One Step at a Time

We have been planning for several weeks now to make a trip up to Jesup and see Joel today, because the boys and I were off school. But last night, I was still waiting for a call from Joel as I organized and packed things for our pre-dawn departure. He calls me every day for a few short minutes just to let me know everything is okay, and so we can update each other on life. I was beginning to feel concern because he always calls on the days before we visit, to make sure we are still coming, and find out our approximate arrival time.  There are very few reasons for him not to call, such as the phones being down, the porches  (where the phones are located) being closed, or the entire prison being in lock down. The possibility that Joel has received discipline that removes phone privileges is another reason he might not call. Without a call from Joel I wasn’t sure we should actually make the trip, because a lot of the reasons he wouldn’t be able to call, would also mean he wouldn’t be able to have visitors. It is a long and wearying drive if we are not going to actually get to see Joel.

My heart was heavy with concern as I prepared for bed last night, still with no call from Joel. I prayed that God would help us know what to do and then I  called my in-laws to see what they thought, since they were going to be traveling with me. After discussing our options, we decided we had better go ahead and try going. I went to bed, weary, and sad, praying that God would make our trip fruitful.I imagined comforting the boys, and leaving the prison without seeing Joel, if we were actually turned away. The scene in my mind was unbearable.

This morning I was up before the alarm went off at 5:00, gathered our stuff, woke the boys, scooped up the sleeping preschooler, and headed out, with a prayer in my heart and the reassurance that others were also lifting our family before the throne. Daily, I take one step at a time following God’s direction and praying for His provision. This trip was another physical reminder of that dependent relationship, as God asked me to move without having assurance of an expected outcome. The only thing I knew for sure, was that He was going with me.

But at 6:00AM my heart burst with joy when Joel called just after we had hit the interstate. He was overtly apologetic about not calling the night before. Everything was fine; the guards had just closed the porches early and he was too far back in line to get to the phones in time. He had gotten up to call me as soon as the phones were turned on this morning, in the hopes that I had headed out even without his phone call. What a relief to know we would be seeing him in a few hours, that our long trip would not end in disappointment! The delight in the car as I relayed the news was almost tangible. We settled in for the drive, dozing until the sun came up.

Our time with Joel was precious and refreshing, even more so because we were so grateful it had not gotten scrubbed! I am so thankful for God’s presence in all the uncertainties we face and so overwhelmed by His goodness to us.



One Response to "One Step at a Time"

  • So thankful you had a happy ending to last night’s worry! I’m sure it was a restless night. Praying too for you, Joel and the family!

    1 Terry said this (October 17, 2011 at 9:13 pm) Reply

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