In the desert...
Nine hundred and thirteen days ago, God laid something on my heart. It did not come as a booming voice in the mountains, a burning bush, a cloud of fire, or a spinning wheel. But the desire was there, the desire of my heart for this particular thing that I just knew to be my destiny. I really did not feel worthy, and yet my heart, my heart believed. Those nine hundred days seemed like eternity, and it was a daily struggle against God and myself. Little by little, grains of doubt would wiggle in and it would take days to get them out. Life in the desert was exhausting and hard. Trust and reliance on what God had put in my heart were the pillars that held me up when I thought about giving up. I wonder if it was a little bit like David felt, knowing in his heart that he was the rightful King of Israel, yet living in the desert, hunted by Saul. I wonder if it was a bit like the Israelites felt as they waited to enter the Promised Land. But in the desert there is always the potential to believe the wrong things, especially about God. About a year into my journey I began to doubt God's goodness. Why was he letting me wander? Why was he making me suffer? Why couldn't he just give me what I wanted? And a little voice answered, a sly voice as old as time, Because you're not worth it. Because God doesn't care about you. Because he doesn't want you to be happy. What a god you worship! And for a little while I believed that voice and let the words sink into my spirit. Then one day I asked God about why I was still sitting in the desert, and a still, small, beautiful voice answered back, Because I'm for the journey, not the destination. Because though the desert seems barren it is really teaming with life and beauty. Because there are lessons to be learned there so that you can enjoy the promised land more if you just look closer and listen a bit harder. Suddenly the desert didn't seem like such a terrible place anymore and my heart rested content to be here as long as God wanted me to. The lies exposed, I trusted Him to take me where I needed to go, and He was right. There was beauty in the desert, and there was beauty in the journey. The end of the story is that I was finally brought into my promised land, and things long prayed for were answered. But when I think about it, the ending was simply the cherry on top to a wonderful journey that taught me about God, about myself, about beauty, and about freedom. That made the desert all worth it, and sometimes as I sit here in my promised land, feeling a bit surreal, I dream about other journeys, other adventures into the wilderness with the one true God of the universe who took the time to care about and love me. It's really all about the Journey anyway.
**photos are from a trip to the Grand Canyon and are copyrighted by myself and Angela Taylor. They cannot be used for personal or monetary gain. **
** for anyone interested in learning more about the heart, and how it once was deceitful and wicked but was made new in Christ visit here**