I turned 53 today with a mixture of emotions. Lately days have been a bittersweet combination of searching, praying, loving, laughing, mixed in with lots of uncomfortable change. Seems like every step forward hands me hope with a careful tenderness that I can’t really explain. Some of those steps feel chipped like parts are missing that should be there, and you try to step so carefully and don’t understand why your heart feels pulled and your feet unsteady. Some places are harder to walk than others. And the unexpected laughter in moments is like being handed a beautiful red helium balloon that lifts you higher.
Last night two sweet friends prayed for me over the phone, not knowing that today was my birthday, and spoke words about how precious I am to God, that I’m to encourage myself, and ask God for specific things. One friend said something that grabbed me instantly.
Don’t settle for a half eaten piece of cake, but wait for your whole piece of cake – all that God wants to give you that you’ve been praying and waiting for that will bring more fulfillment and completeness.
Cake. This birthday of mine is shared with my Mom and a cousin. My Mom I still have here, but my cousin has been with Jesus since 1985. And while her life was taken, her story has lived on in a sort of completeness. And who would have thought she would walk out an impossible day, one she could not live through with a story that lives on? And I am living my story, with each day holding much more significance and opportunity than I realize or always take advantage of, and I want every page to be well written, fully lived.
Today we had lunch with my sister and she had taped mini candy bars together to make my Mom and I both little “cakes.” We laughed till we had her co-workers coming in to join us in the break room. Did I mention she works in the Homicide Division of a Sheriff’s office? Those people know how to laugh, but need to hear laughter fill the rooms of their lives. Cake and choices.
We’re each in this journey with God, whether we realize it or not, and the closer we walk to Him, the more of His peace and comfort we do come to know so well. Then when there are bittersweet days to walk through, or just plain hard ones filled with unknown futures, you have this security to hold on to because of the pathways you’ve already traveled.
When my sweet man took me to dinner tonight, they were calling out trivia questions at the restaurant and we both knew the answer to this one:
What poem includes the line “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood”?
“Robert Frost,” we said nearly simultaneously, “The Road Not Taken.” I think of all the roads I’ve walked and even the ones that were well worn and seemed right, yet held those strength-making or die-trying places, even those choices have been sprung good by God. All the same, those roads less traveled have made their impact on me strong, requiring courage from depths I didn’t know was there until I stepped forward. It seems that with each step, what we need is provided – but not until we lift that foot of ours and move it forward.
I think I am coming to love days filled with both laughter and a heart-rending tenderness of the importance of the journey.
Whatever road you are on, take that “road less traveled” finding your niche, making your own footprints, blazing your own trail. For that road less traveled, with branches to push aside, will make all the difference. And the way is sweeter with each step as we learn when to push and when to yield, when to walk and when to wait. Take that road and get that whole piece of cake as you live out your life – not the life that’s a photocopy of someone else. Don’t settle. You are so precious to God.
(c) Robin Lawrimore, June 25, 2013
Ref: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost in its entirety here just because I love it:
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.