Tag Archives: journey

Wrapping

One of my first thoughts this morning was how quickly my old habit of wrapping Jesus around my stories recently developed.

Some three-plus decades ago, after reading and hearing about Jesus, I asked to meet Him for myself. Bam! Game changer. He was everything I’d been missing.

My thoughts, my understanding, my direction dramatically changed. I began wrapping my life, my thoughts, my being around Jesus.

As great as that is, I’m astounded and a little embarrassed to admit I often revert to many of my former ways. And yet, Jesus understands and waits for me to come back around to Him again.

“…But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,” Romans 5:20 (NIV)

Though there have been some dark, lonely valleys along the way, the breathtaking peaks I’ve seen serve to inspire and encourage me onward. What amazes me the most is how often I think,

“It just doesn’t get better than this,”

as well as

“It can’t get worse than this”.

*

It can.

And it does.

But the worst usually sets up for the best.

Throughout my life the most influential people have often said, “just wait till you’re my age. You’ll see”. Now I AM that age! And I’m mostly amazed to see so much of my life, my thoughts, my being remains to wrap around Jesus.

Does your life seem to have unraveled? Whether you are on a peak, in a valley, or somewhere in between, wrapping your life around Jesus can take you farther and higher.

Wait till you’re my age. You’ll see!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)

Header Image and *image used by permission J.M. Weatherby (c) 2018

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Filed under Notes from the Apex

Feeling Fly

The end of summer is drawing near. I feel the smallest bits of change every day. Though it’s still hot late into the evenings, mornings stay cool a little longer, dawn breaks scant minutes later each day and the sun sets a little earlier.

With the gradual changes also come some acceptance. Events and projects I planned or hoped for most likely won’t happen this summer or this year. Next year. Fine. But for the first time in decades, I am actually feeling disappointment – emphasis on feeling.

I don’t know about most people. I know some people that grew up with abuse and violence learn how to cope with disappointment early. For me disappointment always seemed to be a lesser pain – one with fewer immediate repercussions. A slight from somebody here, plans are waylaid there, loved ones go away or move on – this is life. I learned to shove disappointment so easily, that I rarely noticed it as an adult.

For many years God and I have worked toward healing all that broke as I grew up. The biggest, most difficult part of the process is learning to feel in the moment. As I learn and heal the numbers of people I meet that share similar trouble – feeling their emotions shocks me.

I can report that now, after much prayer, work, studying, soul-searching; now that I am beginning to recognize my feelings earlier into the experience process, now what used to be easy is becoming remarkably hard. And now that I’m beginning to grasp the concept of feeling, I mostly recognize disappointment. And often when that happens, I also recall God’s words to Mackenzie from The Shack*

“Most birds were created to fly. Being grounded for them is a limitation within their ability to fly, not the other way around. You, on the other hand, were created to be loved. So for you to live as if you were unloved is a limitation, not the other way around. Living unloved is like clipping a bird’s wings and removing its ability to fly. Not something I want for you…  And if left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place.*”

I also noticed how disappointment often becomes hope more quickly than any other feeling.  I not only believe I can live with this feeling, I’m beginning to wonder if maybe I really can fly!

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

*(c) The Shack by William Paul Young, Chapter 6, A Piece of π, p. 97

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Filed under A Door Ajar

Hindsight

woods

Alone for the first time I could remember, I stopped and stood to study the wood before me. I bowed my head, closed my eyes and drew a deep, deliberate breath, determined to clear my mind.

I lifted my head as I opened my eyes. Across the small clearing a distinct path was directly ahead of me. Except for one young tree that I could easily step around, my eyes followed a straight, fair distance. Farther along, and higher up, from behind two darker masses, peeked a hint of misty, gray-blue sky; like foggy sunlight glowing from behind lace curtains into an unlit room.

I imagined the walk and where it led. I wanted more.

Turning my head slowly back and forth, I could make out gaps between trees, suggesting other paths. Unmoved, I scanned the wood’s edge again more slowly. Every opening I had noticed before seemed to have narrowed. But as I turned my face to my right, my vision voluntarily shot ahead a few yards. Without the slightest movement in the tree line my eyes stopped where I perceived a lane. The trees there seemed a slightly lighter shade of color and the ground cover sparser amongst blotches of grassy spots.

Uncertain, I looked past that point following the clearing until my neck stretched fully, and then turned it back again, expecting what had been another illusion would be gone. Instead the trailhead was more distinct and seemed even lighter. I glanced back at the obvious path straight ahead of me. I thought to look all around one more time, but instead my foot lifted, I stepped to the right and the rest of me followed the right path into the wood.

Years later, as I reflect upon that turn, I wonder if my life would have been different had I taken the obvious path in front of me. Is predictable better? Was the right path wrong? Would loss and suffering have stayed with me on another trail? Was it all the difference or was it destiny?

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Filed under Notes from the Apex