I am blessed. Overwhelmingly blessed. And sometimes that overwhelmingly blessed feeling is so overwhelming I can’t believe it…even though I’m living it. Humbling…altogether humbling.
Some blessings come through people. Like…an amazing trip to Hawaii and all the loveliness and adventure that comes with that. Or a second vehicle for Tera and me that will make our lives a lot easier…but is nicer than anything we thought we would have. And the opportunity to travel down the coast of California and then stop at the Grand Canyon. So incredible. So overwhelming. So humbling.
Then there are the blessings that come straight from our Heavenly Father…those blessings that are so unexpected and so undeserved that I can only breathe, “Thank you, Father.” through tear blurred eyes and past a lump in my throat. For instance…
After we left Hawaii our plans were up in the air. I usually take long trips with my brother John…who does a great job planning and setting up get-togethers and routes and…well…everything! But John wasn’t there. And it was up to me to do those things. And…well…I sort of waited till one day was done before working out another, which works well…or not. Sometimes it was frustrating…sometimes we felt inconsiderate to others. But our lovely cousin, Dixie, at just the right time reminded us that we were right where our Lord wants us…that we just need to trust in His guidance. YES! We needed to stop worrying and just trust.
Tera and I left LA with the plan to see the Grand Canyon before dark, and then drive on toward home so that we would only have two days on the road between California and home.
It was cloudy all day, and so beautiful as we crossed the desert. We reached the turnoff for the Canyon as it began raining a bit. We realized that we hadn’t figured that sunset at the Canyon would be earlier than at the coast, since it’s farther east but still the same time zone. As we made our way to the Park we noticed a patch of sunlight to the east of us, and we started to pray that the patch would move over to the Canyon, so that we could enjoy what we could see in the little time we had.
“Father, we KNOW that you can let the sun come out so that we can see the Canyon. You’ve blessed us so much…please bless us with this, if it’s Your will. We KNOW You can!!! Please?”
But it only grew darker and rainier…colder and mistier. We were tired…and a little bit whiney and decided that we’d better just stay the night there. We knew that would mean an extra night on the road…but also knew we shouldn’t pass up a chance to “really” see the Grand Canyon. After all…it could be only once in a lifetime! So we went to the hotel that the park ranger recommended for us, checked in and grabbed a bowl of soup at a nearby restaurant. We were both exhausted…and felt like we were fighting a cold. And then it started to snow outside. Not just little sprinkles of snowflakes. It started to snow HARD! Before we knew it, everything outside was covered with a beautiful blanket of fluffy frozen flakes. We snuggled in and talked about how nice it was to be so comfortable and warm, and how we thought it was probably the best decision to stay.
The next morning we woke up exhausted…and that cold we were fighting had won a bit of the battle. We kicked around the idea of staying there another night, but decided we’d just have slow easy morning, take our time seeing what there was to see and then find out how far we’d get toward home.
The branches of the pines that lined the road were heavy with snow. The wind was blowing as the snow fell, so the ground and trunks had a thick covering of whiteness. It was gorgeous. The sun shone through the scurrying clouds, and we were in awe of all around us. That was before we even SAW the Grand Canyon. It was cold there…but it was magnificent.
That first glimpse…
It doesn’t matter how many photos or videos I’ve seen. I honestly thought it might be a bit anticlimactic. It wasn’t.
We took our time and tried to absorb the majesty around us. We stopped at every pull out, saw an elk in the woods and climbed the watch tower. We spent hours, and every minute of those hours was euphoric with the knowledge that our Father had orchestrated such a display and changed our plans so that we could enjoy it. How horrible it would have been to try to catch the Grandness of the Canyon in the five minutes we would have had before it was too dark to see anything. How much we would have missed if He had answered my prayer that night. How sad it would have been.
But Yahweh wasn’t finished confirming how very much He loves us. That same day, Tera and I figured that we could reach Albuquerque by 10 that night…which would leave us with a very reasonable day drive home. Only…we were tired. Being out in the wind and cold all day had taken a lot out of us, Tera was feeling sicker…and by the time we were near Grants,New Mexico, we couldn’t help but feel like we would really, really like to stop. After doing some figuring we decided an hour more or less wouldn’t make much difference. We found a hotel and settled in. It felt SO good to be settled in. Tera went down to the front desk for something…just in time to hear another woman say that I-40 Eastbound was closed down due to a fatal accident. Closed for 2 hours, as a matter of fact. We would have been stuck in that if we hadn’t decided to stop. Again…overwhelmingly thankful that we stopped.
Our Father was guiding…and protecting…and loving. We were rejoicing…and humbled.
Sometimes it isn’t always so clearly seen…but I know that always….ALWAYS…my God is working…guiding…protecting…loving. And I am overwhelmed.