Where Do We Go From Here by Julie Arduini

I remember my first conversation with my mother after dad died. She had been taking care of people since she was a teen. Now her home was empty and “for the first morning in fifty years, I have no one to take care of.”

She didn’t know what to do with the transition.

Our married life has seen changes, seen and unforseen. One that sticks out was a couple years after 9/11. The financial impact trickled to Upstate NY, and our small city was devastated by job loss. My own job lost funding, but expecting our daughter, I knew I wasn’t returning after having her. My husband, the only one with income, went to work one day to find the owner left to find his own employment. The business was alive only if each person found their own work with commission. All benefits gone. No steady income. We looked at each other that night and wondered what will we do?

Years later we were front pew observers of a nasty church split. All our friends and people our age were angry right with us, and they left that church the morning everything came to a head, not to return en masse. Our kids loved being there. We had felt like it was home. What were we to do?

Today I took our daughter to lunch and we discussed her options after high school. She’s that baby I was expecting when my husband’s job changed. Her first year was full of health situations, one so critical we nearly lost her. The events caused significant delays that year, and some remain. Early on we were told to prepare for retardation. That didn’t happen, but then we were told she was in need of full time special ed. That lasted a month before they dismissed her. Now she’s in regular classes with a 504, and is a National Honor Society member.

Her future isn’t the straight shot her brother’s trajectory was. College is an option, but with comprehension and memory issues, it will take her longer. She tires easily and her health can be compromised. At this time she does not drive. Entering the work force isn’t an automatic choice. Most kids can enter a fast food restaurant and handle the kitchen or front register. That’s not available for her at this time. Exchanging money or working in a high traffic area isn’t just yet.

So where do we go from here?

The experiences I’ve observed and learned on my own have shown me one thing when we aren’t sure what to do: PRAY. @juliearduini @christiansread

Since 2020, we’ve been praying for the Lord to direct specific steps with the kids. As our son completed his college education and our daughter faces the end of high school. As I received the call mom passed on and now it was just my sister and me. When my husband announced he had a job opportunity he was considering. His first question was, would you pray with me?

Prayer has seen us through every single situation. His answer might not have been what I wanted, it might not have been easy, but it was always best. When a door closed, if there was a delay or disappointment, through prayer we saw His blessings in time.

We don’t know the plan for our daughter. But we trust that God does, and that He will show us.

Years ago we were on vacation and unfortunately some of our daughter’s health issues were manifesting while we were a thousand miles from her doctors. Although a doctor was nearby, we knew he wasn’t equipped to handle what might happen based on our experiences. We were in a gift shop and held hands and prayed.

The clerk saw us and in the most beautiful accent declared, “The family that prays together stays together.”

I with I could tell my daughter exactly what’s next, or better yet, she announce to us. In time, by faith, she will.

For now, we keep asking God to direct our steps.

If you’re facing anything similar, I encourage you to the same. How the Lord loves you and longs to give you puzzle pieces and strategies for your life!

About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ by surrendering the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of the new contemporary romance series SURRENDERING HEARTS (Anchored Hearts, Repairing Hearts, +four more.) Her other romance series is SURRENDERING TIME (Entrusted, Entangled, Engaged.) She also co-wrote a YA series with her daughter, SURRENDERING STINKIN’ THINKIN’ (You’re Beautiful, You’re Amazing, You’re Brilliant.) Her stand-alone romances include MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN and RESTORING CHRISTMAS. Julie maintains a blog at juliearduini.com and participates in the team blog Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://linktr.ee/JulieArduini.
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