Thursday, January 7, 2010

there is a road.
long and twisting.
narrow. bumpy.
rocks and pot holes and mud.
THE road.

every other road in view
is freshly paved.
streamlined. with the diamond
lane for two or more in the car.
flowers planted. piped music
promising the beautiful life
as you travel.

"i will not leave you or forsake you."
joshua 1:5

a PROMISE!
through wildernesss and
storm and desert and deep, cold waters.
but a PROMISE of shimmering light
if we are on the right road.

a new year.
i pull on my boots.
stick the badge of courage
on my chest. marching.
back straight. head settled
high on my shoulders.
fearless. big times coming
our way.

the world assures us
of this if we choose
their road.

2010.
my heart shivers.
having lived long enough
to know i am ALWAYS
seconds away from my
next humiliation. that in a
split moment, tragedy
can strike.




a day doesn't go by that
i don't sin. a prideful thought.
a missed cue to touch
someone. being out of sync
with God. a seed of bitterness
working to burn itself into me.


and then that gift called "faith".
in all my years, God has NEVER,
EVER failed me. but over and over,
i find myself terrified over the bills
or one of my children.
the badge of courage being
chewed away by doubt.

my married son and wife,
and his three brothers, plus
a girlfriend came home for Christmas.
bodies everywhere. i was on the
couch. mercy, mercy. i LOVE my sons.
what will 2010 bring to them?
i knew so little in my early 20's.

did i grow in 2009?
did pain teach me?
will my children
choose the hard road?
God's path with hidden purposes?
will my faith ever be perfected?

grab my hand.
let's face the future
together.
Jesus, our Master.
forever with us.

boots buckled on.
when you start to fall,
i'll grab you. when i weep,
join me. if i hurt someone,
oh, may i be forgiven and learn
from it.

the fireworks are over.
balloons popped.
the sun rises over a
forboding, but promising sky.
i lie,
face down.
prostrate.
humbled and silent.
yearning for purity before
my Lord.

keep your boots buckled,
and be sure you are on the
RIGHT road.

7 comments:

Longe Hawaii said...

Thank you Ann. I needed to hear that after just finishing radiation for cancer a week ago and the fears I have of the future.

Carrie said...

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference....
Robert Frost.
I have pondered this Christmas season that road we began on 25 years ago with our first adoption...and then 2 more boys.....and then adding the 4 adopted out of foster care... oh that road has alot less travelers....and it has made all the difference... not so much in their lives, at least not yet... but our lives look so much different than we thought it would...this road is not pretty most days, and often love can only come from the heart of God, because my heart is deceitful and desperately wicked... and I know it! But I believe in God, and His redemptive work on the cross, and that the work He is doing in my life, the suffering.... will let me see Him face to face... and I will know Him....it's just a road that not many get to travel, and it has made all the difference....so be of good cheer as we begin 2010... because He has overcome the world...this road is not easy, but it's good. may His love keep glowing in your heart!

Pam said...

Dear Ann, Thank you!!Like so many other people, our lives have intertwined over the years. Even though we have never actually met,I first heard you when you spoke at Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa Idaho in the early 70's, where I lived at that time.You and your words "i'm out to change my world!" inspired my friend Donna & I to say "No matter what-God we want You #1 in our lives!"And we meant it, oh how we meant it!! Then life and choices began to strain at that "YES!" Over time my husband, son & I moved to I moved to Idaho Falls. Even though my walk with God wasn't #1 at that point, He was still there and I thought it was really cool when I found out you lived in the area as well. You had been such an inspiration to me I thought it would be awesome to get to meet you in "everyday" life. I just need to say before I go any further, I am not a stalker! But my friend Donna(she had moved to Eastern Idaho by that time)and I figured out where you lived so we could see how 'Ann and her new husband Will lived'! A little silly and star-truck I have to admit,but you were such a hero to both of us! Also Idaho Falls is a small community and I would see you at the grocery store from time to time with your boys. And then there came the time that I would walk by your office in that old building in Idaho Falls once a week because I was seeing a counselor just down the hall from you. Even though she was a Christian counselor, by that time my life was so far from that "YES!" that I even wondered if I was the same person who said it all those years before! I only went there as a last ditch effort to try to put some things back together so my life would not totally unravel right before my eyes. By then I was divorced and on a path I had chosen so different than anything I ever could have imagined back then! Those were very dark and bleak days for me and much of the time when I walked by your door and saw you working, my thoughts were no longer kind and appreciative. In fact I was very jealous of you and your "wonderful" life. I had no idea the struggles you were having and quite honestly, at that point I would not have cared! I am so sorry I had those thoughts toward you, you didn't even know me-as I said, we had never even met- and you certainly didn't deserve them! But my life was a mess, a significant portion of it because of my own sinful choices, but also because of a great deal of deep painI had not dealt with. And frankly,that was all I was focused on. Not long after that I moved away from Idaho. Through a series of circumstances,most of them painful, some of them extremely embarassing, I began to hear God very definitively remind me of that "YES!" from all of those years ago and that it still mattered to Him-mattered to Him to the core! And over time, His kindness led me to repentance and home to Him again! Hallelujah, How Great is the Mercy and Love of our God! I lost track of you during those years until one day a friend invited me to come with her to hear you speak. I was living in Billings MT by that time, I had moved there with my new husband in 1990. I was sitting in the audience that Saturday morning when they announced you would not be able to be there because your husband Will had just passed away. As was everyone there that day, I was stunned and deeply saddened for your loss. But I also want to tell you I was sad because I so wanted meet you and maybe get to talk to you and tell you the things I have just written. I did not know if I would ever get the chance but then awhile ago, I heard you on Focus On the Family and then found your website. I am sorry that it has taken so many years but I am so grateful I am having the opportunity to communicate with you now. I hope you will accept both my apology and my thanks, they both from the . Thank you for providing the forum to do so! In the Matchless Name & Love of Jesus! Your "Long-time Friend", Pam

Pam said...

