Beauty can take your breath away. Soft hues of color and reflection in the water have a calming effect on our souls. This scene is from Northland International University, a beloved place in my heart. It is a remote location in Wisconsin close to the border of Canada. It snows a lot there. Living in this place was very similar to where I grew up in Brumunddal, Norway. The ground stays covered with snow from late November to mid-April.
This picture also represents great sorrow for me. Sorrow that took my breath away. Northland closed in 2015. Our expectations to teach and serve at this university for the remainder of our years were destroyed. We planned one way, but God directed a different way. God is God, and I am not.
Here in beautiful, yet breathtaking sorrow that God ordained, th(i)nkful was birthed.
th(i)nkful – a determined choice to download grace/strength from the Lord to think thanks about every circumstance that comes my way and express that thanks orally or in a written form.
I choose to trust in your sovereignty, God. Because You have promised that You will never forsake me (Hebrews 13:5), and the fact that life is a vapor (James 4:14), I can, through Your help, think thanks about even the saddest things in my life.
- Northland served its purpose
- David and I had the privilege of developing so many relationships for the short time we served there
- Sometimes wonderful things have to be birthed out of very difficult origins
- God is writing the story, not me
- Bjorkeli, the name we gave our little cottage up there in the northwoods, will always be such a sweet memory
I do not know what you are dealing with at the moment. Maybe you are doing just fine. Maybe you are not moving through any specifically trying times at all. Maybe you are not doing well and struggling to cope. In all circumstances, give thanks. All.
photo credit to Kevin Moses