I can’t explain why one day I will want to walk away from being a daughter and a few months later I’ll laugh over the past, look into a face that mimics my bone structure and  thank God I didn’t give up.

I can’t explain why a heart melds into the disposition of a four- footed furry pet when it knows the inevitable. The life span of a beloved pet is like a cracked window in springtime you’ll soon close shut.  I can’t explain why you’ll want to repeat that cycle once you forget the face of grief.

I can’t explain why some people have platforms of hundreds of thousands and others influence handfuls. Why a message delivered in faithfulness shares equality in its usefulness despite the size of the audience.

Why a heart is receptive and pliable and another is hard as a rock.

I can’t explain why children raised in the same house by the same parents carry themselves differently, one with open palms and another with clenched fists.

I can’t explain how two people can hear the same sermon; experience the same worship on the same weekend and one walk away depleted with sadness, while the other returns home energized and hopeful.

I can’t explain why a car chooses to break down in your driveway instead of during 5 o’clock traffic.

I can’t explain why my daughter was hit by an 18-wheeler and walked away without a scratch.

Or why it happened in the month of thankfulness.

All I know is this: Relinquishment is a prerequisite to fulfillment. ~Eugene Peterson

Every time I let go of self-definition, God lengthens the road, widens the landscape, expands the tent pegs of influence and challenges my faith. And my perspective shifts from who I think I am to a longing that mirrors His reflection.

In the willingness of surrender, everything I hold on to becomes an altar of sacrifice. My children’s future, my home and stuff, the seat I take at my desk, the view outside my window, a paycheck.

The ways of God and the familiarity of his voice become identifiable, not by listening to someone explain it, but by living it out.

I move forward by looking back and courageously exclaim, “Yes, it was worth every minute.”

As fall returns with her chameleon sensibilities and the chill of change seeps through tiny cracks of summer’s foolishness, I spread a blanket around my shoulders, peek over the dog-eared pages of my paperback and stare at my daughter sleeping soundly, covered up on the couch.

A life of faith is a mysterious journey of questions without answers. And I’m okay with that.

A sacrificial life is the means and the only means, by which a life of faith matters. ~Eugene Peterson, The Jesus Way