“God gives you grace to cross the bridges in front of you, but He doesn’t give you the grace to cross the bridges you make in your head.” –Rachel Aldrich

            Saturday morning at 3:50am, mom and I headed off to the Portland airport. The intinerary was as follows: get to the airport, check my extremely-close-to-overweight-bag, get through security and board the plane for a 6:10am take-off, land in San Francisco at 8:30am, get to the international terminal for the 11:55am flight to Beijing, survive the flight, land at 4:25pm on Sunday, find my suitcase, and get through Chinese customs, find the airport subway, take it four stops, transfer with my bags to Line 2 for 8 stops, then transfer to Line 4 for 7 stops, get off the subway and go up to the bus stop, wait for the 369 or 954 bus, manage to work through the crowd with my suitcase and backpack, get on the bus, ride for 6 stops, get off at Shoubaozhuang, cross the street, and walk into the school. Viola. 

            Honestly, I was a little worried about getting through all this by myself. In the car on the way to the airport, I didn’t know what I would do if my bag was overweight. I wasn’t at all familiar with the San Francisco airport. I didn’t know if my ability to enter China would be affected by the minor conflict over a Chinese air zone right now. I wasn’t quite sure how to find the airport subway express from my baggage claim. I was worried about transferring lines with my suitcase, and I didn’t know if I could get on the bus if it was crowded. Altogether, if I started dwelling on all the things I was unsure about, I could have started freaking out. But instead,  after remembering that I could call a teacher to help if anything went wrong, I decided to just take it all one step at a time. 

            A few months ago, my friend Rachel Aldrich and I were talking about our lives, about problems or issues that we thought we could see in the future. Rachel told me about how she had been worried and disturbed because she didn’t feel like God was holding her up and giving her the wisdom for that potential situation. But then we realized… of course not. We weren’t there yet! Somehow, we expected God to give us all the answers and total confidence, the grace to deal with it, but it wasn’t even happening! In fact, it may not ever come to happen. Too often we complicate things or make them so much more than they should be. I agree with what Rachel said, “God gives you grace to cross the bridges in front of you, but He doesn’t give you the grace to cross the bridges you make in your head.”

            Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying “don’t think ahead.” What I’m saying is: don’t live in the future, in the maybes, in the potential problems. Prepare adequately, and then trust God to take you through what He’s called you to do. 

            I was trying to think of a verse that goes along with this thought process. And I looked over at the thermal mug I brought from home that’s sitting next to my computer. It says “He Guides “ in bold letters, and underneath has Proverbs 3:5-6.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” 

Read that again.

Read it slower. 

My challenge to you: look at your life and see if there are things that you are worrying about or stressed about that God wants you to simply trust Him for. Maybe it’s getting from the Portland Airport to Dandelion Middle School. Maybe it’s a potential relationship. Maybe it’s finals at school. Maybe it’s something much bigger or much smaller. No matter the size, God asks you to trust Him with all your heart. 

            I made it to the school without a hitch. But even if I hadn’t, I trust Him. Why? Because I know He loves me. How? Because He made me, died for me, rose for me, and has been faithful to me. He has never failed me yet, and I know His heart well enough to know that He never will.

            He loves you too.


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