Dear Ann, Thank you!!Like so many other people, our lives have intertwined over the years. Even though we have never actually met,I first heard you when you spoke at Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa Idaho in the early 70's, where I lived at that time.You and your words "i'm out to change my world!" inspired my friend Donna & I to say "No matter what-God we want You #1 in our lives!"And we meant it, oh how we meant it!! Then life and choices began to strain at that "YES!" Over time my husband, son & I moved to I moved to Idaho Falls. Even though my walk with God wasn't #1 at that point, He was still there and I thought it was really cool when I found out you lived in the area as well. You had been such an inspiration to me I thought it would be awesome to get to meet you in "everyday" life. I just need to say before I go any further, I am not a stalker! But my friend Donna(she had moved to Eastern Idaho by that time)and I figured out where you lived so we could see how 'Ann and her new husband Will lived'! A little silly and star-truck I have to admit,but you were such a hero to both of us! Also Idaho Falls is a small community and I would see you at the grocery store from time to time with your boys. And then there came the time that I would walk by your office in that old building in Idaho Falls once a week because I was seeing a counselor just down the hall from you. Even though she was a Christian counselor, by that time my life was so far from that "YES!" that I even wondered if I was the same person who said it all those years before! I only went there as a last ditch effort to try to put some things back together so my life would not totally unravel right before my eyes. By then I was divorced and on a path I had chosen so different than anything I ever could have imagined back then! Those were very dark and bleak days for me and much of the time when I walked by your door and saw you working, my thoughts were no longer kind and appreciative. In fact I was very jealous of you and your "wonderful" life. I had no idea the struggles you were having and quite honestly, at that point I would not have cared! I am so sorry I had those thoughts toward you, you didn't even know me-as I said, we had never even met- and you certainly didn't deserve them! But my life was a mess, a significant portion of it because of my own sinful choices, but also because of a great deal of deep painI had not dealt with. And frankly,that was all I was focused on. Not long after that I moved away from Idaho. Through a series of circumstances,most of them painful, some of them extremely embarassing, I began to hear God very definitively remind me of that "YES!" from all of those years ago and that it still mattered to Him-mattered to Him to the core! And over time, His kindness led me to repentance and home to Him again! Hallelujah, How Great is the Mercy and Love of our God! I lost track of you during those years until one day a friend invited me to come with her to hear you speak. I was living in Billings MT by that time, I had moved there with my new husband in 1990. I was sitting in the audience that Saturday morning when they announced you would not be able to be there because your husband Will had just passed away. As was everyone there that day, I was stunned and deeply saddened for your loss. But I also want to tell you I was sad because I so wanted meet you and maybe get to talk to you and tell you the things I have just written. I did not know if I would ever get the chance but then awhile ago, I heard you on Focus On the Family and then found your website. I am sorry that it has taken so many years but I am so grateful I am having the opportunity to communicate with you now. I hope you will accept both my apology and my thanks, they both from the . Thank you for providing the forum to do so! In the Matchless Name & Love of Jesus! Your "Long-time Friend", Pam

Mercy said...

Sometimes this road is so dark and I only have a small light ahead of me. I sometimes ask God "how do you want me to tell people of you when I don't see you and I am sure not having that "joy" of life. But than right when I am ready to give up God comes in and steals my heart all over again and again and again.Oh Ann, I do love God so but sometimes I think that this road is so hard and I don't know if I am doing it right. But I will keep walking because I believe in him and I know that he will bring me to pure joy one day.

Ngozi said...

Ann. I have sooo looked for you. I started reading your books as a young girl (was probably 13 at the time).Then I didn't find any of your books and I have been searching.Thank you for coming back. I am 29 now and the impact your books had on my heart haven't been lost at all. Thank you for being so honest about your weaknesses and all. I am sorry to hear about Will.God bless you,your boys and family,and please keep loving Jesus. I hope your sister Jan is ok and your dad and mum too. This is a funny thing to say to someone you haven't ever met but I do love you Ann. God bless always. Ng

barb said...

"there is a road.
long and twisting.
narrow. bumpy.
rocks and pot holes and mud.
THE road."

I never remember as a child, or even in my youth group at church, being told that the christian life would be HARD especially if you wanted to follow Christ as your true north. Temptation, the easy life, instant gratification, TEMPTATION,twists, turns, ugliness painted as beauty and all fulfilling and all delight.

He keeps calling, wooing, ever my strength and true north. Loving me even when I don't get it right. How amazing is that! I'm strapping on my boots with you sister!

"and then that gift called "faith".
in all my years, God has NEVER,
EVER failed me."

So thankful that He equips us, carries us, encourages us, and never gives up on us, and gives us his sustaing strength.

My boots are buckled...upward and onward.