By Kitty Hinkle
I love that scene from Gone With the Wind when Rhett Butler covers the eyes of the horse, and the horse pulls the carriage carrying Scarlett, Pricilla, Melanie and a newborn baby away from the flames of burning Atlanta.
Yesterday I told you my friend posed a challenging question. She wanted to know exactly what my plans are for my life once I finished raising the kids. If you are just visiting this week for the first time, try starting at Part One and continue until you reach today’s posting.
Here are the five parts to this series:
Now, on with Part 2
I surprised myself at how quickly my answer came. Without a beat the vision spilled off my lips, right down to places I would travel, writing projects I would take on, mission work, and health and lifestyle goals. The details here aren’t important. What’s significant is the clarity I have in my heart for a future I hope for.
I know how that clarity developed, and that’s what I wanted to share with other widows who may not recognize a valuable part of their struggles.
In the first few years of widowhood, I found myself in an alien world, like Keats’ description of Ruth “standing amid alien corn” and like the horse in burning Atlanta.
Think about Ruth, and think about the horse. Each could have easily met a tragic ending if they put their focus on their plight. Ruth could have panicked and dug herself deeper into poverty. The horse was already panicking over the flames. He kicked up his front legs almost toppling the carriage with the women and the newborn baby in it. Isn’t that a picture of how destructive it can be when we go to pieces over our losses in life?
Ladies, I have seen this over and over again. Someone faced with a surprising blow in life like death of a spouse or divorce gets mired in self-pity or anxiety, only digging deeper into trouble because rather than stepping away from the flames, they sit and spin in it.
I love what the writer of Gone with the Wind does with this scene. Rhett wraps his coat around the eyes of the horse so that the horse can no longer see the flames. It’s so touching to see the horse, with no choice but to follow the lead of Rhett Butler, walk right through the flames and pull the carriage to safety.
When you find yourself overwhelmed with more on your plate than you wanted, try letting God wrap your eyes and blind you from the chaos and lead you. Simply walk forward, obediently, trusting God is in control of your steps, no matter how difficult without a husband. Slow down. Spend more time in the Word. Surround yourself with Godly friendships where you can bounce off of them what you think you hear the Lord telling you to do and hear solid Christian perspectives echoing back. Then obediently walk the steps the Lord has told you to walk, blind to the flames around you. The fruit of that surrender comes out when suddenly you can see, with clarity, life outside of burning Atlanta.
Maybe you’re wondering how clarity on you future can emerge from simply obeying God in your current circumstance. Please add to the discussion and let me know if you have experienced it. Come back tomorrow when I walk you through how living obediently today prepares you for tomorrow.
Now on to Part 3: The Future is Now…