There are so many cars here today. The parking lot overflows into the roadway. City dwellers desperate for a beautiful reprieve, for refreshment. I finally find a spot amongst the no parking signs where I’m relatively certain my car will not be towed away. I almost gave up and drove back home, but I couldn’t. My heart needs this time so much.
So. Very. Desperately.
Besides, I already gave up on another thing I wanted to do today… Out of fear. “Why? Why, at times, does fear cripple me so?” I asked God while driving here. “Why am I so afraid of certain things?” THIS time I will NOT let fear drive me away.
I. Need. This.
The hike uphill begins immediately. Perfect for my heavy heart. As I bend my knees and squat into each step, I can feel my muscles begin to work hard.
Good. I need to get this… This… Whatever THIS is… I need to work it out.
My heart is beating faster, my breathing becomes deeper and more rapid and my body settles in. I begin to look around… Up.
The sunlight coming through the trees make those old, mossy branches look majestic, like strong arms stretched out to embrace me and my tired heart.
Fear Not, He tells me, I am always with you. My head knows this, but sometimes my heart struggles to remember.
As I continue up, watching the rocky trail ahead, I spot it. The sign — the reminder, that He loves me ever so much.
I find them often.
Thank you Father. I know you love me.
The plants around me are glorious in the sunlight – an array of springtime greens and yellows. A special three petaled reminder catches my eye. Three times the love. A reminder of the Trinity. Such love.
The music of water flowing downstream nearby beckons me. There. An opening to the stream with boulders… One is the perfect seat. As I sit and write, the sunlight bathes me in tender warmth.
Listening to the stream is music to my ears. Peace, as though the water is washing through me taking all the doubts and fears away. Yes. Thank you Lord. You can hold them so much better than I can. When I keep them in my grip, frustration and anger take over. OUT of control because I’m trying to be IN control. It doesn’t make sense, but it is so true.
Returning to the trail, the terrain gets steeper. My knees and legs begin to ache and again I contemplate quitting because it is hard work. It occurs to me that this is exactly what I’m afraid of… Quitting. Not quitting the hike, but quitting this newfound life of open heartedness, friendship, honesty, and trying to live life to the fullest. It isn’t easy. I often feel misunderstood or lost. How will I ever live up to the life that I want to live? When will I actually start loving radically, the way I so desperately want to love? When will I start living radically, spreading hope and kindness and generosity the way I so desperately desire? I want to be a world changer. It seems as though there are constant roadblocks but the biggest roadblocks are my own limiting beliefs.
I will not quit.
Marching on through the forest, I notice the ferns.
Enormous sword ferns that make me think of the mighty angel armies God has watching over me… Over my heart.
And the hearts of others.
HE is fighting for me. And you.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
The sweet scent of wild roses catches my attention.
Those hopes and dreams aren’t going to fall into place immediately, my job is to simply take one step at a time and keep going. As long as I am listening to His voice and obeying, I will be a world changer.