There was a secret tree fort. I don’t remember how we found it, we just stumbled across it one day when we were looking for a place to build one of our own. It wasn’t even our property, nor close to our house. It was out by the Woodlands racetrack and past some baseball fields we played at. We were the only ones who knew of it, although someone had built it, maybe a decade before, and I suspect they still knew it was there.
We would go there sometimes when there was nothing else to do. It was deep enough in the woods where no one could find us. A faint trail through the grass, then into the trees, over a few hills thick with underbrush and canopy overhead. We nearly got lost each time we went.
Secret places were the best place to talk candidly for some reason. It was away from the normal; from the places we had to act a certain way. And we allowed ourselves to be vulnerable. And once I broke my brother’s trust there and still wish to take that back.
Sitting at 300 First, Tara and I went to a secret place tonight. Birthdays are a great time for this kind of reflection. We had some deep conversation. As we always do, we discussed our fears, our hopes and dreams. But there are some places that I still cannot go. We start that direction but I cannot face it. Tara went there without me. She said earlier in the day she cried not knowing if this would be her last birthday. Then she brought me there, saying, “What will you do if I am gone?” Now we are both sitting there. In the tree fort. I kept trying to climb down and get out of there, but she wouldn’t let me. I had to answer and enter the conversation I dread.
Even when we go to that place we went tonight, there is hope. Tara and I might still be talking about this in 20 years. That would be awesome. But the thing that gives us hope beyond measure is the person, character and goodness of God. No matter what happens. We know he has us right where he wants us; completely dependent on him. We know all of this is in his control, and he is shaping us to be most glorifying to him, and therefore in the long run, most satisfying to us. Why can we not have these conversations when all is well?