I joined my boys in Copper Mountain CO this Thanksgiving as they are all training at a camp that I "MISTAKENLY" put Daniel on a plane ALONE to come to when he was just 12 years old. I remember being sent a link from one of the mother's on Daniel's ski team and I must have clicked on a link connected to that site and registered him for the "wrong" one…but I didn't find this out until Daniel was on his way and he called me from a layover and told me he wasn't sure where he was going, but all of his teammates were going to a different camp. A flash of panic passed over me and then I quickly told him apparently God had another plan for him. I had spoken to the coordinator of the family run camp who had made quite a name for themselves many years ago with a story to match. They had come here from Czechoslovakia and in order to make a living they ski raced. I have heard that they lived in their van when they first began pursuing their dreams. They worked extremely hard and won races and began to build their new roots and profession in America. The matriarch of the family cooks home cooked meals for the kids during the camps and they are strict and unified and responsible for their racers. The patriarch of this family is one of Izik's favorite people on the planet and all of their children teach during the camps…they are all decorated ski racers and many of them world cup athletes. It is no wonder I was drawn to this family as I am always drawn to those who had to face the odds and overcome triumphantly and for a greater purpose.
Within a few years Izik began joining Daniel and traveling across the country and now living in the west, Danny drove the boys here (including Simon who is attending his first camp and loving it) and my husband is hooked himself on the training (and participating each and every day ;), the family and the opportunity that our kids have pursuing their interests as they are developing far more than racing skills within this experience each and every time.
When I pulled in to this place many visions and thoughts I have had over the past few years crystallized for me and I was overwhelmed with gratitude for God's work behind the scenes. Maybe it hit me because of the sacrifices we had to make to enable it, perhaps it was because I realized how God is always at work and we often cannot fully comprehend just what his provisions produce, or it is even possible that it is being in touch with the struggles of life, heart's desires, disappointments and victories and everything in between but not ONE thing in the life of one who trusts in Him is wasted or not counted within His heart and when the manifestation of that is realized, the depth of gratitude is overwhelming.
I have a saying: God does not waste our pain. While our journeys often cause such confusion, contemplation and sometimes even contempt, our KNOWING of our God's character even in our UNKNOWING of the outcome, can comfort us as He loves us and sees us in our sadness, He travels with us through our darkness and He shines on us as he reestablishes us within our purpose.
I couldn't sit here this morning, surrounded by the majestic mountains, and not be in awe of such a God. Sometime perspective is the most difficult virtue to embrace in the midst of our adversity but the reflective heart is born just there. When we embrace the emotion of our difficulties and bring them captive to our Lord, ask for Him to illuminate their purpose and significance, we WILL reap their reassembled creation by the Maker's hand.
May this Thanksgiving release a beauty from your ashes that you may never have considered had you not taken the time to reflect and absorb our God's love for His children.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
~1 Thessalonians 5:18