linking up with:
|Heybeliada Island off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey 2010|
Back in late February of 2010, we embarked on what we thought was a routine visa renewal, the lure of cheap airfare and the recommendations of others, led us to Istanbul as the place to wait for our paperwork. We ended up stuck there in limbo for two and half months. Just a few weeks into what we thought would be a three week trip at the most...we were dealt a harsh blow. Tom's work visa would not be renewed and we would no longer be able to live in Russia. We felt defeated. We could not understand what God was doing or what direction He was taking us.
All we could do was pray and wait.
Each day we would leave the dreary little rental apartment to explore as much of Turkey as possible. We had no idea how long we would be there or if we would ever be in that part of the world again. So we tried to make the most of this heartbreaking situation.
On this particular day Spencer and I boarded the ferry to check out Heybeliada Island.
I packed our guidebook, some snacks, water, and my cellphone, which served as the only camera we had access to on our trip. I wanted to sit on the beach and read. Spencer wanted to hike. Reluctantly I agreed to the hike. I wanted to stay on the well marked paths. Spencer wanted to wander off and see what was on the other side of the trees.
This was the view we were rewarded with for stepping off the path...
Spencer went out even farther than I dared to go.
His curiosity and desire to experience life to the fullest led him down the mountainside a bit to get closer to the edge of the cliff. He only stopped because I was screaming my head off for him not to go any further.
I was still trapped in the limitation of what I could see and what I thought was safe.
He was 19 years old that day...just three weeks before his 20th birthday. I am grateful that Spencer forced me off the well worn path and further up the mountainside. And I am grateful that I got to see his victory stance that day.
We won't see victory if we are afraid to move beyond our comfort zone.
Victory for Spencer came as he walked out to edge of that cliff. He moved slowly... but step by step he went... he raised his arms in triumph...and then went even further forward. He told me he felt exhilarated and close to God. I was in awe as I watched our youngest son challenge himself to do more.
As we made our way around the island I felt challenged to get a bit closer to the edge...
It is by clinging to God, and not our old habits or fears, that we are led to victory.
May you follow Him all the way to the victory He has for you!