One year has past since we drove away from our Woodstock, GA home and into a new state, new city and new home address. Wow. I cannot even begin to share ALL that The Lord has been to me and taught me. It’s overwhelming to think about, really. And so comforting to know that all along this journey of “new,” He has been the One that remains the same. Constant. Faithful. Loving. Patient. Caring. Personal. Breaker. Healer. Discipliner. Encourager. Friend. Listener. Compassionate Father.
He has walked with me each step, and has always been in the next thing—going ahead of me and preparing circumstances and preparing me for what is next. As hard as this year has been for me, it has been just as sweet, as I’ve leaned on The Lord more than ever.
I have read my Bible daily. I have prayed about everything and tried to give thanks in all things. I have journaled my way through the hills and valleys of the year. I have, more than ever, opened my hands and sat in the reality that there was so much I did not know, so many answers I did not have. And I have been encouraged in finding that I don’t have to know so much of what I thought I needed to know. I learned so much during seven months of counseling, too. She was a gift from God at the perfect time.
Streams In the Dessert devotional shared a poem that resonated with me and my reflections on our past year:
The hill was steep, but cheered along the way
By conversation sweet, climbing with the thought
That it might be so till the height was reached;
But suddenly a narrow winding path appeared,
And then the Master said, “My child,
Here you will walk safest with Me alone.”
I trembled, yet my hearts’ deep trust replied,
“So be it, Lord.” He took my feeble hand in His,
Accepting thus my will to yield Him all,
And to find all in Him.
One long, dark moment, And no friend I saw,
Save Jesus only.
But oh! So tenderly He led me on
And up, and spoke to me such words of cheer,
Such secret whisperings of His wondrous love,
That soon I told Him all my grief and fear,
And leaned on His strong arm confidingly.
And then I found my footsteps quickened,
And light unspeakable, the rugged way illumined,
Such light as only can be seen
In close companionship with God.
A little while, and we will meet again
The loved and lost; but in rapturous joy
Of greetings, such as here we cannot know,
And happy song, and heavenly embraces,
And tender recollections rushing back of life now passed,
I think one memory more dear and sacred than the rest will rise
And we who gather in the golden streets,
Will oft be stirred to speak with grateful love
Of that dark day Jesus called us to climb
Some narrow steep, leaning on Him alone.
“There is never a majestic mountain without a deep valley, and there is no birth without pain.” (Daniel Crawford)
I have been led by The Lord through different books of the Bible over the past few months, and I find it no coincidence that I am in Deuteronomy at this year-mark of living in Charlotte. G.Campbell Morgan writes that Moses was tasked with reminding the Israelites how, even amid the sorrowful and suffering, the God of the Universe had guided them. (For the record, I don’t count moving to Charlotte as reason for sorrow, nor would I call my last year full of suffering…hang in here with me for the bigger picture). God had “commanded them to new journeys….God is constantly disturbing us….yet, He leads us by no unnecessary pathways.” No unnecessary pathways. None. When you set the facts of your experience next to God’s character, you should be able to find great comfort in knowing that God wastes nothing.
Morgan says, “There is meaning and value in every stretch of the road.” Oh, so true. So good. So comforting to me.
I ran across a song called, “Every Mile Mattered,” and I cannot tell you how it ministered to me. The lyrics and music are beautiful. I hope you will listen to it and evaluate your own life journey. Spend time reflecting, remembering, noting the growth in your life, letting go, moving on, embracing the new, and feel your trust increasing in a God who walks with us all along the way.