“a ribbon of road was my companion”
I walked on this road hoped to see someone, though nothing but, a ribbon of road was my companion. I was thirsty and hungry. My throat was so dry that I picked up a pebble and toss it into my mouth. Let this pebble whet my thirst. Let me draw out every last drop of moisture. Am I going to die here, die among the creatures of the air and this dirt road? I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t see the bird of prey approach me.
“Caw, caw!” screech a buzzard. My hands reached up to protect my head at the same time I swallowed my last hope, I thought.
My hand went to my throat, and I gasped for air as I swallowed that pebble. I gazed around at the vast emptiness. That bird of prey was waiting for me to die.
“What are you looking at? I am not dead yet. I might look like death, but I am not.” I tried not to lose hope in the One who gives me breath.
I was drawn away from the path to a high plateau in the mountains where as a child I would escape to have lunch with Abba. I would bring bake chicken, potato salad and for dessert we would have chocolate cake. I would have His total attention. Today, I looked off into a time when I wrestled with disenchantment, pain, being alone and I admit to the hate I felt towards my Abba.
Look at me! Who would want me? I am without child and have lost my youth. I want to disappear like Alice in Wonderland into a hole; into a new world to save me from my shame. You say to me, Lord, “I do not know you.”
How absurd! I spoke back to Abba, “What do you mean that you do not know me? Did I not serve you during my year of discovery? I learned to search the scriptures to find the hidden truths that you lead me too. Have you forgotten the mission you sent me on and the ones that gave their lives to you?” What does this mean? Have I been walking this path by myself? I pondered.
I found myself back on the road, the hard ground under my feet. The weight of my burden was heavier on my shoulders. My walk stopped. Looking skyward I was trying to comprehend what this all meant. How did I lose my way? When did I get off the path? Maybe I have never been on the right path that leads to Abba. I have been lost? Please help me. At that moment I knelt down on the hard, dry ground and my dry parched throat prayed a simple prayer, “please, forgive me Abba for going my own way. Teach me your ways. I want to learn from you.”
I remembered a song from the old book. Searching my mind I remember bits of it that says, “I trust in thee, O Lord; I say thou art my God; my times are in thy hands.” Concentrate. I closed my eyes, and I was back reliving my past.
You swooped in like an angel lifting me up off the rough road and sustaining me in your arms; fighting my battles with the serpents that surrounded me on both sides.
At times it was hard to hear your voice, the dark one sounds like you. I hit the pavement with a thump! The dark one would taunt me calling me the old names that someone supposedly dear to me had call me; I struggle with my Father’s love and I would get disconcerted, disillusion and throw it in your face. You taught me that I could trust you again and lean on you. You brought me new comrades and new hope. You showed me in little tests that I can trust you again.
And so, I started to trust God in little ways by getting counseling. I truly grappled with my faith. Does he truly love me? Finally, I was able to make changes in my life. I made more new friends and started to go to church regularly, making a contribution by leading a single’s group.
Many tests later, I came to my biggest challenge of all. I lost everything: my home, my car, even my precious possessions. God again said, “Trust me.” When I thought of those two words trust me, they reminded me of the humiliation, pain, and guilt. And I cringed and I am reminded of my lowest moment in the hands of him. Dark memories from a time long gone but it feels like yesterday with the smell of burning flesh.
I suddenly realized that the landscape has changed and I am very parched and sunburn. My long lost friend we meet again. “Trust me.” How can I trust you when I am losing my car? My car has been my freedom, freedom from my mistakes: marriage, unwanted singleness, shame, guilt, and you. I see. I have been running away from you…
How did I get here, again on the road of despair? We sometimes make strange bedfellows. I lived many years in abuse and heard from the man I loved that I was stupid, dumb, and idiotic so many times. He said he didn’t want children with me because they might be like me. And so, I became numb, slow to feel good emotions. It is so very hard to trust.
When I meet people who remind me of my ex-husband, a war breaks out in my head. I become consume with memories and distressed that can punch me down and leave me silent. I work for such a person and was trying to make my escape and in doing so lost my only income. I haven’t been able to get another job and my every moment is consumed with having my boss tell me, “MaryAnn you’re too old for the industry and no one will hire you.” I hear the voice of my ex-husband telling me, “When you look for a job, make sure you don’t have to write, communicate, or drive because you can’t do any of those things.” STOP!! The Lord has made me a promise: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) And, then “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck and write them on the tablet of your heart.”(Proverbs 3:3) Be truthful to yourself MaryAnn. “Love shall never leave you or forsake you.”(Hebrews 13:5) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”(Proverbs 3:5-6) Out of the dirty muck I cleaned off the shame and guilt off my feet. I walk with sure footedness up the path of forgiveness and grace. I know I have stumble, but life is challenging it is not painless.
The air is cleaner up on the plateau overlooking that hard road I have been traveling. I have traveled this road constantly when I let go of my father’s hand. I believed a lie. I believed that I was worthless and that who could love me. I found that was a lie from that vulture of prey that hunts the souls of the lost children of God.
So if you find yourself on this hard road of life and you are thirsty for love. My Father, Jesus Christ his arms are always open wide for the losted, hurted, and confused just turn around HE has been waiting for you to notice HIM. HE is standing with open arms to embrace, kiss, and offer you a home with HIM. Ask HIM in and you will never be alone.
Lessons learned on a hard road when one is so thirsty that they are driven to change:
1. Give up your control of your life to God and watch Him turn your life around.
2. Do not let go of His hand. Focus on the word. Jesus says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) We are the ones who leave His side when we sin. He promised to never leave us. When we come to the Father he forgives us for our past, present, and future sins. We go into hiding when we are running away and Jesus is right there with us. All we need to do is turn around; His arms are open wide ready and waiting for you.
3. Set up boundaries that are attainable. Just because you are stronger doesn’t mean that you can date someone who reminds you of your ex; this is a time to flee, run.
4. Read your Bible every day, memorizes scriptures, and pray; the Lord wants a relationship with you. Watch what you say do not let Satan in by the words you proclaim “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)
5. If you lost everything today. Would you love the Lord more than your reputation? Give Him your pain and struggles. Let Him into your situations do not hide them from Him. HE knows all and it pains Him to see you in so much pain. Sometimes, we just get in the way of what He wants to do in our life.
6. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. (Philippians 3:16) If the Lord shows you something do not let someone come in and tell you different. Those special bonds you have with the Lord do not let someone come and tear you two apart.
7. Watch what you say do not let Satan in by the words you proclaim. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)