On our way home from Oregon, we took a detour to the California Redwoods. Taking the time to visit these magnificent trees would put us on the road much longer than we wanted and push our arrival time at the hotel way past midnight…but my daughter and I both wanted to revisit a special grove and decided that the benefits far outweighed the inconvenience.We walked a meandering path that led us through shade and sunlight, feasting on the beauty that both surrounded and uplifted us. We found ourselves walking slower, breathing deeper, and somehow feeling renewed. There are those paths in life that have the power to do that and we were glad that we had made the choice to walk this one.

I have a very dear and most beloved friend who has lost both her father and her mother in the last 3 months. There was some warning of the impending death of her father, but from diagnosis of cancer to that last goodbye to her mother, she had barely over a week. By her own admission, she was incredibly blessed to have the parents that she did. They were kind and loving, with both example and advice trustworthy and true, and their legacy of selfless service to others and absolute devotion to each other will benefit generations to come. They will be sorely missed.

When she called me the day after her mother died we spoke about how life is hard but well worth the effort. We reaffirmed to each other for the thousandth time that we would not give up and leave the path that we had each chosen all those years before to trust God. Sometimes that path is illuminated and sometimes it is in darkness. At times it takes us through joy and beauty, and then other times through sadness, but that trust keeps us from wandering off to other paths that would surely bring misery. It takes actively choosing to trust God. One cannot casually think that they are going to try because when the pain comes and the darkness seeps in, without the conviction of choice, we throw our hands in the air and say, “Why me, why now, why this?”

Walking the path of trust doesn’t guarantee anything in life…only what you will find at it’s end.