Since moving to this remote community about a year ago, our daily life has changed dramatically. There are no malls within a hundred mile radius of our town, much to the dismay of my teenaged daughters. In fact, most of the conveniences we used to take for granted, now require careful planning. A trip to the mall or to gymnastics that used to take ten minutes has become a two-and-a-half hour trek over a mountain pass that’s often snowy and treacherous.
Our youngest daughter, Stacy, is the family gymnast. She’s passionate about it, and eagerly looks forward to Saturdays when we make the drive to attend her two-hour-long lesson. Our relocation has caused Stacy to make big concessions where gymnastics is concerned. It has always been an important part of her life, and she’s had to cut her time at the gym from ten hours per week to two hours. It’s an understatement to say that she is always anxious to get to class.
Late on Friday, we were notified that the Saturday class time had to be changed. We were both crushed to discover that the new schedule created a conflict with a birthday party that was planned for one of Stacy’s friends.
We sunk into the couch together. Both of us were strongly considering skipping the birthday party in favor of gymnastics, but the thought of disappointing her friend made Stacy obviously miserable. We were silent for several minutes.
“This is a tough one.” I said.
“I don’t know what to do!” Stacy was near tears.
I hugged her close. “Well, we should definitely pray about it. Maybe God will show us a way through this that we haven’t thought of.”
Stacy nodded and closed her eyes; we laid out our dilemma before the Lord. We asked for His guidance, we asked Him to give us wisdom to see the right path.
I can’t remember exactly what we said, because as we prayed, God brought images to my mind. They were images of Jesus showing compassion to people: healing the sick, feeding the poor, blessing the children, laughing with friends, and enjoying the company of other guests at a wedding. I began to realize that Jesus would undoubtedly be more concerned about the well being of a friend than any temporary enjoyment Stacy might derive from her class.
By the time we said “Amen.” I knew what our course of action should be, and to my amazement, so did Stacy. She turned to me and said (as if it were the obvious choice), “I think I should go to Candace’s party.”
Stacy no longer felt torn or disappointed, and neither did I. My daughter smiled and dried her eyes, then got up and went to the computer to make her friend a birthday card. I was pretty proud of her that day.
The Holy Spirit had guided me during those moments, as I’m sure He guided Stacy. Jesus said, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26 NIV)
God is faithful to guide us through tough choices, and I’m so thankful that He is also faithful to adjust our hearts and attitudes so we can walk obediently in agreement with him along the path he’s chosen for us.
Your daughter obviously made the right choice. God always prefers unselfishness over satisfying our own needs first.
As I was reading your article I was wondering where you live. It must be hard to be so far from many conveniences.
May God bless you all in your new journey. And, may the blessings he bestows upon you surpass the things of this earthly plane that you may sorely miss. :)