I have been through some dark times in my life; some periods of time when I wanted life to end. I have made huge mistakes that cost me friendships and family relationships. I have beat myself up, put myself down, and thought I was unforgivable and unworthy of love, friends, or that personal relationship with Jesus I heard people talking about. Continue reading “Carrying the Burdens of Others”
Emotional pain looks different for each of us and we all react equally differently to the situation in which we find ourselves. The pain can feel physical. It might be short-lived or it seems never ending. It can be buried deep within us or it can be right on the surface. Sometimes, it is all of that at once. Continue reading “Walking Out Emotional Pain”
The past six months have been another season of change for me. I started down a path about a year ago that took me to a place unexpected. I made a decision to make some changes, never dreaming where God would take me. And I have never been more content.
For the better part of my life I felt as if I walked under a cloud. And yet, I also felt I was walking with an incredible protective force and in my spirit, I never felt I was walking alone. Even as a young girl, I had a special affinity for the outdoors and found laughter and joy there. Despite what was happening behind the walls of my home, school, or in my neighbor’s homes, I still felt a supernatural degree of security. I could never quite explain it to anyone and therefore, I kept it to myself.
From an early age my mother instilled in me a trust and faith in a God I could not see or fully understand. I learned to pray at an early age and to walk and talk with God. I have vivid memories of walking to and from school and praying as I walked. I always loved our rides to the country or to the beach because I found such enormous calm and peace there in the great outdoors.
It was in the outdoors that I discovered the lighter walk, surrounded by God’s creation, I discovered freedom from a world that terrified me. For as long as I can remember I heard that God was everywhere. It was part of my religious training and the simple truth my mother spoke into my life. As I grew in my faith and sought to “find God,” I began to see him everywhere I went. More and more he spoke to me as I walked and breathed in his spirit. More and more he became my constant companion, pointing out the incredible world he created. And as I have continued down his pathway, he has lightened the burdens of my past with forgiveness and grace. Today I walk the Lighter Walk because I walk with him.
Look around you today. Can you see God in the creation of our world? That magnificent blade of grass popping out in the midst of dry soil? The blooming flowers that bring forth a wondrous odor? The sky above that warms your face just as the night moon cools the night? These are the gifts of peace I find when I look beyond myself and desire to be closer to the Creator. In the great outdoors, I find he lightens my daily walk and reminds me that I am never alone. I hope you will find that too.
One of the more difficult things that we singles deal with is doing things on our own. It isn’t always easy, even for us extroverts. For me, entering a room by myself, especially if I don’t know anyone else, puts me in automatic introvert mode. I scan the room for a familiar face or at least someone else that is standing alone too. It is one of the most stressful things we do: we walk alone.
I guess in part that is why I have developed such a fondness for walking. I don’t need anyone else to walk with me. I also don’t feel as if I stand out because I am walking alone — lots of people are walking all by themselves.
Somehow in the solitude of walking alone, I find peace. It is in these times that I find myself having those spiritual conversations with God about being alone and what my purpose is for this world in which I live. I come home feeling more energized and more purposeful.
I am reminded that there are blessings to living a single life and if I focus on those then I can find joy. I am able to walk where I want and experience what is there for me to breathe in. I can make my own decisions about where I go and when I go. I can focus on me for a short while instead of focusing on the needs of a partner. I don’t see this as selfish but rather I see it as a healthy way to build the energy to interact with others in that purposeful way I am seeking.
So the next time I feel alone (or lonely) I think I will put on my shoes and take that walk outside my door. I will look at the beauty of the world in which we live and spend some time talking with the one who created it. I think it will bring more balance to those times when I have to walk in the room alone – I can reach back and pull forward the safety and comfort I felt walking with the creator and enter the room knowing I am not ever actually walking alone…
Olie the Beagle and I were up and out this morning before sunrise. His mommy was off to work so we walked out into the brisk morning air with her.
I forgot how incredible early mornings can be. They have a different sort of quite to them. It is a quiet waiting for noise to break out!
In the distance I could hear the rush of cars on the highway as folks begin their busy days. It almost sounded like the rhythm of the ocean when I awake at the beach. Funny how we can let any noise have a positive impact if we let it!
And the sky. I couldn’t capture the full image but looking up there was a sliver of the moon lingering in the morning light. A perfect time to reflect on yesterday and consider the options for today. A sense of peace that we can start fresh each day.
What a gift morning can be. I encourage you to get up early if that isn’t your normal routine. Watch the sun break through the night shadows and sit still in quiet. Breathe in the sights and sounds around you. Reflect on yesterday and what you can do better today. Invite God to walk with you and the Holy Spirit to guide you in a purposeful way as you step into the day.
No matter where you live and what your schedule looks like, there is something for each of us if we are willing to look. Even among the high rises or new construction, we can find God’s gift of beauty in this place we call home. Have a wonderful day and don’t forget to find that beauty as you walk through your day!
As I walked through the countryside, surrounded by trees and falling leaves, I began to think about the patterns of change in our lives. We all have those periods of adjustment: a new job, a new relationship, retirement, or a move. If we are seekers, we also may find ourselves in the turbulence of transformation; feeling overwhelmed or even a bit lost. Each of us approaches change differently, and at different rates; hoping to see the light when we get to the other side.