Jessie's Well Blog
Day 43 - 45
October 20, 21, 22, 2015
Our rest here in Slidell was at a perfect time and a perfect place. I could feel my body fatiguing during the last few days of this journey and I was ready for a rest. There could not be a better place to do so than in this special place. Marilyn’s grandfather built this home across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans in the bayou area of Slidell to escape the summer heat of New Orleans. Three generations of family footprints border the swimming pool. There is a beauty here that I came to love as I also fell in love with Marilyn 30 years ago. It was here that I asked her to marry me. It was here that our children loved to vacation as a family. It was here that we retreated in August of 2007 when Jessie was sick and we simply wanted to be together as a family. Robert and Jessie spent hours in the pool laughing and playing games together.
So, in many ways, this is where our journey began. Water Cycle is about far more than a middle-aged, skinny, bald guy riding his bike across the country. It’s far bigger than that. It’s about being inspired to tell a God-sized story to as many people as possible so that others can have hope and a future. So in 1987 when I asked Marilyn to marry me our journey began and so did the story. God knew at that time, in fact far before that time, every intricate detail of our story. We, on the other hand, had no idea. Much of our story I would never change but if I had known our story would include Jessie’s cancer I don’t believe I would have had the strength to endure. But, of course, that’s not how God works. Just this week Robert shared two passages with Marilyn and me from Exodus that are so very applicable to this point:
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” Exodus 14:14
“The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.” Exodus 15:2-3
So God prepared us for this story long before we were in the midst of our most difficult days. He gave us strength sufficient for each day during the darkest times and he gives us reason to praise Him knowing He has led us to and through this amazing story.
I am looking forward to our arrival in Jacksonville on October 30 and the completion of Water Cycle 2015 but I also believe the story does not end there. There are thousands of children in the Dominican Republic whose lives will be forever changed for good as a result of the generosity of many who were moved by this story and have shared their resources to make a difference. Your generosity has given this middle-aged, skinny, bald guy a reason to smile during long hours on the bike.
I get back on my bike early Friday morning with a renewed strength and excitement for the days ahead. Thank you for being a part of this journey with us.