I went on a hike today on the Santa Fe Trail. If you know me, you know I didn’t exactly want to go…
I started in a parking lot, on smooth paved concrete, but quickly cut off to the side, and the first thing I noticed was that the ground was uneven. I was to follow a path that was uneven, steep, rocky, and because of the recent rain, slippery and muddy at times. The past few months, weeks and days have felt the same way. Grueling on most days. Long and heavy, filled with lists and lists of things to get done, goodbyes to say, packing, organizing, moving, fundraising, selling, preparing, on top of life’s usual happenings: weddings, parties, appointments, ministry - all while feeling like my entire world, everything that I know is shaking underneath me, unsteady, uncomfortable and soon to be pulled right from under me. I’m not a good liar, so I’m just being honest. I know I’m in God’s will, but I’m human y’all. The emotions are overwhelming, hard, weighty, almost smothering sometimes. This past week, the enemy had a good time tap dancing all over my very sensitive heart and mind, conjuring up all kinds of negativity that could have easily summoned me away from what I know to be the Truth.
“If I were your enemy, I’d devalue your strength and magnify your insecurities until they dominate how you see yourself, disabling and disarming you from fighting back, from being free, from being who God called you to be. I’d work hard to ensure that you never realize what God has given you so you’ll doubt the power of God within you.”
- Fervent, Priscilla Shirer
That’s why this “No Trespassing” sign on the railroad caught my eye. It was right near the beginning of the trail, just after the first semi-steep incline, and it reminded me of what I have to tell the enemy everyday.
You cannot have me.
You cannot have my mind.
You cannot have my heart.
You do not define me.
You have no say.
I know who I am in Christ.
I asked one of the girls with me a time or two, “Are we there yet?” “How long before we see the lake?” She didn’t know. But I’m out of breath! The elevation is choking me… Why did I agree to this again?... Such is life, we don’t want to enjoy the journey, we just want to know when the discomfort will end. I quietly decided within myself that I’d just enjoy the walk and endure. Shortly thereafter, we came around a bend, and there it was - Palmer Lake. We had arrived. It reminded me of the irony of valleys. We all want mountaintop experiences where all is well, things are looking up, and the ground underneath us is steady. However, in the valley - where I have felt I was lately - that’s where the nourishment, the water is found. It was pretty cool and such a relief when the shaky, insecure, rocky ground led me to the lake today. Just as it was relieving when my unstable, uncomfortable, unpredictable, scary situation lead me to the Living Water. I let my shaky knees hit the floor in prayer, I sought counsel and was poured into by my spiritual leaders and friends back home, I talked to my mama and daddy too J and swear I could literally feel the prayers from others going up on my behalf. Oh, what sweet relief.
I’d love to say that we walked around the lake and completed the hike, but we didn’t. Someone saw an ice cream shop across the highway, we veered off the trail, crossed back over the railroad and then across the highway and I enjoyed a chocolate chip cookie dough cone. Ahh, more nourishment. I can get used to hikes if they all end this way.
I went on a hike today on the Santa Fe Trail. If you know me, you know I didn’t exactly want to go… but I am so glad that I did, because He met me there.
Con mucho cariño,