In February of this year my daughter called me from college to let me know she had been offered an internship. A second year Junior at Union University in TN, she has been studying for her degree in Zoology and will be working at a zoo located in Minot, ND.

We live in Alabama.

I’m not sure why I didn’t even question this opportunity, except that I have always maintained the belief that letting your children soar keeps them closer to you then refusing to let them leave the nest. God has bigger dreams for them than I do, I can’t get in the way.

So, we started figuring out how to get her there and where she would live, etc.. Housing seemed really easy. She got in contact with someone who rents a room in her apartment, and who also happens to work at the zoo. Done.

Now, for the tricky part. Getting there.

For those of you who have been a regular follower of my blog you know that a GPS and I are not friends. I will freely admit that I am directionally challenged and I get turned around easily. If you don’t believe me, ask my best friend who, for some reason, keeps planning day trips with me. Perhaps she’s a glutton for punishment.

It wasn’t feasible to fly up to North Dakota. Abi would need a car. So, I reluctantly agreed to spend the 30 hours that it would take to get there. By the way, she drives a Corolla. Not exactly the most spacious of vehicles. I was honestly dreading it. So, I decided to make it fun and employed my father, a former U.S. Airforce navigator, to map out my route.

Before I continue, I need to let you know that my father and mother have travelled almost every corner of this great nation by car. They’ve seen a lot and experienced a lot. In fact, they plan to drive up and visit Abi this Summer. Knowing my dad, I knew he would love the project of planning my trip, but more importantly, he would know the best ways to go. He’s been there before. I didn’t want to take the interstate, although that would have been much quicker. I wanted the road less traveled to be able to soak in the sights and weave our way through the fabric of America’s heartland.

And it didn’t disappoint. I now cherish sweet memories of witnessing vast fields of wildflowers stretching up to the face of their creator, powerful rivers strong enough to shape the landscape and mold this nation, rugged cowboys riding their horses alongside the lonely highway, small town folks living their daily lives and the sacred places they’ve laid their loved ones to rest. I’ve marveled at the Amish riding their horse and buggy in the rain, and admired their choices and wondered if maybe they got a few things right. I’ve stood in awe of the quietness of the prairie and how, like standing at the shores of the ocean it too can make one feel so small.

I was able to enjoy the journey because my father had gone before me and given me all the instructions on the best routes, where to turn, where to stay, where to eat. Down to every last detail. It is much like my Heavenly Father has given me instructions on how to walk through this life. He knows the way, I just have to follow Him. He’s gone ahead of me. I don’t have to worry. I just get to enjoy the journey.

My dad’s very detailed directions…just in case the GPS gives out.

This trip hasn’t been perfect. About two weeks ago the housing Abi had lined up fell through. So, at the suggestion of my best friend,  I contacted the local Baptist church to see if one of their congregants might have a room Abi could rent for the Summer. Not only did we find someone to rent her a room, it’s a fully furnished basement apartment! For free!!

These folks are the sweetest and are planning a little birthday celebration for Abi tonight with their whole family. I could not be happier for her and I could not be more excited to see what God does with the rest of this Summer.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Deuteronomy 31:8

 

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Bethany Donham

Bethany E. Donham is married to her high school sweetheart and the mother of two beautiful teenage girls. She is a full time Minister to Preschoolers and Families, but has a passion for guiding others to see the world with a Biblical perspective through her writing.

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