Saturday, January 18, 2014

OUT ON A LIMB

Have you ever went out on a limb for anyone? I did and it broke. 

I recently spent about a month away from home to be with a friend who desperately wanted a chance to change the circumstances in their life.

I never really understood the term "out on a limb" before this happened. But now I do.  

In my mind I can picture a tree, bare of all foliage and covered with ice. There is a bird sitting out on the thinnest limb on this tree, and I am this bird, and this is my story.

I received a call from someone I love and I didn't realize it at the time, but as soon as I answered that call I began to move out on that limb...

I hopped on a plane to meet my friend... I slid a little farther out on that limb.

I rented a car and picked my friend up ... I slid a little farther out on that limb.

I found a temporary place for us to stay...There I go..sliding...sliding.

With every single thing I did to "help" my friend, too many to mention and too personal to speak,  I slid farther and farther out on that limb, which unbeknownst to me was getting pretty thin.

I was extending myself so far financially I should have been able to hear the ice of that limb beginning to crack, but I was ever the helper, helping, helping and moving always toward the sky!

I was finally able to find a permanent home for my friend. In one gigantic leap I was now at the very end of this frozen, crackling limb, but I was holding on.

Since I had done such a great job helping my friend I felt my time there was finished so I boarded a plane for home and by the time the tires of that plane hit the tarmac my friend went back to her old life.

CRACK! I could hold on no longer. What was left of that limb went blowing in the wind!


Why did I sacrifice? Why did I go there? And then, they started, the "IF ONLY'S." And anyone who is a widow or has lost someone they love can relate to those. I had so many "IF ONLY'S" when my husband passed away. If only I had insisted he go to the doctor sooner, or if only I had taken him to the hospital when he was in pain maybe they would have found his cancer sooner and it could have saved his life.  There are no answers to the "IF ONLY'S."

The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13-14 "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." 

Did the apostle Paul FORGET his past? He wrote this from prison and and it wasn't his only imprisonment. He was stoned and left for dead, he was shipwrecked, he was present when Stephen was stoned to death. Do you think he ever asked "Why?" Or, "if only I hadn't, if only I didn't."

I believe Paul made a choice not to dwell on this past but to move forward toward hope in Christ. We can spend the rest of our lives asking God why but it will drain all the energy we have left in us and we probably aren't going to get an answer this side of heaven. And why spend our days full of regret wondering what would have happened "IF ONLY" we had done things differently? If we need to ask a question, let's ask "What?" "What do I do now?" Now that's a question God will answer!

My plan for 2014 is not to dwell on the past but to keep moving forward looking ahead to the life that God has called me.


2 comments:

  1. Good for you Donna, sometimes we learn our boundaries and limitations by going out on a limb. I don't believe this situation was a waste, nor is battling with 'if only's" because I see you doing what we all need to do: forgetting the past and pressing on to God's high calling. Keep on keeping on girlfriend! Thanks for sharing your life with us.

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  2. Yes, Ferree, boundaries is a lesson I am learning. Thank you for the encouragement!

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