Last night was the final leg of the Ultimate Journey class I was taking and I was ready to be done. My kid’s were certainly ready for me to be done with the intense home work and being gone almost every Sunday. While class is over, the journey is really just beginning.
I did not go to the journey willingly at least not at first. For one this fall found us already unusually busy and I did not want to bring one more thing into our schedule. Especially something that I knew would mean I’d have lots of homework and lots of pain to wade through. I began to seriously pray and think about whether or not it was something that I needed to find time to do. I also realized that I had been fighting so hard not to take the class and I began thinking that perhaps that meant I needed to take it that much more. So, I prayed, I talked with Mark, and made the decision to jump in with both feet. Those around me were ecstatic and excited for me, I was just praying I’d make it through without being scarred even further and I wasn’t convinced it was what would bring the rest of my healing.
Thirteen weeks and lots of homework, more tears shed than I had ever shed before I began to find a peace I hadn’t felt or known would come. I began digging deeper into my past and shared things in my class I had vowed to leave in the closet with the door locked. However, knowing this was perhaps my last place to find total healing I was going to show all my ugly cards, awful feelings, and pull all the junk out of my closet. After all if it didn’t work I could just cart all my crap back into the closet, hide back in myself, and I’d shove the disappointment that it hadn’t worked in the closet with everything else. However, it did begin to work, I did begin to find peace, I did begin to see light not just at the end of the tunnel, but light began to fill the tunnel. The darkness was being crushed and the crazy thing is that life is just about as crazy and out of control as it has been in my life. The crazy thing is there should be no light in my tunnel, usually with all that is going on it would feel icky and ugly and utter despair would sink in. However, this was not the case, the light became brighter, it began to warm my tunnel, and in fact instead of living in a tunnel, the tunnel was exploded to reveal a beautiful, lush, safe, and secure meadow. It revealed a lush and thriving garden I hadn’t known was even around me. I also learned how to tend this garden, how to really help it thrive and become a live, but in order to have this beautiful and amazing garden revealed, junk would have to be gone through, tears would have to be shed, shame and guilt would have to be grieved, felt, and found healing in Jesus’ name. But, the weeding, the digging, the plowing, while it hurt like hell, it was what was needed. The greatest news is that the pain didn’t last, the tears still come, but they are tears of relief of finding peace and joy in Jesus’, they are tears that no matter how many land minds blow up around me, I am more than ok. I was asked last night if I was glad I had taken The Ultimate Journey, yes, I am so very thankful I did take it. I am thankful for the change in me, I am thankful that the lives of my kid’s can be different, I’m thankful for the healing that Mark and I continue to find.
So, after the Ultimate Journey, the journey of life still continues on, the pressures of this world still surround us. We are still not any closer to a job being found for Mark, we still do not know if we will have to move to a different house, town, state, or country. We still do not know how bills will be paid from week to week, but God does, while we are casting our cares on the Lord and trying to seek his peace, there still lies in our heads how is he going to provide. We don’t know, but we do know he has always provided in the past, not always how we’d thought, actually, usually not how we thought. We have begun to pray that God would open the door we are to walk through. Would you join us in prayer as we seek God in which direction we are to go, would you please seek the Lord in prayer that we would continue to learn the lessons in this he wants us to learn. Even if the lesson is continuing to wait. It’s agonizing and I often want to jump ahead of God and help him out by making a decision to help us out. But, I know from the multiple stories in the bible and in my own life, that jumping in front of God only brings consequences of various degrees and more frustration. With this hindsight, I continue to ask the Lord to help us watch for the door he wants us to walk through. God’s way is always so much better than my way, even if I don’t understand it. I do know that I have a choice in how I will react to the journey called life. I can kick and scream, I can throw a tantrum and tell God how unfair I think he’s being. I can forsake him and curse him or I can trust. I’ve tried the forsaking and cursing, I’ve tried the tantrum and screaming, these have only brought me more inner turmoil, more depression and anxiety, and brought me to a deep dark ugly place. The only time I have ever found peace is when I stopped fighting, when I stopped and began to trust, when I simply rested in the meadow, in the garden of my Heavenly Father. I can choose to put myself in the dessert or I can choose the garden, I am the one who must choose. I choose the garden, I choose life, I choose to walk through the pain to find peace on the other side. I pray you like us will choose the garden.