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Facing a Difficult Journey? Here’s the Secret to Not Giving Up

When your sister-in-law, who also has a bundle of children, calls to invite you on a girls weekend to the mountains of New York, you go without a second thought. The stars aligned and both our husbands agreed to watch the children.

The last weekend in September I found myself boarding a plane alone for the first time in I can’t even remember. Excited is an understatement of how I felt. It was going to be the best weekend filled with some much needed R&R.

“Want to go on a 12-mile hike? Six miles up and six miles back?” My sister-in-law asks the first morning.

I pause, mildly amused by this ridiculous question and answer back, “Are you crazy?! We came here to rest and relax. Is there anything shorter?”

We both agreed on the six-mile hike out and back. The pictures in the brochure looked amazing, at about mile-two we would come across a beautiful waterfall, and then at about mile-three there would be an outlook with a fantastic view. This shorter journey would give us time to rest by the waterfall and read a book.

Except three hours in we begin to wonder if maybe we are on the wrong trail. That sometimes happens when you’re on a journey. You start out with a plan and then begin to question, if maybe just maybe this journey isn’t the right one.

The trail we were on looked nothing like the one we had seen in the brochure. Three hours in and we hadn’t seen anything but woods, lots and lots of woods. Where was the outlook? Where was the promised waterfall? And why did we feel like we had arrived yet we were still walking? Sound familiar,right?

I could feel it, my anxiety rising and I could see I wasn’t going to be resting much. This was nothing that I expected…we were lost.

Maybe you feel like I did. The journey is not what you expected. Instead, it’s hard and long with no end in sight, and you are unsure if you made the right decision in the path you chose.

What if it’s not about arriving? What if it’s about becoming the very you He intended you to be..the free you who could care less what others think. The you who kicks fear in the face and depends on grace to overcome the rejections and insecurities instead of shirking back and baling out. The you who chooses not to believe your not good enough, because your done waiting around to be enough. What if you need this journey to become the very person He intended you to be?

So don’t despise the journey or reject it just because everyone else’s  seems shorter than yours. It’s ok; it’s not about arriving anyway. It’s about keeping time with the One who created you, allowing Him to love you into the very person He intended you to be.

I wasn’t sure what to say when my-sister-law said she made a mistake. What do you mean you made a mistake? I thought you looked at the map? I thought we had a plan? Somehow we had parked the car and started the trail 3 miles too soon. Now 3 miles in and we couldn’t just turn back, we hadn’t seen what was promised. So we continued because she said the trails would meet and we would eventually see the waterfall and lookout point if we just kept walking. I was secretly unsure and questioning if we would ever find our car.

There was no option; we had come too far to turn around.

This is what I know…you’ve come too far to turn around now, and if you listen to your emotions instead of the Truth, you could miss the miracle on the other side of this long journey. Keep walking; God is with you! One step of faith at a time. And don’t forget to breathe in the power of Holy Spirit. You can do this, even if the journey looks uncertain; His grace never runs dry and will empower you with every step.

The 6-hour hike we intended to take, turned into a 13-mile hike! Because sometimes the journey is a lot longer then we think. We want a miracle to shorten the journey, yet sometimes He calls us to walk through, what looks like a wilderness, to get to our promise.

Here’s something you need to know: I’m not a hiker. This was my first real hike ever! If you would have told me that morning I was going to hike 13- miles I would have thought you were crazy and went back to bed. See our minds hold us back. They tell us we can’t do something based on our reality, except when we are believers we don’t operate in reality, we operate in faith. Believing for the impossible, not the possible. Our minds are wired to tell us what is possible so when we go to do something outside the norm, our minds say, “yeah no, that’s not ever going to happen.” We then shoot for something tangible. This is what I’ve learned: if He’s called you to it, He’ll equip you for it.

I was capable of the 13-mile hike and you’re capable too! And because we kept walking we saw just what was promised, the waterfall and the outlook. And there, right where we left it was our car, His strength had carried us through.

Dear friend, keep walking your promise is waiting.

Rest emerges in the times we choose to see the journey for what it is, and allow grace to wash over the uncertainties.

 

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