Kandunce Falls is one of my favorite hikes so far. I parked along Lake Superior and crossed the road to the trail. When there is not a lot of rain, it is really fun to hike up the actual Kandunce River. This time, however, the river was really high so I stayed on the trail. Soon I picked up the good old Superior Hiking Trail, and I’m glad I did. Around every bend there was something beautiful to look at. At one point, I came to a young forest filled with poplar trees. It was just perfect for fairies, and I knew there must have been some lurking about!
This was my most relaxing hike of the week. I was thinking about prayer and about what a good job God has done on this forest!
Now I lay me down to sleep
I was taught to pray as a little girl. My parents had us pray at dinner and before bed. I never really prayed about anything. I just said the prayer and dug into dinner or hit the sack. I remember one Sunday when I was finally in a Sunday school class with the older kids, our teacher had us pray at the end of class. I got into my best praying position with my hands together, thumbs crossed just so, head tilted up, eyes closed and an earnest look on my face. The teacher stopped the prayer and had all the children check out my perfect prayer position. I was the best prayer! Although in that perfect position, I really was just thinking about the cookies we would have after Sunday school.
Is God listening?
A few years later while at the doctor’s office getting my allergy shot, I saw my aunt and uncle there with their little girl, my cousin Julie, who was about three years old. They all looked so sad, and Julie looked so sick. I knew something was wrong. A few days later, we learned that Julie had leukemia. When I heard the news, I went to my bedroom and assumed my best prayer position. I prayed and prayed that she would be okay. But a few years later, she died. My perfect prayer position did not work. That’s when I stopped praying for anything. Obviously God didn’t listen to me!
As our lives crumbled with Barry’s frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and our money situation went from bad to worse, I often laid awake at night trying to breathe and figure out why my life was so bad. What did I do to deserve this? But I never prayed. I just couldn’t. I think it is really hard to pray when you’re going through tough times.
Then one Sunday, the minister at Good Samaritan Church, who had heard about Barry’s situation, asked if she could mention him during the prayer segment. I said sure! The minster asked everyone to pray for Barry and our family. It was hard to sit there and breathe normally! You know it’s kind of embarrassing to be going through a really bad time in such a public way.
After church, lots of people came up to me saying that Barry and I would be in their prayers. I said, “Thank you.” But I really couldn’t wait to get out of there and escaped pretty quickly. On the way to my car, I noticed I could breathe. Oh, I was still extremely worried, but I felt some hope. It was a wonderful feeling! No one, as far as I noticed that Sunday, had a perfect prayer position — but someone’s prayer worked for me that day!
Feeling a little hope
I am not going to say all has been perfect since then because some days I wonder how I can get through the day. Then, out of the blue, I find myself breathing normally again. I feel a little hope, and best of all — every once in a while — Barry seems a bit better. Maybe someday I will have prayers to go along with my perfect prayer position. But until then, thank you to those who have said a prayer or two for us.
Thankful I am me
This day on the Superior Hiking Trail, I felt so thankful I am me. Here I was hiking in a beautiful forest — and I could easily breathe!
As I prepared to write this post at 6:00 a.m. the other morning, I went to the kitchen to start the coffee. I found Barry in the kitchen drinking a beer! I asked him why he was having a beer in the morning. He said, “I’m thirsty, and there’s no orange juice.”Actually, there were two bottles of orange juice in the fridge, which I pointed out to him. As I dumped out his beer, I asked, “Who drinks beer at 6 a.m.?” Barry said, “I guess I do.” We both just started laughing. Now I put the orange juice at the very front of the fridge and the beer way back.