tempted to tell him how to get somewhere. And I'm getting better at not directing him. In fact, one time recently my hubby passed an exit (that I told him in the past is faster though I didn't say it that time), and he said, "You would've taken that exit, wouldn't you?" We both laughed about it and know we are a work in progress! ;) Great post!

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    1. Oh, Beth, that sounds like a conversation that would take place in our car! What I did not include in this post is that when Hubbles hopped in my car to get to the starting point, he told me to go back several miles instead of taking what I thought was a much quicker route (yes, I'm still doing it!). When I mentioned that road, he told me that it doesn't go to where we needed to go. I guess it's gated off or a dead end or something. I balked, but didn't push. I tried to bite my tongue, but that sucker is a powerful muscle!

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  3. I'm super impressed that you hiked the AL! I've stepped foot on it. That's all. :) But I admire those who can do it. I have a distant cousin who wants to do it soon but she plans on doing it alone. That makes me even more nervous. ha.

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    1. Well, we didn't walk the whole trail-let's just get that straight...that would require camping, and not bathing and I'm not sure I'm ready for that. But thank you for your vote of confidence, Lisa! You meet some interesting people hiking that trail! There is even a guy who carves wooden spoons and leaves them on the trail.

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  4. "Owner's Manual" - I love that! How exciting to be cruising the Appalachian trail! And yes, I try to tell my hubs how to do it too (and God)! Interesting that we both referenced Jeremiah 29:11, and you're right, we do both write conversationally. :) It sounds like you are enjoying life with your "hubbles". Thanks for visiting me today through #RaRa! :)

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    1. Thanks for visiting, and for the kind words, Ruthie.

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  5. Hi Mary. I've never traversed the AT, but several friends have. What a great experience it must have been. What a lesson in trust even more so. I gleaned from your post today. Those same questions pop in my mind when my husband makes a decision for this or that. Gleaning, oh yes...gleaning. Thank you, Lord. Visiting today via #testimonyTuesday.

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    1. As I was reading your comment, Kristi, I was singing, "Gleaning, gleaning, gleaning on the everlasting arms...yes, I know it's leaning, but boy, the things we can glean when we lean on our Savior, huh? Thanks for stopping in.

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  6. Abdicate control. Man I needed to read your post this week. There is one area where I need to hand things over daily...it's still a struggle, but practice makes perfect! :)

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    1. I like to say that practice makes better, Toni. I tried perfect, and it didn't work. But boy do I know your struggle (obviously-I've put it out there for the world to see!).

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  7. Wow, congrats! That's amazing. You are one strong couple obviously. :)

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  8. Thanks, Lux. We're not as strong as we'd like to be, or as we used to be. Especially after 8 miles on a steep descent---it's rough on the knees! I end up using my pole like a cane.

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  9. Great article, Thanks for your great information, the content is quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.

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