She Took My Hand

She took my hand as we walked in the middle of the dry creek, trees shading us from the sun. "How will I know?" she asked. I paused. "I want to build a zoo when I grow up, Aunt B, how will I know if God wants me to?"

"Well, we just pray and ask God to help us make the best decisions we know how to make, we ask wise Godly people for advice, read His word......and we just try to do what we think God would want us to do."

"Do you think He will want me to build a zoo?"

"I don't know, darlin"

Haley (8) and I were taking a moment to just talk in between shots of our professional family pictures today. Those sweet precious moments that you want to frame in a picture....wishing them to come alive with a blink of the eye 20 years from now.

"But how will I know what He wants? How will I KNOW for sure."

Funny how they ask us questions we have not the answers to- looking at us as if we have them all. H O N E S T Y .... it's beautiful. It's hurtful. It's confusing. It's right.

"Sometimes we don't. Sometimes we pray, and we read, and we talk to others to help us make good decisions, but sometimes we don't know for sure. We just have to make our decisions based on what we think is most pleasing to Him, but sometimes we don't know for sure. Either way, He's there to help us."

Then it came......"Well will you help me? Will you help me find out?" That precious girl. The running saying in our family is that we all want to be Haley when we grow up. Her heart....oh, her heart.

"Yes, baby, I will help you."

This is my birthday week. 36 on Thursday. Last year at this time, I remembering saying a prayer to God and surrendering the last part of my dreams to Him. Knowing that much of what I had dreamed for had been lost - knowing that what I thought I could not live without, I may be forced to find a way to. Also knowing that surrender and sacrifice were the purest forms of Love. The last of my dreams.....my dreams. MY dreams: Those things we wish for ourselves and our lives and our futures. Painting the picture in our minds of what we feel we must have to be happy, and rarely even considering actually handing the paintbrush over to the One who Creates Best.

I have learned this: Its simply not about us. Its not about you. Its not about me. Its about Him. Those things we fret and fear and ring our hands in worry over in attempts to make the perfect decision are often not those things we should be fretting over at all. Maybe what we should most be contemplating is how we can look more and more like Him as we awaken each morning, as opposed to how we can twist and turn life to make it look more as we wish it to be. Maybe those things we fret over are actually one event in a lifetime of events that ultimately lead us to His feet. Maybe we simply don't know .... and maybe.....thats ok. For in not knowing, what we ultimately realize is that door number one and door number two can lead us to the same place: closer to His heart - just different journeys. And isn't becoming closer to His heart what He most desires anyway?

"The greatest commandment....love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might."

We walked back to where everyone was standing. She quickly lost her blank stare of "turning wheels" and replaced it with a smile after joining her sister and her cousin.

As she ran to them, I thought, "Sometimes distractions are a sweet perspective."

Sometimes we just don't know the definite answers. And sometimes that's ok. And, just maybe, if we allow building a zoo (or not building a zoo) to lead us closer to His heart ...... then, maybe, that's all we need to know : )