Where have you been?

I hated being a teenager. Dad would stand with his hands on his hips, filling the open
doorway with his frame, waiting for me to come home from my date a mere two minutes
late. Those four words drove me crazy!

"Where have you been?" his red face would bellow.

My first reaction was self preservation. Uh, we had a flat, ran out of gas, had to
evacuate due to a bomb threat and lost the car keys, ran into a roadblock, or some
other silly excuse. Anything that would infer that the reason I was in trouble was caused
by something completely out of my control.

When all else failed, I fell back on the truth. Eventually, I learned that honesty would
save me a lot of grief. That same philosophy still applies today.

How do you  measure up?

During the first year of my own grief, as days turned into weeks and months, it was hard
to see anything but grief. I couldn't see where I was, and couldn't see where I was
going. I just kept going. It was like wandering in the fog, taking one step at a time,
hoping it was in the right direction.

Now, several years later, I look back and briefly remember where I've been. Note, I said
"briefly". Although the journey seems so short, I'm now surprised at how far I've traveled.
There is no specific event or date that things changed noticeably, for it was all subtle
change. Change I can only see by looking back ~ from now, to then.

Measuring the journey through grief has to be done with a rear view mirror. But use
caution! Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear. Don't look back so long
that you get caught up in the early storms of grief all over again. Only look back on
occasion, to see how far you have come.

Where are you going?

Did you ever get on an airplane with a ticket to go just anywhere? I think it's safe to
assume not many of us have. When we plan a trip, we usually have a destination in

If life is a journey, then isn't there a final destination for us? Or do we wander aimlessly,
hoping we just get there somehow? Even if we don't know where "there" is?

The destination is as important as the trip. My prayer is that you are aiming at Heaven
as your final destination. To get there, you must take Jesus along as your Gide, the
Bible as your translator, and follow closely to His itinerary through much Prayer.

What is your goal?

Life is a journey. Long for some, short for others. Grief is bad weather along the way.
Some days the sun shines brightly, and some days the rains fall. As springtime returns,
the flowers bloom and life is filled with joy again. But the rains will still come. Sometimes
it gently waters the flowers, and sometimes it washes trenches through the ground. The
challenge is to find ways to enjoy the journey, weather the storms as they pass by, and
find peace and happiness along the way.

My goal is that when this journey is over, Jesus will take my hand, look into my eyes,
and say, "Well done, my child."  Then He will take me to that heavenly place where all
my loved ones wait for me with open arms. I know my destination. I know my Guide. I
know the way, for He leads me. And although I may look back on occasion at where I've
been, my sights are set on higher ground.

I hope to see you there, too.
How do I know where I'm going
if I don't know where I've been?
© Ferna Lary Mills
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