As a child, there were few things more exciting to me than preparing for a family vacation. A handful of times we went to the beach and several other times we went up to Sandusky, Ohio to visit my great-grandmother’s farm. I remember clearly the frenzied process of packing enough clothes and necessities for six people to be away from home for a whole week. It was a process, and a lot of work. I loved every minute of it. All four of us kids, carefully selected our best/favorite outfits, squishing them down into old suitcases, trying to get everything “needed” to fit. Suitcases were not only stuffed with clothes and shoes but with swimming accessories, (I had this orange face mask I thought I was incapable of swimming without for a while as a kid) and other favorite toys and stuffed animals. We certainly had no screens, TVs, tablets or phones to occupy us in the car. Instead I remember going to Wal-Mart and each of us getting a huge coloring book that included crossword puzzles, word searches and mazes. Then we had card games and other small games all carefully packed in our travel bags. We were one of those families that left at dawn the day of a big trip and I can vividly remember the day we left for one beach trip. I woke up to the noise of my parents packing coolers in the kitchen next to my room and even though it was still dark the reality of THIS IS IT, this is THE DAY, struck me in full force and I was instantly fully awake. I had carefully laid out my “travel clothes” the night before and left them at the end of my bed on the top bunk. I had them on in 3.5 seconds despite the annoying spandex shorts which were hard to get your foot through if you didn’t point your toe down fast enough. Then I dropped down the ladder and rushed into the kitchen to “help” surveying the tiny room with satisfaction upon discovering I was the first kid up.
And now The Lord has a new journey for my family and I to prepare for. We are in the preparation stage, getting ready, doing our research and packing away things we will need. It will be a long and at times very difficult road, but we know we won’t be alone. Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come for you.” He came for me, bought me with his blood and has never left me alone. Now the dawn is coming and there is a child on our horizon. We’re coming for you little one. And He who gives strength to our tired feet, will never leave you alone.