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.
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.
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,
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.
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