I hadn't been back to that boardwalk trail through the forest in over 40 years. The Cape Flattery trail takes you to the edge of the continent. I'll never forget the first time I walked it. Back then, I was feeling emotionally pushed to the very edge.
As a teen, my world had been upended by my parent's divorce. I was having to decide between two people I loved. Would I move away with my mom or stay with my dad?
On the boardwalk, I remember hiking ahead of Mom—I wanted to be alone, but she was determined to stay close behind. I was at the age where I'd rather argue with her than listen. I could tell she thought I would be making the wrong choice to live with my dad.
As far as tough life-altering decisions, this was big. Up until then, the hardest decisions I'd ever had to make were my high school electives.
It was an ugly day—windy and rainy—the coast line was getting battered with frothy dark grey waves. My boots and coat were soaked through. My long hair whipped around my face as I looked up into the sky. The rain hid my tears of pain.
Some decisions are just hard to make. We sometimes hurt the ones we love. In the end, what decision is right? Time reveals it sometimes, and sometimes we won't ever know.
I chose to stay with Dad in my old hometown with the kids I'd grown up with. It felt overwhelming to choose to move to a larger city, even if the high school did have more opportunities.
Now, decades later, walking the same boardwalk to the edge of the continent, I've learned that gut-wrenching decisions are part of life. Those decisions change life's direction for us. But since then, I've also learned, that when we talk our plans over with God, he'll help us choose.
We're still the decision makers, but God directs the steps and lights the path—even boardwalk paths through the woods.
Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path. Psalm 119:105
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5