This afternoon I sat by my fireplace, wrapped in a blanket, pen and notebook nearby, paging through my bible that has outwardly aged significantly over the last year, as I have; we (my bible, the Lord and I) have been close companions. I was thinking of this place of pain that I have journeyed through, and then I felt the tender touch of God remind me that it is a place of praise.
One year ago today I felt as if I was helicopter lifted in to a remote and foreign territory (much like “Survivor Man”), flat on my back, injured and bruised. There did not seem to be a road, or even a hacked down path, just desolation everywhere. The terrain was rugged. It felt like I hit rock bottom, but I couldn’t be sure. Sharp mountain peaks where in view, everywhere I turned. The temperature changes were extreme. The weather was unpredictable, often windy and rainy, at times contrasted by scorching heat. I landed in the wilderness and I did not know where to go, or what to do. I knew that I could not survive on my own or find my way out. I would need to trust the Hand of the only One who knew the way and knew me.
It’s been an adventure trip; still is. I have whitewater rafted down uncertain, frothy, turbulent waters and crawled through dark, twisting, mysterious caves. I have climbed steep cliffs, with rocky outcroppings that have blocked my vision. It has required heroic levels of faith, but I have learned that only in the strength of the greatest Hero of all time, is it possible to climb at all. I have experienced the fog of fear, often thick and damp, evaporate by the warmth of the Son, only to return in the darkness of the cool night; it then dissipates again with the morning Son. I have traversed tall mountains (not with a single bound) and have seen the glory of the Lord, only to return down the mountainside on my journey, with only a memory of His face. At times, the road has been narrow where I walked heal to toe, one foot in front of the other, and learned what it means to walk by faith and not by sight. I have slipped, fallen and been lifted back up again. I have chosen some wrong ways, but have been reminded of the True way, and then gently led back on course. The Word of God – God Himself – has been my compass and my daily sustenance and nourishment. It is the light that shows me the path. I have not been hungry or thirsty, and whenever I grew weary, He strengthened me as I waited upon Him. He has been my Shelter from every storm, and a place of rest for my soul.
I have not reached my destination yet, but I am learning a lot on this journey. I am not the woman that I was when I landed in the middle of nowhere – which was really somewhere to God. I am stronger and wiser because of this -- because of Him. My burdens feel lighter, as I have learned to place them on the strong and capable shoulders of my Savior. They are still real, but I am learning how to deal with them, differently. I love deeper, better, because I have known His deep, deep love.
I did not sign up for this trip, although, it feels like I have paid for it. At times, I wish it was not my journey, and yet, I do not want a refund. The Lord has revealed to me a lot about myself, but even more about Himself, and that makes the trip worth it. I do not know what He has planned down the path. My eyes remain focused on Him. I do praise Him for all He has done in my life and in the life of my family. He has been faithful, and I am fully confident, will remain so, to guide me and love me along the way. Unfailingly.