Wednesdays with Jillene: sometimes trees are meant to be in the way

It has been over a month… I’ve thought about that morning a few times since, amazed each time at how something seemingly wrong was so very right… The way this thing that was out of place and broken was just as it should have been.

Sounds a little silly, probably is, but in the moment the event seemed HUGE and the story might be growing like a fish tale.

Even with that risk, I’m going to tell you anyway 😉

Here we were nearing the end of camp and I was headed out early (again) trying to get a few things accomplished before 8 am breakfast in the Dining Hall.  Hurried? Why, yes, yes I was… seems there are never enough minutes/hours/etc. I rounded the turn and began driving down the hill to the Dining Hall when I saw it:

A tree laying in the road, completely blocking my way.



ARG!!! I was so frustrated. This tree was going to need some equipment to move and it wasn’t going to happen on my time table. What to do? Here I’d brought Calah (1 year old) with me thinking she could come along for a few easy morning tasks… but to accomplish anything I needed MANY things in my vehicle and I couldn’t carry those and carry her.

Back to the ARG!!!

Sent a text to Josh. Sighed in resignation that yet another morning wasn’t going my way. Put the parking break on the car and prepared to carry what I could to accomplish what little I’d be able to with the limited supplies I could pack mule that morning.

Then it happened.

I heard yells/shouts/probably just plain normal kid noise on the road above and Isaiah rounded the turn to the Dining Hall on his bike.

He wasn’t supposed to ride on this hill. In fact, to my knowledge he’d never tried before, he always parked his bike by the flag pole and walked to the Dining Hall. From a distance I saw he already was losing control of his bike, swerving all around. I probably yelled something about him needing to stop… that there was a tree down… that he wasn’t supposed to be riding on the hill anyway.

He yelled back, with panic in his voice, that he couldn’t stop. We still don’t know if it was from the heavy early morning dew, a brake malfunction, or an Isaiah malfunction but try as he might… those breaks didn’t work at all.

Now, mind you, he’d already gained a lot of speed and there wasn’t much road left between  him/his bike and the downed tree. I’m still not sure if what I did was best but I yelled that I’d grab him off his bike and as he came speeding by that’s what we did: he bailed and I grabbed him under his arms and tried to pull him towards me with one arm because the other was still holding Calah. He banged his face pretty good in the process BUT

He was okay.



Even in the intense, high adrenaline filled moment I could see the perfection in the imperfection of the moment. If that tree hadn’t fallen across the road… if that tree hadn’t stopped my morning progress… well I wouldn’t have been there when Isaiah couldn’t stop his bike.

No big deal you might think. And maybe it wouldn’t have been ’cause God is awesome like that too. But the part of our family’s story you should know is that almost 10 years ago my oldest took a trip down this very hill on his bike. That trip is the reason that to this day the kids aren’t supposed to ride down. When Micah traveled this same route years before, he gained too much speed and flipped over his handle bars. Wearing a helmet and all he still suffered a concussion severe enough to cause retrograde amnesia that lasted several hours resulting in an ER trip, tests and such (not to mention all the cuts and bruises).

So you see, that moment when a downed tree ruined my morning, it likely saved Isaiah.

If you’ ve been reading the blog or were at camp this summer then you likely know how the analogy of a chocolate chip cookie recipe can show us the truth of Romans 8:28. How God can be working all things to our good even though some moments seem bad (if you aren’t familiar you can read the post by clicking here).

I don’t know what bad moments, interrupted plans, unfulfilled dreams, disappointed wishes, or the like you may be facing. But my prayer for you is that you will trust God as He works things to your good. I pray that you would be able to trust that God is  providing you a hope and a future even when you don’t understand HOW He is working that out! AND my prayer is that you will be blessed (as I was that morning) to catch even small glimpses of how God worked it all together… even using the broken things that get in your way to good.


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