If I could turn back the page and find the chapter of a week ago…
I would have spent my first day volunteering at the mission school, and
then I would have rushed home to babysit two children while their father attended
an literacy class.
I would be discovering anew that when I am at my weakest, when I am exhausted,
then He is strong and that He eagerly offers His grace to us to give us the strength
to press on.
If I could turn back time and find the minutes of a month ago:
I would have returned from the Northwest, where I would have attended
Young Disciple Youth Bible Camp-a place where I would have watched
lives being changed and where my life would have been changed as well.
I would be eagerly waiting for my horses to return home, and I would have
taken my first ride on one of them.
I would have been overwhelmed at the thought of how much
work I still have to do in preparation for Dine’ Youth Camp next summer
and I would have learned, again, that my Redeemer’s strength is perfect
and that through Him I can do anything He asks of me.
I would be unaware that in a few short days I would learn that my
family would be presenting the children’s programs at
Monument Valley Camp-meeting in three weeks. And then I would
have learned that I would be taking responsibility for presenting the programs.
I would have been shaken and wondering if when I told God I’d do
what He asked and I’d known what was ahead if I still would have
made that committment. I would have been reminded, yet again, that only my
Father sees the end from the beginning, and that all things are done
for my good. I would have deepened that commitment and moved forward,
trusting in the all-sufficient power of the Lamb.
If I could run backward, and end up last year,
I would just found out that I would be taking part in the
directing of a Native American Youth Camp.
I would have been overwhelmed and afraid. Responsibility would have been waiting for me
and I would have been hesitant to accept it. I would have wondered how someone
like me-a person with no experience, and just barely turned 18-could be
expected to take nothing and make something out of it. And I would have been
relieved to discover that God does not expect me to do things perfectly: He expects
me to do my best, to allow Him to work in me and through me,
to His satisfaction and glory.
I would be unaware that in a few short months I would suddenly own two horses, which I
would have to tame and train. I would not have know that in so doing
I would be taught patience, compassion, responsibility, and leadership. I did not know
that I would go from someone who was shy and hesitant to someone who was sure of their God
and in that knowledge able to stand before humanity unafraid.
One of my closest friends would have been killed in an automobile accident and I would have been struck
with the realization that life is to precious to waste, that death could come at any moment, and that I
needed to be ready die at any time.
If I could turn the clock and  find myself a girl of five years ago,
It would have been 2005. I would not have know that the next five years
would change my life forever.
I would have been getting ready to go on my first mission trip-to Bolivia.
I would have been taught that people, who have nothing, can be
happier than I am. I would have been challenged to be
content with much less and I would have learned that even though
things seem to be impossible, God is a master of the impossible and
through Him the impossible becomes completed.
I would not have know that I would take a second mission trip a year later, this time
to Alaska, and that there I would learn cheerfulness in the face of adversity,
and that I didn’t need to save everything I thought that I might use someday.
I would have witnessed people struggling to carry on and I would have been astonished at
their courage and trust in God, and I would have started learning to trust in the all-knowing power
of God.
I would have been astonished if you had told me that my sister would be diagnosed with cancer in 2007
and that I would be making numerous trips to hospitals and clinics during her
treatment period. I would have yet to learn of God’s faithfulness to me. And I would definitely not have believed you if you had told me I would have the opportunity to visit Europe because of her cancer.
Though it all my God has been faithful, He has drawn me daily closer to Himself,
and He has determinedly-even when I fought it-been shaping me into what He desires.
If I could bend the calendar and see ten years ago,
I would be a  young girl that spent her time reading books and practicing music.
I would have loved climbing trees.
I would have spent my extra time at the office where my dad worked asking
questions of the employees and learning why they did things the way they did.
I would have loved spending time with my dad in his shop, helping him work on trucks
and cars, fetching him tools, and drawing on his walls.
I would not have know that in a year my parents would travel to Ukraine and that they would be there
on 9/11, and then when they returned my family would be sick for months with Hepatitis A.
I would have been church pianist by the time I was 11.
I would not have know that shortly I would be an aunt and that my brother-in-law would be
killed in an airplane accident in 2002.
If I could jump into a timeline and land twenty years ago,
I would have been about one month old, and I would have been completely
satisfied with eating and sleeping. I did not know much besides that fact
that my parents loved and cared for me and that I trusted them to
supply my needs.
I would have yet to have learned of my Redeemer’s love and mercy towards me.
I didn’t know,
in these long-ago days,
that this earthly life is filled with change,
with pain,
with love,
with heartache,
with joy.
Some days, I wish to go back.
I long to be the unseen hand,
changing life courses
and altering
a moment
an action
a look.

But would I,
{I don’t know.}
“I could have missed the pain,
but I’d have had to
Look back, a week ago, twenty years ago?
What of your journey?