2017, Uncategorized

Isolated inclusion.

 

The wilderness is not a place of fear or a place of failure. The wilderness is a place where you see trees that have been uprooted by the wind because their roots weren’t deep enough and where you see other trees standing the test of time. The wilderness is a place of finding your “enough”, your happiness and enjoying the journey of discovery in the maze you find yourself in.

 

I found myself at a crossroad. The one road led to a place that made complete sense to me. A place where I could logically make sense of where to go to next. The other was the wilderness. Where I did not know that if I took the next step would it be safe or would I be falling into a hole and twisting my ankle? Constant anxiety and fear because none of it made sense to me and I could not explain it to anybody else. I have answers for days. If I don’t have an answer I could make you think I had the answer. When I found myself at the crossroad- I went the logical paved out road. Went to University and did a degree I was passionate about. Met incredible people but something within me did not feel right and half way into my first year I came towards an off ramp that led to the wilderness I did not want to go on at the beginning of the year. I stepped into possibly one of my scariest decisions. I put my studies on pause and stepped into working at a church I have been attending and serving at for the past 10 years. Nothing made sense, I was filled with anxiety and needed to know what the next step was at all times.

I promise this blog post has a point to it.

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I have never felt so much isolation from people I stood with firmly until I made this decision. The wilderness, unfortunately, has narrow paths and involves a lot of walking and not being sure. I personally am not a fan of hiking in nature so I cannot blame people who did not want to hike this new journey with me. I looked at all this isolation from people who did not understand why I made this decision and felt as if their rejection meant that I made the wrong choice. I felt like I should go back to the logical because did I really know if this was what I was called to? But if I took my eyes off of the isolation. I felt so much inclusion at the same time. Love, support, and hard work. God puts you in a place that does not make any sense but in that place, you find so much love. you love yourself differently and you love others more. Hiking is not a thing you should really do alone and when I began inviting people onto my walk instead of shutting them out- when I tripped there was someone to help me up. Tripping still hurts even if someone helps you up but having someone there in the journey makes the journey so much more rewarding. The best conversations probably happen in the wilderness and you hear things so much clearer. I am not saying God is screaming into my ears “go hear next” but you know He is there. Every step and He sees.

 

I am not saying drop out of varsity and start working at your church. I am saying that you should find the happiness in yourself. Things that sit right with your soul and forge towards that with everything you have. You know what you are supposed to be doing- You know the wilderness you ran away from but walking by sight will make logical sense but walking by faith helps your soul see things so much clearer. Believe me, if you told me that I would be working with kids even just one year ago I probably would have laughed and brushed you off but now that I work with kids every single Sunday I have become a gentler me.

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We so often disregard what God can do in our life simply because what God often wants to do with us makes us feel uncomfortable and doesn’t really suit our schedule. The wilderness is where there is limited communication but clear communication at the same time.

 

“It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B.
It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.”
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

 

He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber…. The LORD watches over you—the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121:3, 5-8)

The wilderness looks different to everyone and if you did the brave step of just jumping and trusting that the plan unravels on the way down- You are not crazy. You need to stop listening to the doubters and listen to a different voice.

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So embrace your wilderness experience as it is part of your growth.

“God knows things we don’t. We can trust His perspective instead of our own understanding.- Lysa TerKeurst

 

 

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2016, Uncategorized

Disillusioned hallucinations

blog-post-desert

My soul leads me into the desert, into the desert of my own self. – Carl Jung

I was speaking to a friend of mine the other day about different seasons of life and she brought up that there can be a season of complete stagnation… I never really thought of a season of “nothing” but that is when I realised that I am in fact in my desert season.

The desert is super hot during the day and super cold at night and without water hallucinations begin to take over your mind. I entitled this blog post “disillusioned hallucinations” because no other words described this season (in which I find myself )any better. When you get stuck in a desert experts would tell you to keep out of the sun as best as you can- which runs true in a figurative desert- you have to protect yourself from others spotlight because if you focus too much on it your mind will begin to become dehydrated and you will thirst for something that is not within your reach.

At the first sign of thirst you are advised not to drink all your water at once. You need to ration yourself as the days go on. So basically when the first sign of success comes or the first sign of movement comes along don’t indulge yourself in it. Take small sips and remember this is the reason for the desert season. DO NOT PANIC when you are stranded in a desert- When we find ourselves in the desert we usually find ourselves walking in circles or into bigger trouble simply because we want to get out of this dry dry dry area… Staying put in a desert is what experts encourage. You need to calm yourself in order to truly assess who you are and how you ended up here. Once you have calmed down and are certain you know where you are going – it is important to make your mark. You are encouraged to focus on a distant landmark and to follow it to wherever you are going. So in your figurative desert it is important to keep your focus on where you want to be even if you do not know where you want to be you still need to focus on a future where you are happy and satisfied. Keep your eyes on God and remember that walking through this desert is not only for yourself but it is for whoever happens to walk in a similar desert- your journey will be the path they follow to their version of a happy and fulfilled future.

In deserts you are encouraged not to speak as it results in your body losing water. In the figurative desert I think that you need to know WHEN to speak. But being silent (basically not complaining that nothing is happening in your life) is the best option. When you speak make sure that what you say says huge amount. In your figurative desert it helps to listen and ponder more than it does to yell and complain. Remember that a desert isn’t just hot… it gets cold…super super super cold. So in a “nothing happening” season remember that happy moments can come and you can feel safe and secure but sad moments will come too and you would want nothing more than shelter. But in the desert you need to brave the weather conditions even if you are going nowhere. When the temperature drops you need to be secure and know that you will be safe- basically when the stagnation results in panic know that God has you regardless of what you are feeling.

 

This is my prayer in the desert
When all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides – Hillsong, Desert Song

 

I cannot tell you when or how the desert season ends but I can tell you that harvest is on its way. Keep sowing seed into yourself and others and it will eventually come to a bountiful harvest. The desert is when you learn about yourself and who you are trusting in. The first few days – even months are torturous but you need to remind yourself that they are mere hallucinations.

 

“Something will grow from everything you are going through & it will be you.”

“Where are the people?” resumed the little prince at last. “It’s a little lonely in the desert…”

 

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19

 

The desert tests obedience and you will discover who you are without any challenges and without any success.

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