Even though I have traveled to some absolutely amazing places over the years, my favorite place on earth remains our family farm. One of my many favorite places on the farm is “the mound.” In some ways, it could almost be considered a “sacred” place for me. It is a place I’ve shared with family and friends for multiple sledding parties. I’ve camped on the mound with friends. I remember earning nickels by cutting thistles on the mound. I’ve gone on a bear hunt with young family members on Thanksgiving. I’ve witnessed new life as we searched for brand new calves. I’ve explored and hiked. I’ve gazed at the lights of Chillicothe in the distance. I’ve gone night sledding with family. The experiences are countless.
It has also been a place of retreat when my heart has been heavy. On more than a few occasions, I have gone there to pray. I’ve sung at the top of my lungs….I have voiced questions on my heart….I have cried out and have asked God for wisdom….for peace….for assurance….for joy. And every time, He has met me there.
One memory particularly stands out. It was a snowy winter. My mom’s journey on earth had come to an end. We had just returned from the funeral home to make the arrangements. My dad looked at us and said, “I think we should go sledding.” It was an odd suggestion and yet perfect. Dad, my siblings, all the grandkids, and I headed to the mound. On a day filled with tears, God spoke to me on the mound. As I watched my dad zoom by with his youngest grandchild Mackenzie’s arms around his neck and both of their faces exhibiting delight, I was overwhelmed with the sense that God was saying, “I know you’re hurting….but I promise, joy WILL come again.” And He was right.
I was reminded of this a few days ago as I raced my Dad down this same snowy mound. This was just two days before officially starting his own treatment journey for cancer. I don’t know what the future holds. There are many unknowns….but I’m counting on the One who holds the future in His hands to carry us through. I’m trusting the Creator of our much loved mound to guide our sled through the snowy days ahead.