I wrapped my arms around the redwood as far as they could reach and thought in wonder that its seed may very well have germinated at the same time that the Ancient of Days walked among us in the flesh.
In the noticeable silence of this dense forest, I longed to hear His voice. Our early morning trek through the Redwood Forest invited us to seek His Spirit presence. Over and over again this year He has made Himself known. Once again, here, among the trees, He did not hide.
I saw these tallest of all trees reaching as far upward as they could reach toward heaven. Each one extended like a song of praise to its Creator. From the decay of those now gone sprang new life as seedlings flourished in the nooks and crannies of their carcasses. At their base grew life-green, dew-bejeweled trinity clover. Here the mystery of the Trinity is placed before us to remind, to prompt, to heal, and to inspire. Only the purposeful hand of a benevolent, omnipotent Father could have given this beautiful dwelling place to us.
We have made our way to California. The coastline and mountains are majestic. We are thankful to be here, though our stay will be short-lived. We have begun the long road back East. It will take some time to travel through the desert and plains but soon enough we will make our way to the foothills of the Appalachians where we have decided to take root and build our home on Earth.
We have come full circle on this asphalt-ribboned gift that was filled with natural beauty, history, interesting people, and soul-transforming surprises: from Alabama then to Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, back to Alabama, and finally into Georgia. Wow! We’ve enjoyed a perfect first-year adventure.
Our goals at the beginning of the year were ambitious. Most we’ve met, some we’ve exceeded. More happy moments than we can count, enlightening conversations, unifying desires, and generous giftings of grace and mercy have been the most delicious fruits of our efforts to bring our covenant to life. Our hearts are fuller, our trust is greater, and our hope in what is to come is more secure.
All in all, our “Senior Gap Year” adventure has been a success. Would we do it again and in this way? Yes! Would we recommend it as a “proofing” incubator to accelerate the two-becoming-one story of those who find themselves beginning a new married life after great disappointment and crushing loss? Most certainly!
Now what? The real life, real work, real day-to-day nitty gritty of loving and connecting in community are next. We are scheduled to close on our first family home soon. After that, we're most looking forward to seeking the wonders of our wonderful Savior in life’s everyday routines and sharing that wonder with every precious one He brings our way.
To live with an ungoverned heart is to live vulnerably, boldly, generously, and willingly by trusting the Ancient of Days to guide and supply. Before time He was. After time, He will be. His perfect love always prevails. God bless you and keep you in His love. He is here. All is well.
-Susan (of the Wildflowers)
Here are a few photos of our last days of wanderings: