Branches reaching toward the sky, naked and bare, sway in the wind as I lean, stretch and reach for my hazelnut coffee.

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Being grounded from running as my foot heals has brought many mornings of watching the sun paint the morning sky. These early morning hours have been expectant with promise that I’ll be pounding the blacktop. But, in the meantime, I think of what the day holds. Work, kids, friends and the drive in my soul to embrace all this life has to offer.

I take another sip and hear the wind rush through trees, my memories sifting back to a time when we visited friends in Texas. Angela and Lance asked if we would visit. Chris and I said, ‘Why not?’

Feeling like gypsies and always eager for a road trip, we packed up our three kids and drove more than 18 hours for a Texas-filled Thanksgiving. Six kids under one roof and my youngest, Tori Grace, was just a baby at the time.

The kids giggled and laughed — full of smiles, never mind that Angela has just discovered her toddler Kaitlyn had type 1 diabetes. The disease seemed like a monster, ready to devour her baby, her family and faith.

Angela was learning what it meant to prick her daughter’s fingers, keep track of blood sugars and to give her insulin around the clock.

Late into the evening hours, we talked about her fears and giggled over the funny things our kids had said.

Still new to my journey of faith, we dived deep into our hearts.

“You know I don’t understand why this disease is a part of Kaitlyn’s story, but God is all I have, and I know he will heal her one day. In the meantime, I just give him my day and he becomes my strength. It’s what keeps me going.”

Her words resonated in my soul and have come back time and again when I need them most.

The next morning, we took the kids on a train ride through the park. The air was crisp, the leaves whirled around us and the sun warmed our backs as we loaded six kids onto the train.

As we rode through the park, the trees seemed to touch the sky and danced in the fall winds, reaching toward the heavens, bare — as Angela was about her faith. Both without a word seemed to say “God, you are my strength. I’m barren, and I don’t know what’s coming next but I’ll reach for you anyway.”

Now, here I sit and watch in the early morning and watch the trees outside my window dancing to the wind. The promise of spring and all things new are just around the corner, and it makes me smile as I sip my coffee.

How many times have I found myself in those barren places? How often have I reached toward the heavens and said, “God I’m weary, but I’ll trust you to be my strength for today.”

Just maybe, there’s purpose in sitting, waiting, watching and learning how to heal. And just maybe, I’ll dance to the sound of my own prayers as I watch branches bend and sway in the spring wind as if there’s a hint of something good coming.

Heather Riggleman has lived in Kearney 16 years. She is addicted to coffee and loves a good run, is a full-time mother of three, author, and journalist. She is learning to accept the mess after chasing perfect for too many years.

@heatherrig

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