Tuesday, September 1, 2015

When You Can't Climb Another Step by Laura V. Hilton

Nanook the Husky
Our thirteen year old Siberian Husky has some hip and joint problems. He has difficulty getting up, his feet slip on our laminate floors, and he doesn’t do stairs well. He can get down okay, but getting back up? That’s a different thing.

One Sunday a month, our church provides worship services at a local nursing home. It has good turn out, an Amen corner, and a former school teacher bound and determined to keep the Amen corner quiet. She’s a master of glares. We were preparing to start the song service when my oldest son called. He had a job interview at a local gas station and no way to get there. The interview was in ten minutes. He wanted my other son to come home and take him, but Michael is used greatly at the nursing home service, and he couldn’t. I would’ve, but there was no way anyone could drive home from where I was and out to the gas station in ten minutes. So I told my son where his dad kept the spare set of keys for his car. He texted me on Michael’s phone about forty-five minutes later, and told him he was safely home. I asked Michael to text him back and ask how it went.

We got a rather confusing message back.

“Tried, slid back down.”

What? Michael and I shared confused looks. But rather than text “huh?” back, we let it go. And I called him on my phone when the nursing home service was over.

That was when we found out that Nanook (the dog) went downstairs to the basement and he couldn’t get back up the steps! He had made it to the top step, but his legs gave out and he slid, all the way back down. Then he was afraid to try again!

I totally understand. My hips and knees were hurt when I went through chemotherapy and radiation for cancer. They weakened. I blame the radiation, but other cancer survivor friends blame the chemo, and honestly, I don’t know. Don’t care. Fact is I can get downstairs fine. Going up? It’s that last step, with nothing to hold on to. No railing. My legs are quivering, my knee buckles, and well, it’s scary! And I’m afraid to try. I’m known to pray, loudly, “God, please don’t let me fall. Don’t let me fall. Don’t let me fall.” And my family cheers when I survive that scary last step.

Nanook didn’t want to try again. He laid at the bottom of the steps and howled. “Help me, please!” But he didn’t trust my oldest son to help him. He didn’t trust Michael not to let him fall back downstairs again. He didn’t trust my husband, Steve, to keep him from falling.

And then Michael remembered the crate we’d used for housetraining him as a puppy. Nanook is full grown now, barely fits, but they talked Nanook in, locked it up and both Steve and Michael carried the terrified one-hundred pound dog upstairs.

Does any of this sound familiar? We don’t trust God enough to take care of us. We’re scared. What if we fall, fail, get hurt? What if, like Peter, God asks us to step out of the boat?

Mark Batterson, lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C, has some sage advice:

“Let me tell you something about stepping out in faith: You almost always second guess yourself. You make the decision to get out of the boat-- and you have second thoughts. You wonder if you made a mistake. Did God really tell me to get out of the boat?” @MarkBatterson ~~ In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

“Most of us want absolute certainty before we step out in faith. We love 100-percent-money-back guarantees. But the problem with that is this: it takes faith out of the equation. There is no such thing as risk-free faith. And you can't experience success without risking failure.” @MarkBatterson ~~ In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)

Do you need help taking that final step? Are you too scared to try? Or will you boldly step out of the boat, trusting God’s hand is there to help you to walk on water. To make it upstairs, to… whatever your next challenge is?

Father, help me to keep my eyes on you.
Help me to trust you enough to try.

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.”
Isaiah 12:2 (KJV)
About the Author
Laura V. Hilton

Laura V. Hilton

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and three of their children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Laura also has two adult children.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as a three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow GlobeThe Postcard, and The Bird House in September 2015. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.

Connect with Laura
visit her blogs: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/ & http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/ 
Twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/vernetlh/

The Postcard (from Promised to Another)

The Post Card
by Laura V. Hilton
David Lapp survived a “code blue” when he was in a buggy/semi truck accident in Seymour, Missouri. Now after extensive therapy he has lingering mobility problems and is still struggling to find his place in the world. Lured away from Webster County by thoughts of closed buggies and a postcard friendship he’s developed with an Amish girl in Jamesport, he moves north, hoping for a fresh start. He finds work in the area tying flies and basket weaving, selling his products in the Amish markets in the Jamesport area. 

Rachel Miller dreams of travel, but feels tied to her Amish life. She is being courted by Obadiah Graber, but wonders if there’s more to life. When she sees David’s name mentioned in The Budget, she strikes up a pen pal friendship with David while he’s in the hospital and in therapy, consoling him when he and his girlfriend part ways. She never dreams that David will come north and move into her community. David is still fearful in the buggy, especially in high traffic areas. Feeling he’s called by God to preach, David spends hours in the Bible, but the Amish discourage him, believing their ministers should be drawn by lot. Will David follow his call, even if it takes him out of the Amish church? Will Rachel realize her dream to travel?