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My Old Faded Sled
By Trish Thompson

I remember how in mid-winter my friends and I would all gather at one certain hill at the edge of our neighborhood, pulling our sleds behind us. Only as the snow became packed down just right would that hill become a racetrack, and our sleds would perform as mighty steeds entered in the race … and it reminds me of the love I share with my husband, Lucian.

My sled was old, I’d had it for many years and it was too small, even for me … but still I went up to the top of the hill and waited in line for my turn to dash down the slope. One day in particular, however, when I made my usual running start and flung myself down on its wooden slats just as the crest of the hill turned downward, my trusty charger stopped working. The rust on the metal rails dragged on the snow, the arms would not steer, and all at once, riding down the hill was not fun anymore.

I think of my life like that – before I met the man who would become my husband. I kept going through the motions, kept dragging my sled to the hill … and even though I thought I was doing everything right, I knew something was wrong, something was missing, and it made me sad.

My brother, John, took me in hand that long-ago day and showed me what to do to make that sled fly again, even more than it had before. He cleaned the rust away, tied ropes to the arms and told me to learn to ride it standing up, pulling on the ropes to steer! I looked at him in disbelief but I went off alone to that hill to give it a try. It took me a while, to trust and believe, but when I did, oh my. My old, faded sled became the swiftest horse of all as it took off in a flat-out gallop.

Then, with new found hope and joy in my heart, I rejoined my friends, and to their astonishment, I stood on my sled as I nudged it over the edge. Oh what a feeling. The wind rushing by, the ropes held firmly in my hand. Now I could soar, I could steer, I could ride my wooden mount down that hill at an amazing speed. Clear to the bottom and all the way across the field before coming to a stop.

It was just like when God took my life, all faded and worn, and gently fixed what was awry … so that when I was ready … when I was open … when I could begin to believe … He introduced Lucian to me. He knew what a difference that would make. Lucian’s caring arms around me, his every word encouraging me, and together we became as one.

Now we sail down the hills of life on our sled … holding fast to the ropes of love … and together we have what we never had alone. We have twice as much strength to go where God is leading, we have twice as many hands to give each other love, more treasures than we ever had before … and I thank God continually for the joy He has poured out … His grace falling on us like snow … and for making every day the perfect one to go sledding.
Trish Thompson lives in Chesapeake, Virginia, and shares in her beloved husband, Lucian’s, ministry at Trinity Christian Fellowship. Although officially "retired", Trish is busier than ever with her church, family, crafts and freelance web design business. Trish has won a faithful following of readers who have grown to love her beautiful and heart-warming daily postings at FaithWriters.com. Trish is the first to say that she is truly having the time of her life in this time of her life!

LIFE LESSONS FROM 2004:
I’ve learned that I do have a sense of humor ... depression for many years supressed it. Now, there's no stopping me! he he he he … (Joanne Malley)

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