This gorgeous place is where we spent our summers when I was growing up. Isn’t it breathtaking? No matter where we lived, as soon as school was out each year, we would pack up the station wagon with all of my brothers and sisters, the family dog, and a whole summer’s worth of stuff as we headed to our little lakehouse in upstate New York.
These drives took a few days – and sometimes they felt like torture to a car full of sulky teenagers – but the memories make me really smile now.
While the location may have been idyllic, this little lakehouse where we lived out our family summers was a bit ummm … rustic. As in we had no running water in the house. Think about that. No. Running. Water. For anything.
Have you ever had the pleasure of life with an outhouse?
For reasons I’m sure you can imagine, outhouses are not usually placed right by the back door. To reach ours, you had to follow a narrow pathway down into the woods. We had wobbly wooden planks covering this path that were already a bit precarious, but they also always seemed to stay damp and slippery because of the heavy tree canopy. Anyways, a trip to the outhouse always promised adventure.
The nights were the worst, though. What was a challenge by daylight became the script from a bad horror movie at night. Well … at least in my melodramatic teenage mind it did.
I would step out into the darkness armed with my trusty, little flashlight. I would start with a lightning-fast, pre-emptive shine around the woods looking for those rabid carnivores and psychotic bad guys who I just KNEW were out there waiting for me.
My heart would be pounding with fear … I would want to turn around and go back inside … but my body would remind me how very badly I needed to get to that outhouse. I had to force myself to forget all the terror lurking in the darkness, and I would will myself to just press forward.
As I quietly crept my way down that narrow, wobbly, damp, slippery, and now DARK pathway, I was forced to watch every single step I took. As afraid as I was of what was “out there”, my light had to stay pointed directly at my feet so I wouldn’t trip because, as anybody who’s ever watched a bad horror movie knows, you absolutely MUST remain vertical at all costs.
If you fall, you’re doomed.
With the terror now quadrupled, I would remain intensely focused on my feet. I couldn’t even shine my light ahead for a quick peek. Little-by-little, step-by-step was the only way to make it out to that outhouse.
And I couldn’t even face the notion that, not only would I have to do this all over again on my way back, but there were also spiders lurking in that outhouse, as well. No. Can’t handle that yet. For right now … just stay vertical … just stay alive.
Needless to say, I did remain vertical (for the most part). And somehow I managed to live through all the drama. I mean trauma. But, this harrowing little story really is true.
My family still owns a house at this lake, and I look forward to going there every summer. Thankfully, though, the outhouses are long gone now and modern amenities have invaded.
I know it’s crazy, but the memories I have of these nightly escapades have stuck with me as I’ve grown more accustomed to walking in faith.
As a teenager, I trusted that flashlight to keep me safe. As long as I kept it shining on my feet, I didn’t need to look ahead. Little-by-little, step-by-step that pathway was lit up for me as I traveled down it. I couldn’t see ahead, but I didn’t need to.
That light moved with me as I had the courage to press forward.
Now, instead of that flashlight, I trust God’s plan for my life. He opens doors for us, but we have to have the faith to step through them. We don’t know what lies ahead, but really, we don’t need to. The future will be revealed to us when we need to know it. At just the perfect time.
Why hold onto worries about the future when we can just hand them over and know we’re protected under His love and wisdom? Why fret about the “why’s” and the “when’s”? Those questions won’t be answered until God is ready, anyways.
There are times when I get sick. Sometimes I get scared. I get in foul moods. I whine. I complain. I worry too much. I do. I try not to, but I do.
Through these times, though, he’s revealed his love to me. He gently reminds me that living by faith is so much easier than trying to understand and control everything. It’s truly so much less work to just trust. Truly.
And, through the darker times, he’s shown me over and over again that the path of faith is radiantly illuminated with each and every step we take as we press forward in Him.
Thanks for growing with me. ♡
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” (Psalm 143:8)